Sarracenia Northwest: Open House September 13, 2015

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Hope no one minds that this is being posted several months after the fact, but this is a special post and it’s taken me some time to consider it and gather the courage to post it. This post is not just about the amazing jewel of a nursery Sarracenia Northwest, it’s about family—and finding it.

Years ago I met its owner Jeff Dallas when he contacted me about some Dracunculus vulgaris bulbs I was selling on Craigslist. He arrived, we visited a bit, and then he asked me about my family because he’d seen my name when I’d responded to his message.

The moment he asked me, I knew exactly who he was and I was both stunned and joyful. I’d just recently been told that I had cousins who’d been put up for adoption when they were born—and here was one of them!

Time passed.

After that first encounter, we’d not planned to speak again, and I’m sure it was just as awkward for him as it was for me. In the back of my mind though, I’d kept a mental note to get back in touch with him—and I did!

If you have the chance to sign up for one of their Open Houses I absolutely recommend it! You pay a small fee per car and in addition to being fed a picnic lunch you get to take home one free plant.

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This is the free plant I took home and I just checked on it tonight. It’s very much alive and happy outside. So far, so good!

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Jeff and I at the Open House.

After our initial chat was over that day, I was able to walk around the nursery and take it all in without feeling quite as awkward.

I walk through a lot of nurseries and I see a lot of plants but this was even more fun knowing he’s my cousin. I’m proud of his work, the business, well, and that he lives for plants. (Have I stressed that enough yet?)

Sarracenia Northwest is a gift. Having it nearby is a wonderful thing. They are also a mail-order nursery.

I can’t lie and say that I know nearly as much about these plants as Jeff.  Please check out there Website and see for yourself! You’ll be happy you did.

Pacific Northwest Flower & Garden Show (An Introduction)

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It’s been a few years but I’m back! Coming up here to Seattle from Portland has reminded me why I missed coming to the Pacific Northwest Flower & Garden Show so much. I guess it’d been so long I’d nearly forgotten. Sure I missed one heck of a snow storm, but it was worth it.
Here are a few highlights with more posts to come because I’m still really enjoying the show. I’m going to seminars, and after I hit “publish” I’m off to look at some books. (Later tonight I’ll return to the restaurant where I first learned how to eat with chopsticks as a teen—but that’s another post.)
The show in Seattle is just edgy enough to have a neon-style light in a log on the ground in the garden. I have no idea yet how much this would cost, but I want it.

There is glass here. This is Chihuly Territory after all and his work has inspired many to take up the craft and I’m eternally grateful for their work.

There is nothing more reminiscent to me of the PNW style than huge trees and rusty metal. This is a refined nod to the logging industry if ever I saw one and to the great resource which although now managed, is something that still inspires awe in all who experience it. That’s why each and every year the ancient woods are brought into the convention center. I’ve missed these homages.

Whimsy? Not always my thing but I burst out laughing when I saw this bat house. My former foster children would have loved this.

There is always something that appeals to the over-the-top Italian side of me. This garden display cured my wintertime blues and made me crave a glass of limoncello.

As someone who specialized in modernism as an art history student I understand it and its midcentury relative well. It’s not my style because I’m too wild and flamboyant to live in it, but I love seeing it and being in it when it’s in another’s home.

It’s calming to see the lines all “just right”.

Seeing the simplest joys and pleasures on display here make me tingle.

Then there is what I would do. Luckily I cannot afford a giant glass pavilion with an art orchid made of glass and metal in it. Was it my favorite display garden? Yes. The huge glass Sarracenia? Well what do you think? This was amazing to behold. It could be in a museum.

I should add that I come here for the hotel too—at least this time around. Let’s just say that my husband really likes to spoil himself with a nice hotel so this trip I actually have marble tile on my bathroom floor. Did the show spoil us rotten with a great discount at the Fairmont Olympic? Absolutely. Will I take high tea tomorrow with our extra discount? Definitely.

I think one of these is going home to the family house on the river. It only seems appropriate when you have salmon spawning behind your house.

Not something I’d put in my garden, but I would love to see these in lieu of other options in other gardens. Variety is good. I think they’re fun and I would love to slam that arrow on the front of my house so that people would walk around that way but it might be an overstatement. (I’m pretty sure there might be something more “subtle” I could do too.)

Miniature gardens are in the show as well. They aren’t for me, but my husband is now eager to make a few. I’m excited to see what he makes and I would love to have one. I just wouldn’t know where to begin. John has loved other types of miniatures for years so I know he’ll make something wonderful.

This is a stake you can add to a planter pot and I loved it. (Gotta have my bling.) We do live in a rainy region so we might as well celebrate it.

Yesterday I didn’t buy much but I came back to the hotel last night after a long day with a few free plants from a reception. I was grateful.

My husband John got to take a silly picture of me. That’s his takeaway from the event. (You can tell I’m amused.) I’m afraid this is a word that pops out of my mouth from time to time and he does tease me about it a lot. Again, I love the silliness.

Then there is ikebana too.

I miss making arrangements but I’ll be back at it again soon.

(More to come with A LOT more detail. I just wanted to post a few pictures.)

HPSO Hortlandia Plant Sale—Better late than never…

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Back at the start of the month I was a bit nervous about going to the rather large Hardy Plant Sale, but after a walk around the garden early that morning, I put aside my ongoing concerns, and marveled at this Clematis cirrhosa var. balearica in bloom. I’m not sure why I suddenly felt better about things, but after waiting years for this vine to bloom, I really felt happy. It was beautiful.

I’d purchased it back in 2008 when Chalk Hill Clematis shut its online plant store. It has slowly been growing year after year with little fanfare—that was until now. It’s technically called a winter-blooming Clematis, and it’s evergreen as well, so that makes it even better. I think it’s by far one of my favorite vines in the garden.

Purchased as Clematis cirrhosa var. balearica. Not sure, but this could be ‘Freckles’.

Walking past the garden art vendors at the show I was drawn to the table of special new additions to the plant world from local growers. I’m not sure if they’ve placed this table out front before, but it was interesting. I’ve always wanted to hybridize something and the process does interest me. These were really pretty too.

Sign under these read: 5 New Split Corona Daffodils Hybridized By: Steve Vinisky of Cherry Creek Daffodils.

There was also this most amazing blue Primula.

Primula acaulis x hybrid ‘Blueberry Swirl submitted by Steve Vinisky, Red’s Rhodies/Cherry Creek Daffodils.

There is no bog garden here at home, but this Sarracenia made me want to make one. It was gigantic.

Sarracenia purpurea purpurea. (Courting Frogs Nursery)

Some part of me now wishes I had this Magnolia laevifolia out back instead of the the others I planted. I guess they are still small enough to move though, so maybe I shouldn’t start complaining too much.

Magnolia laevifolia-large form. (Cistus Design Nursery)

This Ribes really caught my eye too but with spikes on it I am not yet confident that I wouldn’t hurt myself.

Ribes roezlii var. cruentum ‘Dixie Glade’ . (Cistus Design Nursery)

Sorry that I don’t have more pictures from the show. I have to admit that I was carrying plants and was with a friend so I was too busy talking and shopping. The show was great though, and I am really glad I went.

There are those of you out there who regularly ask what I bought, so here goes…
Juno Iris, Iris bucharica. (Wild Ginger Farm)
Syrian Bear’s Breeches, Acanthus syriacus. (Joy Creek Nursery)
Cape Restio, Rhodocoma capensis. (Xera Plants)
Mukdenia, Mukdenia rossii ‘Crimson Fans’. (Siskiyou Rare Plant Nursery)
Grass Widow, Olsynium douglasii. (Humble Roots Farm and Nursery)
Arching Japanese Holly Fern, Cyrtomium fortunie var. Cliviola. (Not sure what the nursery was since the name wasn’t on the tag.)
Golden Saxifrage, Chrysosplenium davidianum. (Far Reaches Farm)
Mouse Plant, Arisarum proboscideum. (Edelweiss Perennials)
Dwarf Himalayan Willow, Salix lindleyana. (Siskiyou Rare Plant Nursery)
Mediterranean Sea Holly, Eryngium bourgatii. (Joy Creek Nursery)

Mendocino Coast Botanical Garden (Fort Bragg, CA)

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If for any reason you ever find yourself on Fort Bragg, California, you must visit the Mendocino Coast Botanical Garden. Created by Ernest and Betty Schoefer, the property originally was a display garden and nursery for the retired pair. Clearing the land was rough, but it was worth it. Today the gardens are perfect gem that should not be missed.
I feel bad that I have not tagged and named all of these pictures but I have run out of my wifi time and I have to get back on the road again.

Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens