Today was the first day of the Flower and Garden Show in Seattle and there were beautiful plants (I loved the Itoh Peony in full bloom!) creative displays (Hobbit house!) and informative seminars (Thomas Hobbs has an amazing garden!). Here is a teaser of the Washington Park Arboretum’s A Hobbit’s New Zealand Garden.
I will shamefully admit, I have no idea what this plant is! I took this photo at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show in February in Seattle. But I didn’t write down a name. Falaroy distracted me. So I’ll keep searching and please keep guessing!
***Update*** The ‘Real Botanist’ award goes to Cathy at Words and Herbs for identifying this as Australia’s native fuchsia, or Correa. When I saw that name it rang a bell….I probably read the sign at the garden show. And the flower is spot on for the pictures Cathy found. Thank you Cathy! Now see if you can solve my Plant Pursuit Game, it’s one of the pages at the top of my blog!
Pink forsythia, or Abeliophyllum distichum, grows 3-6 feet tall in full sun to part shade. It flowers in early spring and has a light, sweet fragrance.
Beautiful foliage on this shrubby pine. There was a little note by it that said ‘Harvest Moon’, but I can’t find it, still looking. It contrasts well with the PJM rhododendron on the right.
It was a nice surprise to see this summer bloomer in February. Itoh peony is has sturdy stems and really big blossoms. Happy day!
Flowering Quince was hard to photograph. My camera did not want to focus on the closer buds. The beautiful big, fat buds are almost just as good-looking as the flowers themselves. The plant itself has a pokey, crooked shape which looks great in a container.
Lightly scented, this lilac blooms in spring and again in late summer until frost. Fantastic! It grows 4-5 feet tall and I want one!
It’s hard to see in the photo, but the tall reddish plant in the background is Agonis flexuosa ‘After Dark’, the shrub is Coprosma ‘Caro Red’ and the Sedge is ‘Rekohu Sunrise’. I really like this combination, there were some new things for me. Agonis is a tree from Australia and Coprosma a shrub from New Zealand.
This unique tree was featured in several displays at the NW Flower and Garden Show. Sciadopitys verticillata, or the Japanese Umbrella Pine, has lustrous, thick dark green needles that spread in whorls from the ends of the branches. Once you see this tree, you won’t forget it, it’s unlike anything else, this living fossil. It makes a great container tree, only growing about 6 inches per year. Mature trees reach 20 to 30 feet and grow best in moist, well-drained soil in full sun to partial shade. Endemic to Japan it’s called Koyamaki in that part of the world.
The Northwest Flower and Garden Show had lots of blooming, fragrant flowers in the display gardens. One of these was the bronze medal winning WSNLA garden designed by Gregory Smaus of Native Root Designs. Here are some words from the creator: “Our innovative design utilizes a culturally sensitive plant palette, permeable paving, recycled glass, and a living wall. It embraces the dream of spring from the window sill of a childs playhouse through the timber framed arbor and themed gates. It would be a welcome sight anywhere in the Pacific Northwest.”
The plant that caught everyone’s eye was the Corneliancherry, Cornus mas. It was in full, bright yellow bloom. Obviously not a flowering cherry, neither a flowering plum, what was that winter wonder? A dogwood. Cornus mas is a large multi-stemmed shrub or small tree, hardy in zones 4-8. When not visiting the Northwest Flower and Garden Show, it blooms in March and grows in sun to partial shade. Not seen frequently in the landscape.
I really liked the vertical gardens below created out of pallets. It’s a good way to reuse materials and create a space in which to grow. Why not grow a garden on a fence or a wall where no garden was before? They were made by lining the inside of a pallet with landscape fabric, filling with soil and cutting openings. Then any number plants can by inserted and grown in this slim square garden. So many ideas, so little time!
Falaroy the elf entered the Northwest Flower and Garden Show with trepidation. He was drawn towards the gardens, but wary of the theme…music. How would this be represented? His elven ears were sensitive to human strumming and drumming and pounding that was always present in their world. When you can hear the flute-like melody of the flowers, the rhythmic concert of the grasses and the symphony in the trees, it was hard to appreciate anything else. So with hesitation Falaroy looked through the displays. Where was the music? There were a few water drops cleverly falling on drums. A piano in the distance produced a fairly tolerable Canon in D. A harp began to play and the plants approved. He could see them opening their stomata, allowing for the exchange of gases, water vapor and sound waves. That’s when Falaroy noticed a change of style. The sweeping curve, the raw element of stone and the emotion of music, unheard. It was the Grunge Garden, designed by Adam Gorski Landscapes, Inc. He wondered at the words: ”grunge changed the style of music for the whole country….weeping plants show the melancholy and wild spirit….bright colors in plantings portray boldness” He felt the sounds and the chords and the harmony in the movement of the weeping fir Picea abies ‘Pendula’ and the weeping larch Larix decidua ‘Pendula’. Larch and fir, he had found a comfortable place. It was both quiet and loud at the same time. Moving and still. They must have borrowed a bit of magic from the elves.
I love Dan Hinckley. I just heard him speak at the Flower Show and it was fascinating. To see plants growing in their native habitats adds such an understanding of their culture. He discussed the plants in his garden at Indianola, Washington, especially those that survived the last few deathly cold winters. I loved hearing of these brave new plants that can not only live in the Pacific Northwest, but also thrive here. And seeing pictures of them in their native habitats was frosting on the cake. Here are some of the plants from Dan Hinckley’s talk, and what he had to say about them:
Molina nelsonii, razor grass. Takes full sun, very hardy and has 6 foot stems with blossoms.
Opuntia, cactus. Amazing flowers, not hurt in the last few winters.
Agapanthus suffered, some hardier. Seedheads look great into winter.
Eucomis, Pineapple Lily. Makes long-lasting cut flowers.
Dierama, Angel’s Fishing Rod. A graceful perennial.
Musa basjoo. Hardy banana. Cut down in winter, it can grow up to 15 feet in one season.
Gunnera. Grows naturally in full sun in sharp draining soil, near the beach in Chile. Pile the leaves on the crown for winter protection.
Melianthus major, Honeybush. ‘Antonow’s Blue’. Plant them a little deeper, the crown 3″ below soil level.
Rhodacoma capensis, bounced back from horizontal to vertical after the snow.
Lobelia tupa. Blooms June through November, 6 months!
Fuchsia magellanica ‘Windcliff’. Covered with so many flowers you can’t see the foliage.
Chamaecyparis lawsoniana ‘Imbricata Pendula’. Thread-leaf form, diaphanous nature.
Embothrium. A fast plant to develop, growing from 4 inches to 15 feet in 3 years. From Chile, surrounded by hummingbirds.
Drimys winteri ‘Pewter Pillar’ Good hedging plant for the Pacific Northwest.
Olearia cheesemanii. A favorite shrub and superb survivor. Evergreen, blossoms mid-summer. Intense coconut oil scent, flowers self-cleanse.
Pseudopanax crassifolius. Long, metallic leaves. Plant transforms as it matures.
Grevillea victoriae. The best. Blossoms all winter.
Leptospermum. Beautiful textured bark, evergreen, vase shaped.
Magnolia insignus. Evergreen. Pink/white flowers.
Schleffera alpina. Fantastic texture.
Mahonia. Attracts birds ‘Lionel fortescue’ the hardiest.
Stachyuris salicifolia. Late winter flowering, bamboo-like.
Hydrangea angustipetala. Early bloomer on new wood. Most fragrant shrub in the garden!
Beesia deltophylla. Works well with Disporum in shade.
Disporum ‘Green giant’. Bamboo-like shoots.
Holboellia ‘Cathedral Gem’. Sausage Vine. Incredibly fragrant, like Jasmine.
Some of the best and the brightest from Dan Hinckley!