Monday, May 6, 2013

A gas-station nursery in Spokane, WA…

The last weekend in April I made a trip up to Spokane, in addition to visiting one of the oldest (and used-to-be biggest) antique sales in the region, my mom and I also hit a few nurseries. This one, Judy’s Enchanted Garden, has been one of her favorites for awhile…

She described it as small, and not a nursery in the sense that they grow their own plants, but one that does an impressive job of acquiring and displaying plants brought in from growers, I agree.

It’s on a busy street, in a location that used to be a gas station. I love that! In fact if I were to ever open a nursery a small urban location like this would be perfect.

I think this nursery would be loved even here in Portland, where we are blessed with so many fantastic nurseries. The fact that it’s survived (and hopefully prospered, they’ve been in business since at least 2010) in Spokane makes it even better.

The plants are displayed in groups just as you might plant them in your garden, they do this so well you almost forget they are just in pots setting on asphalt.

There were several of my favorite plants, including this Rheum which was perfectly displayed above your eyes where the light filtered though the leaves and lit them up in a wondrous way.

Cotinus 'Grace'

Rodgersia! (I'd convinced my mom to buy a few of these last year otherwise I would have been twisting her arm).

Sequoia?

Weeping Larch...

This was only the second time ever I've seen Bear Grass (Xerophyllum tenax) for sale in a nursery (Interestingly both have been in Washington), since one just didn't seem to be enough I bought another.

Cause they're cool...

Of course...

At fist I thought these were new arrivals and off limits but then I realized it's all shop-able...


Almost tempted by the "White Licorice"...

Completely tempted by the Parrot's Beak...it's a frightfully common "basket stuffer" but those tiny glaucous leaves with crazy orange blooms seem so perfect to have weaving through the plantings...bought one, might need to buy another or two, we'll see.

Limon talinum...(Jewels of Opar), I grew this once and should have bought a couple to tuck in here and there for bright chartreuse color.

So that's my visit to Judy's...I kinda wish they were closer so I could check in weekly to see what she's got!

All material © 2009-2013 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

34 comments:

  1. Colorful and nicely done, I love pretty little places like this tucked into what might be an neglected corner otherwise. We have a few in San Antonio too.

    I like the Xerophyllum tenax and need to find it somewhere, beargrass is another plant entirely in Texas.

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    1. It really does green up an otherwise busy street, in a part of town that had to drive quite away for the nearest nursery.

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  2. I've seen at least one of these small nurseries in the St. Louis area, but I'm always driving by after hours so never have been able to stop.

    I knew that last photo was Jewels of Opar because I have a couple seedlings growing in pots right now that look just like that! :)

    I've never had success getting parrot's beak to survive the summer here, even in a pot. I think I'd buy one of them anyway if I were there.

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    1. You need to make a point of going back sometime when they're open!

      I've planted the parrot's beak and so far so good...I'm sorry to hear you can't grow it, I have no idea what to expect since I've never even seen it other than in a nursery.

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  3. I think a (former) gas station is a perfect space for a nursery. Talk about a transformation!

    Coincidence: I recently bought both a licorice plant (a cultivar called 'Limelight') AND a parrot's peak. I love them, no matter how common they are. The leaves are great, the flowers even better.

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    1. Damn, maybe I should have bought a licorice plant too. I bet I can find one here locally.

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  4. What an imaginative re use of an old gas station! A fun nursery and lots of cool plants. Almost makes moving to Spokane seem like a good idea.

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  5. They certainly have the knack for displaying plants for sale! Do love the fresh spring growth of sequoia, tempted to get one (although I have no pretence that it will get the chance to be gigantic in our garden, not that I'd want to anyway...)

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    1. I'm starting to think about someday putting my Blue Atlas Cedar in the ground...talk about big!

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  6. It would be a lovely thing if more gas stations could be transformed into nurseries...

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  7. That looks like a great place! They seem to have the art of display down. Everything looks so well cared for too. It's cool that they are in a repurposed gas station.

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    1. It was crazy windy that day and the plants and people were all still upright and smiling. And now that I think about it every person was helping customers there wasn't even anyone watering!

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  8. I read that last plant as "Jewels of Oprah" initially. I was like, "Well I guess she really has moved into every conceivable market."

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    1. I'm surprised I didn't accidently type that!

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  9. I love small nursery/retail places like this. Bear grass is very cool stuff. We had some plants in our last garden that we brought back from the mountains in Washington. Sadly, it didn't do very well over time. We guessed that it missed the altitude, but if they're selling it in Spokane...

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    1. Spokane and Tacoma! The owner whom we chatted with briefly said it's rarely available so when she saw it she jumped on it.

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  10. AnonymousMay 06, 2013

    The sequoia looks a little bit more like a dawn redwood than a sequoia to me. Just sayin'.
    -Max P.

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    1. And you very well could be right (hence the question mark) I am pretty tree stupid.

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    2. Yep, that is a Metasequoia. Probably "golden dawn" or one of the other golden cultivars. Deciduous conifers with lovely foliage. Looks like a great little nursery, thanks for posting about it.

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  11. Should we be on the lookout for an abandoned gas station for you? I fantasize about starting a garden shop and calling it SATE. But we are never sated, are we?

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    1. I have too many years of retail management under my belt to ever want to consider owning a shop. Fantasize yes...but the reality scares the bejesus out of me.

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  12. I just bought two parrot´s beak last thursday too! nice nursery, we don´t have things like that in Spain.

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  13. Interesting to read that lotus berthelotii is common with you, I had to order mine from Cornwall! More evidence that British gardeners are stultifyingly conservative.

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    1. I'm wishing I would have bought more than one!!!

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  14. fifi la fontaineMay 06, 2013

    What a cool place. Oh man, there's an old vintage gas station near my house (NE Prescott and 72nd) that would make the most adorable nursery!

    It's funny, but i bought two bear grasses when I went to that nursery "Thicket" off NE Alberta that you referred me to. That was the day I became acquainted with Tom Waits, Mr. Prickly Pear! The label on the bear grass had a picture of the full-grown plant and it was a really nice blue-green color. Do you know if they really do get that color, or if the printing on the label was just off?

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    1. Really? They have it too huh? Interesting. Are you sure it was Xerophyllum tenax and not Nolina nelsonii? The Nolina definitely retains the blue cast and is more of a structural type plant.

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    2. fifi la fontaineMay 06, 2013

      Aahhh, you're right, it IS a Nolina Nelsonii! Now I shall have to look up Xerophyllum Tenax!

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  15. Very cool. I love places like this. Great post.

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  16. This reminds me of a small garden center near my house, except Judy's has cooler plants. Now that I don't have to show loyalty to a company I no longer work for, I have been shopping and getting in touch with all the other garden centers around town. The place near my house is a converted 7/11 convenience store (one of two I know of), and they re-purposed the old cooler as storage units for all of the smelly chemicals and fertilizers, leaving the rest of the store to smell attractively like dirt, mildew, wet soil and earthworms.

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  17. I can't think of a cooler place to have a garden shop than an old gas station. What character! I love your posts on the places you visit. Cheers, Jenni

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  18. I love Judy's, in the fall they have the most amazing pumpkins! Next time you come over for the Farm Chicks Show check out Spokane Boy's Nursery. Or better yet, come over for the Spokane Falls Community College's Horticultural Plant Sale. The SFCC's green house sells off the extra plants they've managed to grow, breed and splice together over the past year. Zone 5 isn't so bad if you have a basement and a strong back; or a greenhouse. Ciao! John B in Spokane

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