I did however manage to visit a few nurseries that Peter had recommended...Vassey, Watson's, and Windmill. Unfortunately there aren’t any pictures to share, not a single one! It was raining pretty hard most of the time and there was a third party on our road trip, Lila. While Andrew was tucked away indoors at used bookstores, she and I were constant companions. A dog on your arm in a steady rain does not make for good photographic opportunities. However I do have a few new plants to share and another "find." First the plants (there is a cardboard flat under there)....
I was shopping with two distinct areas in mind. First I needed some shade plants for the area where they hydrangea was, secondly the newly open sunny areas where I removed some lawn. Shade first, Athyrium niponicum 'Pictum-Applecourt' (Japanese Painted Fern)...
Rodgersia 'Bronze Peacock'
I love them together…
I also picked up a couple of Polypodium scouleri (Leatherleaf Fern), cause they’re cute!
For the sunny area, Euphorbia polychroma 'Bonfire'…
One of my favorite Phormium, ‘Tom Thumb,’ this one stays small (about 2 ft by 2 ft) and I love that green/brown color combo…
And on a whim I picked up a Xerophyllum tenax (Bear grass). The tag had very little info on it and the internet connection at the nursery wasn’t allowing me look it up on my phone, so I didn’t know it could get 3ft tall and wide…that might be a little big, we’ll see.
So that other “find” I alluded to…
I hunted down the Tacoma Goodwill’s vertical garden…
“French botanist and artist Patrick Blanc’s 800-square-foot vertical garden for the Goodwill-Milgard Work Opportunity Center was unveiled in September (2010). It graces the entrance of an imposing new building designed by BCRA Architects, and is sufficiently large and fluffy to be clearly visible from busy Tacoma Avenue” (source). As I walked up to the wall these containers caught my eye, planted last fall (that’s my guess at least) and unchanged since.
I wondered what their lack of maintenance said about how the wall was, and would be, cared for.
As I moved closer I could see that there were many empty spots and a few plants that were rather crispy. There was also the wonderful sound of water dripping in a slow luxurious way.
I discovered the source. As the water irrigated the wall worked its way to the bottom along long strands of algae…
It then fell to the ground behind the teal band at the bottom of the wall.
The wall was lush in spots…
Not so in others…
But definitely interesting to look at.
I was surprised at some of the plants, like bergenia and euphorbia.
There was even a nice clump of variegated iris near the top.
And if you’re wondering about scale there’s Lila in the lower right hand corner. Being a good sport as I snap my pictures…
All-in-all a good road trip!
All material © 2009-2013 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.
I love the vertical gardening but I wonder how it will fare over the years. It didn't look so hot in some of your closeups.ReplyDelete
The plants you bought are great. Alas, most of them (with the exception of the euphorbia and the NZ flax) wouldn't thrive in our climate.
I was a little surprised at how bad the wall looked. Yes it is only the beginning of April so we're just coming off the winter months but I think the overall maintenance has been weak. It's 2 and 1/2 years old I would have thought it would have filled in more.Delete
You evil, evil temptress...I DO NOT need another Rodgersia...but now I MUST HAVE 'Bronze Peacock'!!! Tell Andrew happy belated B-day for me :-)ReplyDelete
It's a Terra Nova plant so should be pretty widely available this weekend at the sale! (I wish I could have bought 2)...
Great plants! I have Athyrium and Rodgersia planted close together too, but I don't think my Rodgersia is quite that red. A favorite combo! Wish I'd known you were coming too, I live about two miles from Windmill Gardens, right at the top of the ridge overlooking Sumner.ReplyDelete
I doubt that Rodgersia will stay quite so dark as it ages, but it would certainly be nice if it did.Delete
We got to town late Friday afternoon and that's when I was supposed to meet up with Peter but my day took a turn. On Saturday is when I made it out to Windmill, and I knew you were elsewhere!
The Rodgersia and Athyrium is a winning combo! And interesting to see another one of Patrick Blancs creation and how it is looking now after a few years down the line, pretty much still looking good overall. And belated Happy Birthday to Andrew too!ReplyDelete
Overall yes, looking good. I wonder if they are afraid to pull out the dead plants and replace them? Sure wish they'd try.Delete
Sounds like you had fun in the City of Destiny (Is it your destiny to move here?) I hadn't seen that wall in a while but it really does look rather tattered. I'll have to go back later in the year and see if they've done any maintenance. I saw that Xerophyllum tenax (Bear grass) at Vassey too but decided against it because I didn't know enough about it. Maybe I should go back and get one.ReplyDelete
Not anytime soon...but you never really know what the future holds do you?Delete
I got the Xerophyllum tenax at Windmill. That's not to say Vassey didn't have it but I didn't see it, the rain my have clouded my vision a bit.
I knew I saw it somewhere. Anyway I looked it up on the interweb and it looks like a cool plant!Delete
As we approach Tacoma we always try to guess what's going to be premiering at the Tacoma Dome. "Monster truck rally and Carrie Underwood! Monsters of Rock and Miley Cyrus!"ReplyDelete
I would love a photo series, always using Lila for scale.
Fleetwood Mac was the big headliner being announced while we were there. Who knew they were still kicking? Your shows sound much more fabulous.Delete
I'll see what I can do...she can be camera shy at times. There may have to be treats.
Vertical walls can be fabulous but seldom are. I think they should only be installed by zealots who will continue to care for them. Now I am really worried about my Bronze Peacock...no sign of it so far.ReplyDelete
I've got a Rodgersia (R. pinnata ‘Chocolate Wings”) that's missing in action too, I'm starting to worry.Delete
My R. Bronze Peacock hasn't peeked above ground yet but It always arrives a little late to the party so we shouldn't worry quite yet.Delete
But I am so good at worrying!Delete
Fantastic foliage on the Rodgersia. Will it stay that bronze all season? Nurseries are finally open around here but they are woefully stocked so far.ReplyDelete
Sadly no, the color will fade. But it's still beautiful!Delete
I think you will really like the Euphorbia 'Bonfire'…until after its bloom time, when the whole thing rats out in a major way. We cut ours to the ground when new basal growth appears, but it does leave a "hole" in the bed until it grows back. Something to think about when placing it!ReplyDelete
Thanks for the reminder Richard. I had a couple of E. polychroma for years that did the same (unwelcome) thing. They both finally disappeared, I think due to being shaded out by their too close neighbors (which I planted to hide the hole!)...Delete