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
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
|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!
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
|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
|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.