Don't be fooled. Inside this thin coating of sweetness is a fiery core of total insanity.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

A Trip To Watson's Nursery

My son Iain came for a visit recently and while he was here we went to Watson's Nursery to look for a gift for his girlfriend (As an aside, his girlfriend Diana came with him for the first weekend, and we met her for the first time, but she had to travel on to a business conference rather than spend the rest of the week with us. She's wonderful, we love her!) Iain and I had a lot of fun looking around the nursery. He marveled a couple of times that it was so big, and I told him there were even bigger nurseries north of Seattle. Mostly, we spent our time inside the big greenhouse, where the houseplants and home decor items are. I didn't actually take any photographs that day, although I was tempted to pull out my point-and-shoot. I opted to remain "Mom" and just browse casually.

But I made a note of the things I would come back later on my own to buy, such as one of these head planters. They had a couple of bright red ones when we were there, but when I came back, only a few days later, after my son had left to go back East, the red ones were nowhere to be found. I had to settle for green.

I picked up one of these, and when I went back later through the same area, some salesperson had wrapped a scarf around the neck of the one remaining planter.

They had a great display of orchids, which I'm not tempted to buy. They're beautiful, but I unerringly kill them.

Here are some obligatory orchid closeups.

Ah! The cactus and succulent table! That's what I was looking for. A couple more would be welcome, since they did so well over my winter of neglect.

Love these roundish ones with their sharp spines that look almost like flowers if you squint

This big hairy one has a two-tone ombre kind of hairdo

Lots of little babies all crowded around the edge. This one reminds me a bit of my Euphorbia polygona, but I think it's a true cactus.

Kind of adorable!

I had to take some pictures of their Tillandsia display, since this was where we found gifts for Diana when I was here with my son.

They had some interesting display ideas.

Popular but impractical for watering

Funky! I have some bedsprings I could use, but I gave most of my Tillandsias away.

I love the idea of using driftwood, but these are hot-glued to the piece of wood, which is unappealing

A little terrarium duo (Diana is into terrariums)

Off to explore more of the nursery!

Gorgeous Rex Begonias are always tempting, but they don't stay gorgeous for long under my care

A lizard carrying a book? I might have been tempted if he had been a gecko

The story of my life

This little lamb reminds me of the sheep from Aardman Animations' Shaun the Sheep movie

This pitcher is beautiful and I would have bought it if I had a use for it. It would be perfect for In a Vase on Monday, but I don't do that meme.

Aha! The sales tables!

I'd like these in silver please.

Can't help wondering if I should go back for one of these (30% off of $69.00). I just don't know what I'd do with it. It's not practical for planting.

How about a change purse shaped like an Echeveria?

So, besides the green head planter, are you wondering what else I brought home?

These two cacti appealed to me, especially since I thought they'd be perfect for these two little footed containers that I brought back from Disney World way back in April. The containers evoke EPCOT's Spaceship Earth, and are actually mugs, so they have no drainage. But given how I neglect plants, they'll probably work out perfectly.

This ruffled Echeveria with its pink edge came home

And this oddly colored Echeveria -- gray, blue, tones of rose?

I need the reminders

When I told Nigel I had bought a couple of plants, he said, "Ah. You're back."

Maybe not completely, but I'm finding my way.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Venturing Further Afield on An NPA Garden Visit

In July, I finally started going somewhere other than the grocery store and the therapist's office. Out for lunch or dinner to a restaurant. Down the hill to Windmill Nursery or even all the way across town to Watsons's in Puyallup.

I joined the Northwest Perennial Alliance back at the beginning of the year, intending to go garden visiting like I have every year, but with the gall bladder surgery, and then the daily headaches and anxiety issues, those plans had fallen by the wayside. So I thought perhaps since I was showing improvement, it might be time to visit a garden. Just one little visit. Just sticking my little toe back in the water.

I looked in the NPA booklet and saw a brand new garden that had never been shown before, within reasonable driving distance, and it sounded marvelous.

Art Converse's garden is "on one acre in an enchanting area called May Valley. The garden has many themes to enjoy, including a rose garden which contains 600 roses, a large vegetable garden, many palm trees and tropical plants, nine ponds, a spawning creek and various guest cottages."

My friend Peter The Outlaw Gardener also visited Art's garden that day, although we missed seeing each other. Peter's post is here. You can get a good overview of the garden there, and some history on the many little cottages and garden structures.

I concentrated on the beautiful flowers.

Hummingbirds were whizzing all around this Crocosmia

There were several large, heavily blooming Brugmansias in pots

Oh, heavenly scent!

This seating area was backed by Dahlias and lush bananas

I was astounded by the sturdiness of the stems on these enormous  flowers

Then, the rose garden, enclosed by a fence and gate. You could smell it as you approached.

One of the many ponds, this one tucked up right close to the house, near the front door

A bed full of Hydrangeas greets you as you pass into the back garden

This cute little fella sits on one of the back yard structures

Looking across the garden

Grape arbor

Looking back across the garden (the little lizard was on one of those round beams



A  bed full of Gladioli, that I hadn't noticed coming in, struck me as I left. They were behind a stone wall and hard to reach to photograph well, but this one was intriguing enough to try. I love two-tone flowers, of any kind.

Thanks, Art, for showing your beautiful garden and for sharing it with NPA members, and with me. It was a successful outing, topped off with coffee and a scone at a nearby coffee shop with Nigel.