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

Sunday, July 8, 2018

A Little Nursery Tour of the Kitsap Peninsula

Here's a little visit to the Wayback Machine. OK, it only goes back a few months, to around the time of the last Heronswood Sale, which was on May 12 and 13, just a few days before Nigel and I got on a plane for our trip back East to visit Iain. After I had a look at the sale and a stroll around Heronswood, I made a whirlwind nursery hop at three nurseries on the Kitsap Pensinsula.

Valley Nursery

First stop was Valley Nursery in Poulsbo. A few months earlier Peter The Outlaw Gardener had been here and he told me they had the Camellia I was looking for (Vestito Rosso Mon Bella). I didn't actually have much hope that they would still have any left, and I was right. But they had other cool stuff.

Big table full of flowering Lavandula stoechas

Here, in a huge mixed urn, was one overcrowded Mon Bella

It's a gorgeous flower and I love the dark new foliage, but I didn't want it badly enough to pay for that pot, plus it wouldn't fit in my car anyway

Look at these black Callas (four of them jumped into my cart, those little tarts)

They were right next to these dark red Dianthus barbatus, which were tempting, but I have thousands of seedlings just as dark if not darker at home, so...sorry ladies, you stay there

Plants, plants, plants, as far as the eye can see

Lots of different colors of Heucheras

Hydrangea aspera -- killed one of these a few years ago

Loropetalum 'Sparkling Sangria' -- love these, but the one I tried never thrived, just weakened and eventually found its way into the big blue euthanasia bucket (yard waste bin)

Hebe 'Amy' I think

Hebe 'Turkish delight

Are you noticing a theme? I was on the hunt for anything with purple/red/dark foliage or dark red or purple or so-called black flowers. Since I couldn't find the Camellia, I was considering other options, but I've always been kind of leery of Hebes. I have a trust issue with their hardiness.

This warning sign on the Hebes didn't help

I couldn't visit Valley without poking my head inside their greenhouse where they keep all their tender houseplants.

Lots of orchids

I was fascinated with this big purple blob on the blue cactus -- later to find out it was the fruit that had burst open

I was taken with this clay nautilus shell for Tillandsia display from a company called Living Air Ware

Well-labeled, just in case you don't know what you're looking at

Savage Plants

My next stop was Savage Plants in Kingston. Honestly, Savage is not always a "Must Stop" but I was still looking for that Camellia, so I figured it was worth looking in. They do have some great garden art, a sweet little display garden, and a nice gift shop as well. There is nothing particularly savage about the plants they sell. The nursery is named for the owner James Savage.

I'd love to have these columns in my garden

Epimediums and drumstick Primulas

A sea of...something....with a metal fish leaping through it

More metal garden art

They have a couple of these large poly tunnels

Grevillea rosmarinifolia from Little Prince

Yummy plummy Columbines

Purple Lupines

A Dahlia called 'Dark Angel Dracula' with dark foliage -- I would have been tempted if they had more than just this single one

More red flowers -- Argyranthemum 'Madeira Crested Merlot'
These spoon-shaped Osteospermum are fun annuals

Labeled "Dark Purple African Daisy" -- probably more Osteospermum

Alstroemeria 'Rock & Roll' -- another plant that declined and died under my care

I have a large purple smoke tree, but it was worth considering a second one

Loropetalum 'Ever Red' -- was it worth another try?

I even looked at beet greens

Inside the gift shop:

Poppy seedpod candlesticks

I love these fence post toppers

Such happy looking hermit crabs

Clams on a stick -- one thing I really miss about Massachusetts is eating fried clams

I bought three of these!

Bainbridge Gardens

My last nursery hop stop was Bainbridge Gardens on Bainbridge Island. I really like this family-owned nursery and often visit when we go to the Kitsap Peninsula. They have a large nursery area with a good selection of perennials surrounded by tall trees, and a huge gift shop, where you go to pay. It's a great place to wander, with plants for sale tucked hither and yon.

Lots of ferns

Tempting tatting fern -- Athyrium filix-femina 'Frizelliae'

I meant to pick up one of these Woodwardia fimbriata but forgot to go back and pick one up after wandering to take pictures

Tree ferns from Little Prince

Begonia grandis

Dicentra 'Valentine' with its dark red hearts is so tempting!

Kicking myself for not getting one or two or five of these

More Living Air Ware -- I love how this one looks like a rhino

I've seen thse weird ugly dog pots before, and I have a strange attraction for them

Outside, more red foliage:

'Pink Fountains' Gaura -- nice foliage, but I don't want pink flowers

Hebe again

Mossy horse draped in red Corylus avellana

Weigela and Nandina

Another dark-leaved Loropetalum -- not sure I like that 'Sizzling Pink' flower

I went looking for my Camellia in their Camellia area, but no luck.

They certainly had plenty, but not the one I was looking for

By now, high summer, it's really late in the season to be shopping for a Camellia. If I really want one, I think I'm going to have to wait till next winter/early spring. In the meantime, I may be tempted to just plant one of those Loropetalum -- but probably not the one with sizzling pink flowers.