Thursday, December 13, 2012

A Christmastime nursery visit

A couple of Saturdays ago we were out and about in Vancouver, WA. It’s not far to go, but someplace we rarely are. When I realized we were near Shorty’s Garden & Home (which I’ve only visited once…years ago) we had to stop in. Not that December is exactly prime nursery season, but you just never know…

Turns out quite the snow storm blew through right before my visit.

Lordy it even covered the Hellebore flowers!

Thankfully it wasn’t a nursery wide storm.

But still there were parts that got hit quite hard.

In some places the snow had a strange tint to it. Not yellow (thank god), but sort of a lilac.

And this! Whatever it might be called, maybe violet, with a baby blue number to the left? By the way these trees were in the “paid” section waiting to be picked up. Someone actually custom ordered this!

You might be tempted to think this Tillandsia was visited by the flocking monster too…but no! That’s its natural look. Pretty cool huh? At $13.99 it stayed behind.

Time to escape outdoors …

Isn’t it fabulous that the paper Camellia flower and the real thing look so similar? Fake = the real thing…crazy!

Here’s a fake waterfall (as in created by designers…not naturally occurring), it’s also pretty realistic (unlike that violet tree, which I’m still kind of freaked out about).

Moving on…

Oh! A charming Blue Atlas Cedar…I swoon…I really need to remember to visit this place in the high season and see what they’re all about.

I still can’t understand why Black Mondo Grass is so expensive! The stuff grows and spreads so fast!

It’s been windy…

Here’s something you can try at home! Just sink a few empty containers in the ground and then changing out plants with the seasons is easy…

I kid, of course. But I did recently read a book on succulents that suggested doing just that in colder climates. You can have summer interest and then pulling your plants for protection over the winter is easy. I dunno, seems kind of weird to me.

I'll finish this quick visit with another gorgeous Blue Atlas Cedar.

When is someone going to breed a dwarf version of this tree? I know the ‘Horstmann’ is semi-dwarf but I’m talking smaller… a girl can dream. After all somebody dreamt of a neon violet flocked Christmas tree…

35 comments:

  1. What an excellent post about your nursery visit! That purple tree is most definitely freaky. I've seen that tip about sinking pots in the ground on Pinterest. I love how natural that stream looks, so much that I pinned it. I hope you don't mind (I've actually pinned quite a few of your images.)

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    1. Mind? Not at all Alison, I'm glad you found it inspiring.

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  2. I'm partial to Atlas cedars too. I've been thinking of getting one for the in-laws.

    Good point about black Mondo grass. Why indeed does it cost so much??? I'd love to get my hands on a flat, but I'm not willing pay a king's ransom for it.

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    1. Oh yes! That would be wonderful, what a majestic tree that would be in their beautiful location.

      About the mondo...just buy a couple of good sized pots (one where you can see there are several separate plants growing and divide them. You'll have a healthy patch in no time (at least it worked for me).

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  3. OMG...seriously...not that I have room for even a dwarf version of the BAC...but someday...someday :-)

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  4. Nightmares about that purple tree will dance in my head tonight! If one's whole garden is buried pots, it's more of a floral arrangement. It does make sense for a nursery display garden though! Beautiful waterfall! You could train a blue atlas cedar to grow around your garage or maybe your back fence. You aren't as fond of the weeping kind though are you?

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    1. I hate the weeping kind. I was never sure why until I saw a post with a photo comparing it to that girl from the movie "The Ring"...ugly!
      (http://blackwalnutdispatch.com/2012/10/22/garden-designers-roundtable-how-to-terrify-young-children-with-your-landscape/)

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  5. Interesting to see Shorty's through your lens. Our family who live in "The Couv" use it regularly, and from what I've seen their stock is good and healthy. But I've never been myself. That could be a fun field trip for one of my Wednesdays with the grandkids (I've indoctrinated them well and they actually enjoy a nursery visit!)

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    1. "good and healthy"...nice to know and I'll definitely plan a field trip back in the spring. Good job with the grandkids! Are they of weeding age?

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  6. Haha those flocked trees give me the creeps!!! But I love your atlas cedars too! And there's no way I can resist nice tillandsias.

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    1. I would have loved to add that tillandsia to my collection!

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  7. Hi Loree! I just want to chime in about dwarf Cedrus atlantica selections. There are a few (along with Cedrus deodara and C. libani). Most are relatively hard to find and are expensive when you find them. Unfortunately (or fortunately--it depends on what you are looking for), I don't think they develop a central leader and are instead mounding in nature. There is of course the weeping cultivar 'Glauca Pendula' but it tends to get rather large with maturity (unless an effort is made to cut it back). Or you could just buy a standard Cedrus atlantica 'Glauca' and keep it trimmed back. Hmmm...I'm not too fond of such treatment to trees but you may find it acceptable for your situation. Trees have been treated much worse than that. I've been looking into dwarf selections of this particular conifer too. It is one of the few that seems very well adapted to my side of the country, the humid, wet southeast.

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    1. Thanks Brian! It was also pointed out (below) that I could keep it in a container and "naturally" stunt it. Perhaps this is the year I finally add one!

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    2. Oh! There is one other cultivar on my mind that I wanted to bring to your attention and I finally remember it. There this Loree: C. atlantica 'Granny Louise' http://www.bloomriver.com/home/br2/page_24_7/cedrus_atlantica_granny_louise.html

      It's supposedly extremely columnar but it also hard to find and expensive. Granny Louise may also prove too big for your small yard. Just something to think about.

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    3. Gosh I kind of want to make that one work if for the name alone! 'Granny Louise'...sheesh! I may need to make a drive down to Bloom River to check it out. Thank you again Brian!

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  8. I went through a phase (long ago) when the freaky trees would have appealed to me. Don't tell me I won't admit past transgressions.
    This nursery looks pretty well-stocked for this time of year. Garden Fever was a little sparse outdoors, but it may have just been that my feet were wet, it was raining hard and the wind was blowing. That can color one's perceptions.
    I should probably plant one of those Atlas cedars in your honor, with all the room here. You could help me pick a spot.

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    1. When we were kids my brothers and I traded off picking the "theme" for our Christmas tree. My poor parents, what sports! There were some scary ones for sure.

      I was pleasantly surprised how many plants they had. Speaks well for what they must be like "in season"...and I would love to help you pick the spot for a BAC at your place...how fabulous!

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  9. Visiting garden centers in the off-season is depressing. So much decor, so few plants.

    That waterfall saved this post for me though... beautiful job, and I'm going to keep it in mind when I rebuild mine in the next few months.

    Did they have cinnamon-scented pine cones too? Oh how I hate those. Pine cones smell great in their natural state!

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    1. I don't recall any cinnamon cones, and I share your dislike of them (the scent actually hurts my nose) so I would have noticed!

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  10. Your post made me chortle into my coffee cup! I live in The Couv and am a regular at Shorty’s. I enjoyed your humorous tour of my regular stomping grounds. I’m still shaking my head over that purple flocked tree. Yikes.

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    1. Don't you suppose they had to be for the kids? That's my theory at least.

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  11. Happy to find your Blog today. So wonderful your pictures!

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  12. Not smaller but perhaps you can significantly slow down the growth rate of Atlas Cedar if kept in a pot? One of our neighbours have kept theirs in a pot for twenty odd years now and it's only 3' tall after all that time, and looking lovely too :)

    You just never know indeed, its always worth checking out nurseries even off season, who knows what you may find...

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    1. I like this idea! Plus come winter I could move it somewhere that it could be seen and used as an outdoor Christmas tree!

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  13. And you didn't stop by ...

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    1. Darn! We had Lila with us too, it would have been fun to see how she played with Mickey and Rosie...

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  14. I was in Walmart...I know, I know... and saw a fake tree in the jarring shade of purple. I took a photo of it because it was freaking weird and I was sure no one would believe me without proof. Fun nursery. Love the water feature. Those hellebores seem to be all the rage this year. I've seen them at the grocery store.

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    1. Hellebores at the grocery store!? Were they flocked?

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  15. Gosh, I haven't seen a flocked Christmas tree since the late 60's.

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  16. What the flock were they thinking?

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    1. Must be preoccupied with the holiday hoopla.

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