Thursday, November 8, 2018

Pat Calvert Greenhouse, at the UW Arboretum Foundation

I paid my second-ever visit to the Pat Calvert Greenhouse on October 19th, when I was up Seattle-way (photos from my first visit, in 2015, here). Why? Well, first of all I was hoping to score another Erica arborea var. alpina, a great plant I bought the first time around — no luck on that by the way. The second reason was I'd heard one of their Agave parryi var. couesii was blooming, and I thought maybe I might catch the tail end of it.

I guess I did, sort of.

Poor thing, it must of hit a branch above and bent/broke.

The bloomed plant's on it's way out.

But the second one is still looking lively. I hope they replant another, it's obviously a great location for them.

Moving on towards the greenhouse area I was temporarily sidelined by a mass of running, screaming, children. Thank god they were running away from where I was headed, I just had to hide for a moment and they passed.

I so miss the huge Arbutus unedo (strawberry tree) that used to grow in the park by my house. Why it was cut down I will never understand.

The drive up to Seattle was a foggy one, a little was still lingering in the garden.

The greenhouse wasn't open, although I think the children I'd encountered earlier were inside for a class.

What a gorgeous tree.

A Cryptomeria? (I found no sign)

Their big plant sale was back in September (FallAbundance), but there were still so many plants for sale I can't imagine what it must have been like then.

It's always nice to see Daphniphyllum available.

I think they were $15, probably the most expensive thing there.

Lomatia myricoides, only $4!

Hakea epiglottis

Correa 'Ivory Bells'

There were lots of Cyclamen.

And this little cutey, Lemmaphyllum microphyllum. It's a tender, spreading, epiphytic fern that lives on rocks or tree branches.

There were plants not for sale...

And plants not for sale, but free for the taking! (Maytenus boaria and an unidentified Podocarpus, if you're curious)

I'd made a few selections and it was time to head to the visitors center to pay.

But the light was magical and this airy. ferny, conifer (?) caught my eye. Anyone able to give it an ID?

The ginormous Gunnea leaves and Blechnum chilense were also worth stopping to admire.

Such a fresh green...

And the arching new fronds were gorgeous — in all honestly I don't recall mine every being at this stage, open and arching, but not yet with pointy edges.

So here's my haul ($22): I bought both of the remaining Lemmaphyllum microphyllum (only $3ea), a pair of Asphodeline lutea, a Lomatia myricoides and Correa 'Ivory Bells'. I had another Correa for a few years, but it perished after the winter of 2016/17 (since this one is even less hardy I'm hoping I can just get it through this winter). These great finds almost make up for not getting another Erica arborea var. alpina, almost...

Weather Diary, Nov 7: Hi 51, Low 38/ Precip 0

All material © 2009-2018 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.


  1. I need to find this place next time I visit Seattle. The airy conifer looks like a cultivar of Sequoia sempervirens. Not sure which one off the top of my head. The different fronds on the Blechnum chilense are the spore-bearing fronds. They have a different shape from the rugular fronds. I got one fertile frond on mine this year.

    1. It's easy to find, and yes you should visit! Over on FB Sam Sacharoff mentioned Sequoia sempervirens 'Adpressa', thank you! And duh! Fertle fronds.

  2. The other day I came across Arbutus unedo on my walk. I stopped dead in my tracks and gawk. It's a charming plant with year round interest, but especially when it's fruiting.
    Great finds at the greenhouse; still having Erica arborea on your wish list is a good thing: the hunt for a plant is as much fun as finding it.

    1. Arbutus unedo is a beautiful tree, I wish I had room for.

  3. Great purchases and worth the side trip. I had an 'Ivory Bells' in my old garden and introduced one in my current last year. I hope yours prospers.

    1. Me too, or at least stays alive for a season.

  4. I love that place, both the arboretum and the greenhouse. The prices are very good with a large range of hard to find plants. When I lived in Issaquah I was there often, now in Aberdeen with more than a two hour drive and being old, it is hard to get to it.
    The Desert Northwest list Erica arborea var. alpina but email Ian to see if he has it still. I bought one from him several years ago. It is doing great. I'm sure he would send one to you if he still has one.

    John Aberdeen

  5. Score! I have 'Ivory Bells' and 'Dusky Bells'. Both are in full splendor right now. With all of my irresistible Zone 8 potted plants, I am going to be a careful winter weather watcher henceforth.

    1. I believe 'Ivory Bells' is a Zone 9, even more worrisome.

  6. Thanks for another look at this greenhouse. I'd been in Seattle for a couple of plant sales that also took place at the same time, visited a nursery or two and saw the signs for Fall Abundance when leaving City People's but had seen enough plants already so went home instead. I'm definitely not goting to miss this again next year! Lots of great plants even now.

  7. It's like a treasure hunt... and you found treasure!

  8. Sounds like a wonderful place to visit--at any time of year. Sad about the flower stem of the Agave, but the second one looks good. And it looks like you got some great plants, yourself!

    1. Ya, I would have really liked to see the Agave in bloom. Oh well.

  9. Oh, I see another good Seatle stop! Thanks for sharing.


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