Thursday, June 4, 2009


I finally made the trip to Pomarius. Their business card says “established in 2003”, but I believe they just officially opened to the public with regular business hours late last year (I could be wrong about this). Both nest maker and plantwise, have done recent posts about the nursery. I was excited to visit, but didn’t plan to post about it, what else could be said?

I was wrong….I was so charmed by the setting, the plants, the structure and the people that I want to do my part to spread the word. I was there on a sunny weekend morning and I was the only customer. The solitude certainly contributed to the experience but I doubt my $11 purchase of 2 Lobelia Queen Victoria will pay the bills. I overheard that the owner was away, on a fishing trip. His two adult children were filling in, one watering the plants and another clipping away on topiary. I’ve never shopped a nursery to the soundtrack of “clip-clip-clip,” it was nice. That’s her working in the center of the picture below.
The plants were lush and l healthy, the arrangements were engaging. There were several interesting combinations; I was told that container gardens were a specialty of the nursery. I enjoyed the tag on this one below “Yucca forest with succulent understory in pebble pot.”
There is something very compelling to me about the setting and the structures they are building to enclose the space.
I was told the circle of not-yet-used rusted metal poles at the end of the lane (below) is slated to become additional raised beds, which will be used as vegetable production for the weekly nursery lunches, open to the public (I should have learned more about this!).
My husband commented that the pictures of the nursery reminded him of Derek Jarman’s garden at his cottage in Dungeness, Kent – in southern England. Come to think of it he was right… If you are not familiar with Derek Jarman’s garden there is a wonderful book about it available here and there is a Flicker Collection of garden photos by photographer, Angus Fraser, here. Derek created what was a very personal and beautiful place in a bleak landscape, below are a couple of pictures from Angus’ collection.


  1. I loved the structures too, they were simple but made the space feel more intimate and separate from the surrounding area. Like you were really in another place when you stepped inside the gate. Something very theatrical about it, even though it's so simple. I'm glad you made it over there, I thought you would like it. I can't understand why it's not busier, it's so great.

  2. Yes, I see another reason to go to Pomarius: they have ordinary plants, too, like the canterbury bells you show with that spiky agave.
    What great shots of Derek Jarman's garden - thanks for that introduction to him!

  3. AnonymousJune 04, 2009 the middle of nothing; an oasis within the hustle-bustle of life; the calm in the storm... (Sorry, you brought out the muse in me.) I love it. That is the Fremont Bridge behind it all, isn't it?

    Did you survive today's freak storm? I hope we're finished with weather mania for awhile. Although, I definitely welcome the rain.

  4. Megan - I just don't think enough people know about it, or maybe they are put of by the lack of "consumer readiness?" I know I have heard a million people bad-mouth RPR because they don't have everything tagged and signed. They just don't get it...and you were right I loved it.

    Jane, they have a very wide assortment, you should check it out. If you like the images of D Jarman's garden I really recommend reading the book, even if you just get it from the library like I did. It will stay with you, in a good way.

    Grace...that storm! I just swept 5 bucket fulls if Doug Fir droppings off the patio, and it's still not clean, that was just the drifts that I had to scoop up because it was so easy, before they moved. It was nasty.And the gook in all the pots and plants, oh boy. How about you? Yes the free water from the sky was nice but everything else I could do w/o. Thank god there was no hail. Yep, the Fremont's right next to Bedford Brown if you know where they are.

  5. Oh yeah, I can totally see the Jarman connection. Good call! I am getting so jealous of your Portland nurseries, we have nothing so creative here that I can find. Maybe I need to look harder. Or people are just as not supportive of the unusual in plant stuff here?? Dunno. Anyway, cool that you found a new place to shop for yucca forest suppies. Funny that they're selling those campanula, though - it's totally taking over my garden at the moment, a complete weed!

  6. Karen Seattle has so many good nurseries! Maybe it's just a case of the grass being greener? For both of us...

  7. Loree - What were your fav Seattle nurseries? Somehow I am finding myself tired of Swanson's, not into Sky, finding nothing I want at City People's, never organized enough to get into MSK on their open days, and not really sure what else is out there. I know a few in outlying areas but never usually get to go to them. Any thoughts, please let me know!

  8. Well you mentioned 2 of my favs, I enjoy Swansons and love City Peoples. There is also the one at U-Village that's name I can't ever remember. It's right by Sephora and H&M. Then of course there is Molbaks in Woodinville, which is a little hard to get to I guess. Let me think on it and I'll let you know others that I think of.

  9. Loree, I'm happy you got over to Pomarius and that you found it inspiring, too. I can really see the connection you made with Jarman's garden - that's spot on.

  10. Hello Kate! I was so bummed to have to miss the Daisy Chain event with Amy Stewart last weekend. Turned out we had a conflict with my husbands opening up in Spokane. Glad you agree about Jarman!


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