I’ve written before about our trips home to Spokane, WA, in June and the Friends of Manito Park Plant Sale. Last weekend it was time once again to make the 360 mile trip to visit family and one of my favorite parks.
The Friends of Manito is a non-profit group that supports Manito Park by providing funds to improve the park. The plant sale is a huge fund raiser for them, the sale is outdoors and starts early! Open to members (which I am not) at 8am and the public at 9am. This was one of those rare years when it wasn't raining. And yes, they have shopping carts! (if you're lucky enough to score one)...
The organization behind this sale is beyond amazing. A month or so before the sale they publish (on their website) a list of the plants which will be available, divided by type (edibles, vines, shrubs, grasses, sun, shade) as well as a photo album. Naturally I'd been studying these both and had a list. Naturally that list was tossed aside when I spotted a special section devoted to specimens and extras from the conservatory which they'd decided to sell.
This was beyond amazing, look at those curls! I believe it's a slightly misshapen Agave vilmoriniana. It was just a little to wild and a little to $ for me to be seriously tempted.
These caught my eye, but the price was a little high when I consider I don't really "need" another colocasia.
But then I was awe struck. So much so I just went into acquisition mode and forgot all about taking pictures. You see there are some agaves you can (fairly) easily find in size XL and then there are those that you rarely do. At least in my experience Agave victoriae-reginae is one of the rarely-do's. And here I was face to face with one. It had to be mine! Here you are seeing it dressed for moving, Andrew packed it up really good for it's trip home, so it didn't flip over when he took curves at 80+ mph...
It is a thing of beauty.
And yes, only $45. FORTY FIVE DOLLARS! It measures 21" across and 14" tall (not counting the container, just the "above ground" part of the plant)...
Here it is unboxed and in the terracotta container it came in. I'm still deciding exactly what I want to do with it, cotainerwise.
Honestly the box Andrew packed it in is pretty great to. The banana's, the big hand holding the little hand...
But let's look at that agave again shall we?
Okay, back to Spokane...now we're taking a look at where my agave has spent the last few years of it's life. This is the Gaiser Conservatory and it's under renovation.
Thankfully you could still visit the two side wings, only the center section was closed. This is where Spokane gardeners come to dream of warmer climates, they also do a fun Christmas display.
This is the smaller twin of my new treasure.
I love hearing peoples reactions when they see this big boy. For many of them it's the first time they've seen such a grand specimen agave.
This gorgeous powder blue number is dreamy.
Although it's label had me scratching my head. I've not known Agave parrasana to have this form, I think of it looking more like this, or this.
The orange blooming Echeveria was a nice addition.
This was pure perfection! Labeled as Leuchtenbergia principis, or Prism Cactus, I've also known it as Agave Cactus. This is the nicest one I've seen.
This one caught my nephews eye (not literally). He was was rather perplexed with the collection of letters in it's name.
Back outside we glanced at the Duncan Gardens before entering the other wing of the conservatory.
I wasn't able to get the name of this crazy bloomer.
Or this fabulous Aralia (?)...
It's new growth.
Just a couple more photos, we're on the way back to the car but had to walk through the Joel E. Ferris Perennial Garden.
After leaving the park we stopped briefly at a favorite overlook of downtown Spokane. It's not big, or tall, but there are a lot of bricks...
And finally, one more look at my Agave victoriae-reginae. Besides being a beautiful big agave that I've wanted for years, it's extra special because it came from a horticultural haven in my hometown. A part of my past that was very important to me, I miss dearly and try to visit every time I go home...
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