Monthly Archives: February 2013

Saturday Garden Show Reflections and Notes

We returned to the 2013 Northwest Flower and Garden Show yesterday (Saturday). The primary reason was to see Ciscoe Morris talk. His lecture was on gardening in small spaces, and was hilarious as usual. He certainly has a way with a crowd. Even for those that do not care about gardening, I would definitely recommend seeing Ciscoe Morris live (not just the TV and radio shows). We had saved viewing the display gardens and also the purchasing of a few items until yesterday. Thursday we were too tired to get the pruning supplies or a wall planter/basket (also not sure how many we wanted), and also Thursday night I realized that I had not purchased any winter-blooming heathers and wanted to go back and buy a few more (which I did).

We bought fewer items on Saturday:

  • Erica carnea ‘Isabell’ heather – this one is blooming white blossoms right now
  • Erica tetralix ‘Swedish Yellow’ heather
  • Calluna vulgaris ‘Winter Chocolate’ heather
  • Australian Mint Bush (Prostanthera rotundifolia) – I saw big plants of this Thursday and was interested (the best one was “display only”), but the vendor’s display gave very little information… so yesterday, for $8, we bought a small plant. I will have to do some research about the plants – I suspect they get much too huge and that there is no spot for it.
  • Iochroma ‘Royal Queen’  (violet tubeflower)- I had read about iochromas and was very much interested but had never seen them for sale. I suspect that it won’t be hardy, so it will end up in a pot. They labeled it as “hummingbird candy.”
  • ‘Sugarlips’ dahlia tuber
  • ‘Sayonara’ dahlia tuber
  • Plantopia wall flower basket – made in England, not sold online, seemed rather nifty
  • Plantopia wall pot clip – if they had been cheaper and if I had known where to put it I would have bought more…
  • The Wildflower Seed and Tool Company brand telescopic cut and hold pruner in medium – the tool hangs onto the branch/stick that has been cut, instead of dropping it.
  • The Wildflower Seed and Tool Company brand multi-sharpener
  • The Wildflower Seed and Tool Company ratchet pruning shears – these cut really well

I look forward to trying out the telescopic cut and hold pruner. I think it will be great when pruning one of the hydrangeas, because it is a really huge plant and borders (slash hangs down over) the rockery.

I like the idea of having a vertical garden by growing plants along railings and etc, so the Plantopia wall pot clip and wall flower basket seemed neat. Supposedly one can rig both things up with zip ties so as to not put holes (screws) through the railing.

I feel like the display gardens did not interest me as much as last year. In 2012 the theme had to do with music, but this year it was: “The Silver Screen Takes Root…Gardens Go Hollywood.” The Hollywood theme created a tendency towards cheesiness for some of the display gardens. I still enjoyed looking at the plants, however. Some of them smelled great!

Both days that I attended the garden show I ended up exhausted… so much to take in!

Garden Show Photos Part 2

These pictures are of the display gardens at the 2013 Northwest Flower and Garden Show. As it is very dark in that section, I knew that my pictures would end up blurry… but a flash just looks horrible. This gives my reader an idea of what the display gardens were like.

2013 Miscell 0318 2013 Miscell 0324 2013 Miscell 0325 2013 Miscell 0328 2013 Miscell 0335 2013 Miscell 0337 2013 Miscell 0338 2013 Miscell 0340 2013 Miscell 0354 2013 Miscell 0356 2013 Miscell 0358 2013 Miscell 0364 2013 Miscell 0367 2013 Miscell 0369 2013 Miscell 0370 2013 Miscell 0373 2013 Miscell 0374 2013 Miscell 0375 2013 Miscell 0377 2013 Miscell 0379 2013 Miscell 0383 2013 Miscell 0384 2013 Miscell 0388 2013 Miscell 0398 2013 Miscell 0399 2013 Miscell 0404 2013 Miscell 0409

Hebes 2

Somehow I didn’t end up buying any hebes at the garden show, although I did see a few

Hebe 'Tricolor'

Hebe ‘Tricolor’

Hebe 'Western Hills'

Hebe ‘Western Hills’

Hebe pinguifolia 'Sutherlandii'

Hebe pinguifolia ‘Sutherlandii’

Hebe 'Pinocchio'

Hebe ‘Pinocchio’

Hebe 'Purple Shamrock'

Hebe ‘Purple Shamrock’

Hebe 'Jasper'

Hebe ‘Jasper’

Hebe 'Silver Dollar'

Hebe ‘Silver Dollar’

 Hebe anomala 'Purpurea Nana'

Hebe anomala ‘Purpurea Nana’

 Hebe 'Blue Mist'

Hebe ‘Blue Mist’ – I am hoping that the spots go away

Hebe 'County Park' (groundcover)

Hebe ‘County Park’ – groundcover with ginkgo leaves

Hebe glaucophylla

Hebe glaucophylla

Some of my hebes don’t look that great at the moment, but hopefully they will perk up and be included in photos in the future.

Thursday Garden Show Reflections and Notes

Yesterday we went to the Northwest Flower and Garden Show at the Washington State Convention Center. Of course, it was great. We are actually going back again on Saturday to hear Ciscoe Morris talk (about small space gardening). Upon arriving at the garden show I was extremely excited but by the evening my energy was sapped. Thus, I am writing about it today.

Yesterday included a lot of shopping… many things not really needed. It’ll be a trick to find the space for four new hellebores (but I can do it – after the weather improves). Other things we had never heard of but definitely needed. The Roo will make weeding and apple picking easier, and it provides a place to put my tools when I’m working ( I was really impressed by the demo of ‘The Garden Broom’ ( I think on Saturday we are going to buy these English planters and some pruners. The English guy said that he was certain that the planters would sell-out sometime Saturday, so we were encouraged to go there first thing. They affix to either a wall or a fence, and have certain holes and things for plants to stick out of. He said that they are not online, so I can’t provide a link. The long-handled bulb planter is really robust and was a great price. I bought a plastic one from the hardware store for more money and it immediately broke. This one does not shoot out the removed soil, so I will probably have to kick at it or something. Gardening with clay can be tough. Anyhow, it will be nice to not have to be on my hands and knees when bulb planting. If I do glads again this year (I got them in really late last year and they didn’t do much) I won’t be able to use the bulb planter because they must go deeper. I might buy some glad bulbs at Costco, I haven’t decided.

We bought some plants. It was inevitable, although strictly speaking they were not needed. I have included a list of “the loot.” Naturally I did not return to the two booths whose plants didn’t come up last year. We did end up with some ziploc bag plants, but I was pretty fussy about it (“too iffy,” “that probably won’t come up,” etc). I didn’t expect to end up with four hellebores, but they looked great. I will be taking pictures of the things that are already blooming.

Some garden art was purchased. The primary piece was a giant copper sprinkler/mister (in the form of three flowers). I think that the hummingbirds will be crazy about the misting – can’t wait.

While the co-gardener was at the claustrophobic orchid booth I was looking at adorable conifers and heard Ciscoe Morris behind me. I spun around and said “hi Ciscoe!” with excess excitement. He was at the same nursery booth as me, and when the co-gardener was finished with the orchids we looked at the hellebores (that’s where the blooming variegated ones were) and Ciscoe came past saying hellos. The co-gardener asked him what was the big thing this year, and he said the pruners that he had talked about on his show (oops, that’s been recorded but not watched). He described them and they sounded neat. They hold on to the thing that has been cut, so that it doesn’t just flop down into the flower bed. I am also probably going to get some ratcheting pruners from the same booth. The long-handled saw was pretty amazing, but $149 so that probably won’t happen. Of  course people started flocking to Ciscoe for advice (ok I’m exaggerating) – he has to be always on his toes – no stupid days like I feel like I sometimes have.

On Saturday I will try to take more pictures – although it will probably be crowded – because these entries are more interesting with pictures (especially for those who are not gardeners).

I love the garden show and could spend thousands of dollars on plants which couldn’t be carried to the car and for which there is no space. I was pretty intrigued by this one Australian plant (I saw a lady with one so maybe they are all gone) but there was no information available and: 1) I forgot to look it up on my phone; and 2) there is probably no space for it. I may add to this entry if I come up with more to talk about.


  • Leopard lily (L. pardalinum) Hardy West Coast lily species bagged – same people as the lily bulbs from last year, so I have some faith that it will turn out ok.
  • ‘Sorbet’ Hardy Bush Peony bagged – I don’t know how I feel about buying a peony in a form other than a flowering potted plant, but we will see. It is cheaper this way, and the place had a great selection. Same place as the lily bulbs.
  • Pink foxtail lily (Pink Eremurus) bagged
  • ‘Show-Winner’ dwarf oriental lily bulb
  • ‘Belanica’ double oriental lily bulb
  • ‘Lodewijk’ double oriental lily bulb
  • ‘Salmon Star’ oriental hybrid lily bulb
  • ‘Broken Heart’ double oriental lily bulb
  • ‘Star of Billion’ masterwort (Astrantia major) bagged – the two masterworts from last year did really well, so I figured that this was pretty safe. This one is white.
  • ‘Double Standard’ double Siberian iris rhizome (purple) bagged – I wanted some more Siberian irises for the swamp and this seemed pretty robust.
  • Hellebore ‘Peppermint Ice’ – purplish
  • Hellebore “Spring Promise Series” ‘Elly’ – purplish
  • Hellebore “Winter Jewels Strain” ‘Onyx Odyssey’ – black blossom
  • Hellebore “Gold Collection” ‘Snow Fever’ – variegated foliage, white blossom
  • Pineleaf penstemon (Penstemon pinifolius) ‘Nearly Red’ – I love penstemons and the foliage of this one is really different
  • Edelweiss (Leontopodium alpinum) ‘Matterhorn’ – a European guy was running this booth, and I was enchanted by the idea of growing edelweiss. I’ll probably put it in a pot. It is supposed to have poor soil which is the opposite of what is here.
  • European dog’s tooth violet (Erythronium dens-canis) ‘Snowflake’ – European guy again. The foliage looked really interesting.
  • Wood anemone (Anemone nemorosa) ‘Stammer Berg’ – from Switzerland
  • Checker Lily (Fritillaria) unknown variety – going to check on that
  • Orchid unknown variety – I wasn’t there when this was picked-out
  • Calluna vulgaris ‘Forest Fire’ heather – from the heath/heather booth. I’m thinking that they’d look good sprinkled in the conifer garden, and I kind of wish that there were more than three. Saturday?
  • Calluna vulgaris ‘Ruby Sprinkles’ heather
  • Calluna vulgaris ‘Copper Splendor’ heather
  • Erica ‘Winter Fire’ hummingbird heath x2 – we bought two of these last year and put them in pots. For a trip in September I set up a sprinkler in the back to water all the pots… except the ones in the front (forgot to move them to the back). The hummingbird heaths didn’t do so well. These things are great, I will take a picture later.

Tools and yard decorations:

  • Do It brand long handle bulb planter with chrome finish
  • The Roo x2 (
  • Cat angel stake
  • A big sprinkler/mister
  • Steller’s Jay decoration
  • Crow yard decoration
  • Ravi Clean Green brand ‘The Garden Broom’ (

Other stuff:

  • 3 pairs pearl earrings
  • 2 brooches made out of copper electroplated plants
  • Glass jars
  • 2 flashlights
  • Fuchsia magnet

Soon to the Garden Show

Today we are headed to the Northwest Flower and Garden Show. I am very excited, but a little disappointed that not as much purchasing can occur as last year. Apparently buying plants as little cuttings in ziploc bags is not a trusty method… I was just looking at the list from last year – 5 things didn’t come up and 2 didn’t bloom. That’s a lot, and the little ziploc cuttings are not cheap. I did everything exactly according to directions, very promptly. Some of the plants were native wildflowers, so maybe fussy (in a garden setting), but a columbine should not be an issue. The plants purchased in the regular form did fine, but that is a lot more to haul around (although you can check). We will see!

Hebes 1

I believe that hebes are my favorite type of plant. They are from New Zealand, rather unusual (shall I put them in the exotic category?), sometimes bloom at odd times, are evergreen, and can grow very few places in North America. I figured I should do a post about them now, since once spring begins I will be swamped. However, I took most of the pictures yesterday at a funny time, so not all hebes are going to make an appearance here. Once the rain stops I will try for some more photos.

Hebe 'Silver Dollar'

Hebe ‘Silver Dollar’

Hebe anomala 'Purpurea Nana'

Hebe anomala ‘Purpurea Nana’

Hebe glaucophylla

Hebe glaucophylla

Hebe 'Pink Fantasy'

Hebe ‘Pink Fantasy’

Hebe 'Jasper' (adorable puff ball)

Hebe ‘Jasper’ (adorable puff ball)

Hebe 'Purple Shamrock'

Hebe ‘Purple Shamrock’

Hebe 'Great Orme' (when is it not blooming?)

Hebe ‘Great Orme’ (when is it not blooming?)


Rose pruning February 19

Rose pruning February 19

Today the first pruning of the year occurred – roses. The roses didn’t get fed enough last year, so hopefully that can be better remembered this year. The co-pruner did most of the work, because I have to stop and look at which directions the buds point and etc. I was busy posing the plants for the picture.


Lilac mushrooms

Lilac fungi

Lilac mushrooms

Lilac fungi

Some dead branches of the gigantic lilac (Syringa vulgaris ‘Ludwig Spaeth’) also got cut out. Lilacs sucker crazily (particularly this one), and some of the oldest trunks seem to have died and accumulated strange conk-ish fungi. No, I’m not taking them to the nursery to find out what kind they are. I thought about sending some to Germany, but that met with a “no.” One isn’t supposed to prune lilacs until after they bloom, but the co-pruner got antsy and wanted to remove the dead stuff. Thus, the plant is a little odd looking now.