Friday, October 7, 2022

Plants & planty things from my trip north to visit friends

Wednesday I wrote about the plants I brought home from my trip up to Washington, today I share the things I saw while I was there. Washington will always be home to me; Spokane and Seattle, those are cities my heart calls home. Portland came later and while I love living here, I will always consider myself a Washingtonian. These trips I make to see friends feel like visiting home.

My visit started at the Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden in Federal Way, a place I've come to love nearly as much as the Huntington Botanical Gardens, yes seriously. Notice I did not say the Ruth Bancroft Garden or Lotusland—those two gardens will always be top of list. 

Parablechnum cordatum, aka Blechnum chilense, near the entrance to the garden. I took this shot to remind myself to plant more of this "architectural" fern.

Interesting Schefflera (Heptapleurum) delavayi, such deeply cut leaves. In my mind the plant in the foreground is an aspidistra (cast iron plant), but it's not. I do not remember what it is.

Magnolia obovata, I need to look into how this species differs from my Magnolia macrophylla.

A gesneriad? An impatiens?

I have friends who would be aghast that that I can't tell.

This one I know! Pyrrosia sheareri.

A ginormous Woodwardia unigemmata frond. How big was it? That's my phone down in the lower right hand corner. My phone is just over 5.75" long.

One of several photos I took of Saxifraga stolonifera, reminding myself to buy more of them.

My current (huge) pyrrosia crush. What is it? I have no idea, but I want it something awful.

Here's the same (to my eye) plant growing in the conservatory at the garden.

An unfurling tree fern crosier (not sure of the species) ...

And yes, another Saxifraga stolonifera.

Later the same day I snapped this photo walking between the homes of two friends on Seattle's Beacon Hill. What a fun privacy adaptation for a front gate.

Inside my friend Ken's home I loved this tiny fellow offering up a pair of tillandsia.

Ditto for this pair of plants and planters...

Sometimes thrift shop artwork is better than gallery-bought works. The quick strokes of this bouquet are so good. 

Now I'm at my friend Steve's place, this painting is of Seattle's Volunteer Park.

Steve has a pottery collection that I envy...

Textiles too, this print hangs in his kitchen window.

And ferns in his bathroom! (the stripes are the shower curtain reflected in a mirror)

(begonias too)

Outside he has a Yucca gloriosa doing that strange thing they do.

And hesperaloe blooms! It seems late in the season, but PNW weather is a mess.

I brought Steve an agave pup from this give-away I posted about back in June, and it's done amazing!

Yay for agave-loving friends.

Opuntia with the morning sun in his backyard.

And pink-pets hanging out in the bamboo stock tanks.

Next my friend Erin and I headed up to Krukenberg Botanical Garden north of Seattle. I'd never been, but after watching this video of Dr. Art Kruckeberg talking about the garden I decided to check it out.

I loved the simple barrier to keep visitors out of the plantings, I wish the bench was equally rustic.

Wollemia nobilis! Along with old laundry tub planters.

I do love a good table planting!

Ah, Adiantum aleuticum var. subpumilum

There were several small treasures tucked into these rock and trough borders along the walk way.

This pile of rocks was missing something very important!

An agave at the top!

Insect hotels...

And ferns in lava rock!

Our next stop was Swanson's Nursery where I usually stare at their multiple fern tables. I only spotted one this time.

Ravenna Gardens at U-Village comes through with a stack of Fearless Gardening, yay!

Back at Erin and Matt's place I finally managed to take a shot of their iconic (to me) album-art-wall. Naturally the bromeliads take things up a notch or twelve.

Out in the garden I see the same Yucca gloriosa that Steve has, along with a happy purple Yucca desmetiana 'Blue Boy'.

I threatened to have a friend fluent in photoshop make a big Hershey's Kisses® tag for that adorably odd-shaped conifer, and can any of you offer up advice for why Erin's magnolia has refused to grow? It's up against a west-facing fence and gets summer water.

This was a very happy clump of aspidistra.

And this is what happens when winter strikes down a large cordyline. The tall trunk collapses but lots of volunteers take over.

Just one more plant from Erin's, but it's a good one. Last September we visited Heronswood where she bought an Alstroemeria isabellana, it's blooming.

Her soil here is terrible (her words, not mine), but it's getting plenty of sunshine and that's all it takes. Sadly my plant got shaded out.

I miss those odd flowers!

My final stop for the weekend was at Owen Beach in Tacoma, part of Point Defiance Park. The reason for my visit was to meet up with folks from the Facebook PNW Plant Geeks Group (that's them on the far left) but I had to pause and take in the beauty of the location. What a great weekend.

All material © 2009-2022 by Loree L Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.


  1. That was a fun trip, taken virtually in my case. You have very stylish friends in Seattle, not that I find that surprising. My fingers twitched seeing the stuck leaves of the Yucca - I'd have been very tempted to free them...I loved the little touches in your public garden tours like the laundry tub planters and the wide range of bug houses.

    1. I really wanted to free those yucca leaves as well—but since it's not my plant...

  2. Yet more fun. You know how to vacation.

    Fascinating Alstroemeria! So different from the more commonly grown type.

    When summer heat strikes down Cordylines here, they just...die.

    Saxifraga is a lovely genera. Not for my climate, but gems for the PNW.

    1. Really? Would have thought the cordylines would love the heat!

  3. What a fantastic trip. Wonderful to catch up with friends AND tour gardens. Two of my favourite things to do. Funny how no matter where you live your true 'home' is always where you grew up.

    1. Or where you escaped to after you grew up (Seattle in my case).

  4. That was a fabulous weekend, not merely great. I had a wonderful time visiting everyone and every place with you. Too many delicious plants and delightful interiors to comment on them all.

    1. I appreciate your comment Linda, seems there are fewer and fewer of them these days. I look back at old posts with 30+ comments and laugh. Those were the days!

  5. That unfurling tree fern crosier is a little piece of perfection eh?


Thank you for taking the time to comment. Comment moderation is on (because you know: spam), I will approve and post your comment as soon as possible!