Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A visit to City People’s Garden Store

After spending more time at Jungle Fever than planned to I figured I was doomed a lengthy battle with Seattle rush hour traffic. Instead the nursery gods were smiling and I zipped into town in record time. Too early to show up at my friend Steve’s house so I did what any self respecting gardener would do and stopped at another nursery, City People’s Garden Store. As I’ve mentioned in a previous post this is the nursery where it all started for me. So naturally when I visit Seattle I have to make a stop. It’s a pilgrimage back to my gardening roots.

Just inside the door this beautiful Colocasia stopped me in my tracks. At first glance I thought it was called Colocasia 'El Patio' but no, really it’s Colocasia esculenta 'Elepaio.' I like El Patio better and that’s what I’ll be calling it.
Even the stems are variegated! Of course I bought it. My husbands first words upon seeing it…”What’s wrong with it?” he thought it was sick. Ah well. Can’t make everyone happy right?
I love how the center of this Echeveria (correction - Aeonium...thanks Candy!) is so flat, while the outside leaves are not.
Echeveria subrigada 'Fire and Ice' is a new one for me. Looks a little agave-like doesn’t it?
I’ve seen the black terrazzo planters before but never the white version. In fact I have a few of the black. They look wonderful the first year, the second…not so much. I wonder how the white ones weather?
Dicksonia Antarctica...
Look at all those old leaf stems!
What a beautiful white Canna flower!
And next year I’ll be hunting for these brown and green Nicotiana.
I think I’ve finally kicked the Coleus habit. For several years I was smitten with their colorful leaves, but I haven’t bought a singe one this year. Same for Ipomoea (Sweet Potato vine) and Caladium. Isn’t interesting how we all go through our gardening phases?
I took this picture to remind myself to put this book on my library hold list. Maybe you would enjoy it too?
Eryngium 'Tiny Jackpot' (indeed).
Beschorneria albiflora…
And the other plant that came home with me…. Carmichaelia odorata.
I’d never heard of it, and it was love at first sight.

Now that I’ve done a little internet research I’m not so sure I would have purchased it had I been able to see those white-lilac-purple pea-like flowers the tag mentions. Oh to someday have a smart phone and the ability to look these things up at the nursery!


  1. I'm sure you will enjoy your plants either way. I love the white canna.

  2. I love your description of a love affair with coleus. I've been throught that myself, finally giving up on them when all my carefully tended coleus succumbed to a cold snap.

  3. El Patio, I like it! Back when I was landscaping we called a lot of plants whatever came to mind; cotoneaster became "cotton easter."

    Or whatever we couldn't pronounce was shortened; mycorrhiza became "micros." Sometimes they were lengthened for some inexplicable reason; weigela became weigelia. You say potato I say potahto...

  4. AnonymousJuly 21, 2010

    I enjoyed this nursery tour! I especially like the photo of the Echeveria subrigada 'Fire and Ice'... oh, and I recently read Amy Stewart's From the Ground Up based on your recommendation. (Santa Cruz is my hometown, and her house was right around the corner from where I grew up, so I really enjoyed it!) Now, Wicked Plants is on my library Hold list.

  5. I like that Eryngium 'Tiny Jackpot'. Would love to try it.

  6. That book looks interesting. I'm making a book list, I think I'll add this to it.

  7. You must be a pro at transporting plants while traveling. I love the colocasia but wouldn't know how to manage getting back home with it without squishing it somewhere along the way. Someday you should share your plant traveling technique.

  8. Nice tour, Loree. That colocasia makes me wish I had jumped faster when mine were MIA after last winter.
    Your comment about the black terazzo pots makes me wonder if they'd benefit from waxing. It occurred to me as a way to darken mine, but I haven't tested it yet.
    Love the eryngium!

  9. I love that fire and ice echeveria! But the picture above it looks like a type of aeonium. Hmmmmm! Great visit with some super plants!

  10. I am still in infatuation with Coleus, my current love is 'Big Red Judy'.

  11. Darla, yes I think you are right.

    Weeping Sore, here they are always annuals. At least for me, I've never managed to winter over a cutting, I guess some people do.

    PGG, I am so happy to hear that! Making up names is a sign of genius right? For the longest time I pronounced cotoneaster as Cotton Easter. Until I took a landscape class and the teacher politely corrected me.

    myimaginarygarden, glad to hear you enjoyed the book. Wicked Plants is an entirely different writing style but equally enjoyable.

    Pam, it's it fabulous!?

    Laura, turns out my library doesn't have it yet. Darn.

    Megan, I don't know that I have any secrets...other than where there is a will there is a way!

    MulchMaid, I want to know more about this idea of waxing! I think you might be on to something.

    Candy, thank you for the correction. You are so right....don't know how I got that so wrong.

    Les, love the name! Now I have to go look it up...

  12. Loree, I haven't read the book, though it's on my list. Do you know the Vista podcasts available free at BBC Gardens Illustrated? It's at:
    I've listened to most of the Vista lectures at least once if not more.

  13. AnonymousJuly 28, 2010

    I think I would have gone for that deep maroon sedum in the center of the nursery photo. Wowzers!

    I want: the Nicotiana, 'El Patio' and 'Fire and Ice.' Stat. :)


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