New acquaintances and old addictions

So, I meant to report on the Northwest Flower and Garden Show, which is happening this weekend. My friends and former co-workers Gina and William, and I went up to see it on Thursday when it opened. This is our third year, and we always have a blast up there in the Big City. All good intentions aside – I was itching to instead report on what I found up there. Like any addict, I am drawn to my dealers – which in this particular instance mostly consisted of two fabulous independent nurseries; Sundquist Nursery and Keeping it Green Nursery. Right now, most of the goodies I bought are still wrapped in plastic and embedded in wood shavings so – not a whole lot to photograph quite yet.

SO: For the purpose of this post, I’m shamelessly borrowing images from the vast stores of the Internet. Although I didn’t ask permission, I tried to assign credit, and to link to the owners of the various images wherever I could.

My comrades in crime - William (with the coolest coat this side of the Rockies) and Gina. Both failed spectacularly in reigning me in. (Not that it was their job, but still...)

My comrades in crime – William (with the coolest coat this side of the Rockies) and Gina. Both failed spectacularly in reigning me in. (Not that it was their job, but still…)

I think I first met Nils Sundquist at one of the first YGP shows I attended. Turned out he spoke Swedish (which of course was fun) so every garden show after that, I made sure to pay him a visit. It helps that he also always has great plants. I didn’t get to see him this time around, but walked away with three perennials:

The first one was a total impulse buy. I blame Gina. She alerted me to it - it's a Gillenia trifoliata - and I had never heard about it before. The little orchid-like flowers remind me of those of Saxifrage 'Maroon Beauty', so I couldn't resist. Photo by Raell for My Garden.

The first one was a total impulse buy. I blame Gina. She alerted me to it – it’s a Gillenia trifoliata – and I had never heard about it before. The little orchid-like flowers remind me of those of Saxifrage ‘Maroon Beauty’. Naturally, I couldn’t resist. Photo by Raell for My Garden.

I've always liked Heleniums, and these scarlet red, compact ones pushed me over the edge. I just hope I can find them a spot with enough sun for them to want to live with me. Photo found on Pinterest, photographer unknown.

I’ve always liked Heleniums, and these scarlet red, compact ones pushed me over the edge. I just hope I can find them a spot with enough sun for them to want to live with me. Photo found on Pinterest, photographer unknown.

By the time I figured out what a Thalictrum was, I was already in love with them. This is Thalictrum delavayi 'Alba' - a wonderful woodland plant. Photo from Crocus.

In my early gardening days, by the time I ever figured out what a Thalictrum was, I was already in love with them. This is Thalictrum delavayi ‘Alba’ – a wonderful woodland plant with fluffy clouds of miniature flowers hovering on spindly stems. So very dainty! Photo from Crocus.

After Sundquist, we were off to the one place where I always fall apart, and all resolve is dissolved; the booth containing Keeping it Green Nursery’s fabulous selections.

Well, how about that - yet another fluffy cloud of white flowers - although these are a bit bigger than the Thalictrum. Other than that, they are pretty similar. I have coveted this plant since I saw it in a Swedish garden magazine that my father subscribes to for me, every Christmas. When they did a feature story on it, I just about died from pangs of lusty pain. Again, I will blame Gina - or more so, thank her. She came running with the unassuming bag of wood-shavings that held the magic within.

Well, how about that – yet another fluffy cloud of white flowers – although these are a bit bigger than the Thalictrum. Other than that, they are pretty similar. I have coveted this plant since I saw it in a Swedish garden magazine that my father subscribes to for me, every Christmas. When they did a feature story on it, I just about died from pangs of lusty pain. Again, I will blame Gina – or more so, thank her. She came running with the unassuming bag of wood-shavings that held the magic within. “Look – I found your Anemonopsis!!!!!” And that, my friends, is when the levies broke. Photo from Dave’s Garden.

anemonopsis-macrophylla-impecta

Here is a closeup of Anemonopsis macrophylla. It is so unbelievably beautiful… Photo borrowed from Swedish seed company Impecta. The Swedes by the way, have a wonderful name for this plant – Porslinsanemon. It translates to Porcelain Anemone.

 Keeping it Green always have a good selection of Arisaemas - or Snake head lilies. I fell for this particular one with the silver streaked leaves; Arisaema thunbergii 'variegatum'. Such irresistible foliage, don't you think? Photo pilfered from Keeping it Green's website.


Keeping it Green always have a good selection of Arisaemas – or Snake head lilies. I fell for this particular one with the silver streaked leaves; Arisaema thunbergii ‘variegatum’. Such irresistible foliage, don’t you think? Photo pilfered from Keeping it Green’s website.

Here is another one I blame Gina for; über-sweet Calochortus tolmiei - a California native that looks like a tiny, hairy tulip. What's not to love? I had instant flashback to my little blue-eyed tulips, Tulipa Photo by the California Native Plant Society.

Here is another one I blame Gina for; über-sweet Calochortus tolmiei – a California native that looks like a tiny, hairy tulip. What’s not to love? I had instant flashback to my little blue-eyed tulips, (Tulipa humilis alba coerula oculata). I just might have to plant those near each other…  Photo by the California Native Plant Society.

Can one ever have too many Erythroniums? Well clearly I do not yet have enough. Erythronium multisc

Can one ever have too many Erythroniums? Well clearly I do not yet have enough. Erythronium multiscapoideum is nothing short of adorable. Photo by the Alpine Garden Society.

I have a fondness for black flowers. There is a slight chance that Fritillaria affinis might turn out yellow with a dark checker pattern instead, but I took a chance. Photo by Pacific Horticulture.

I have a fondness for black flowers. There is a slight chance that Fritillaria affinis might turn out yellow with a dark checker pattern instead, but I took a chance. Photo by Pacific Horticulture.

Sweet little Jeffersonia dubia proved irresistible - especially after Gina figured out that its new foliar growth is red. Wow!

Sweet little Jeffersonia dubia proved irresistible – especially after Gina figured out that its new foliar growth is red. Wow! Photo by North American Rock Garden Society.

Here are the flowers fully opened. So lovely - and the leaves are cool too! Photo from Keeping it Green Nursery, via Plant Lust.

Here are the flowers fully opened. So lovely – and the leaves are cool too! Photo from Keeping it Green Nursery, via Plant Lust.

I've wanted a Paris for years. Go figure... Keeping it green had three different kinds.

I’ve wanted a Paris for years. Go figure… Keeping it green had three different kinds. “Which one did you choose?”, I hear you ask. Why, all of them, of course. I couldn’t tell from the photos which one I liked the best, so I figured I would try them all. This is Paris polyphylla. (You’re right – it really IS time for an intervention…) Photo from Himalayan Voices.

Here, the super-skinny spidery petals show up a little better. Photo from Plant Delights.

Here, the super-skinny spidery petals show up a little better. Photo from Plant Delights.

This is a smaller variety - Paris p. thibetica. It only gets about a foot tall, as far as I can tell from various websites. I like the bright yellow flower. Photo from Decoy Nursery.

This is a smaller variety – Paris p. thibetica. It only gets about a foot tall, as far as I can tell from various websites. I like the bright yellow flower. Photo from Decoy Nursery.

Yet another Paris - this is P. tetraphylla, with only four leaves.

Yet another Paris – this is P. tetraphylla, with only four leaves. Photo from Wikimedia.

Last one from Keeping it Green was another floriferous little beauty called Ranunculus aconitifolius 'Flore Pleno'. Photo by Jari Särkkä.

Last one from Keeping it Green was another floriferous little beauty called Ranunculus aconitifolius ‘Flore Pleno’. Not sure why I’m so drawn to all these dainty, sheer, white-flowering things, but it could be an urge to recreate the restorative beauty of this year’s massive Mt Hood snow pack. Spending time on our mountain this winter has proven marvelously healing to my soul. Even though I’m getting ready for spring, I don’t really want it to end. Photo by Jari Särkkä.

Well, apparently this is the year where I will fully embrace my shade.  How to fit it all in, I honestly don’t know, but I will do my best. If nothing else, a test garden is a test garden, however small. In case of a worst case scenario, I can always pass a few of them onto Gina, since she is the one who got me into trouble in the first place.

So, are we done? Well not quite… Three more – then I’ll call it good!

eremurus-white-crocus

Love the look of Eremurus (Fox tail lily). I only bought one, but the yellow ones I have have been multiplying nicely over the years. I hope the white one will too. Photo from Crocus.

Double white lily Lilium Polar Star

A couple of double white oriental lilies that looks a lot like this Lilium Polar Star, but was named Carolynn. Photo borrowed from Garden Photos.

platycladus-orientalis-franky-boy-conifersocietyorg

Lastly – couldn’t resist the chartreuse threads that make up the Muppet-like Platycladus orientalis ‘Franky Boy’. I have wanted to add more small conifers to my garden anyway, and this one is a good one. Photo by the Conifer Society.

About annamadeit

I was born and raised in Sweden, By now, I have lived almost as long in the United States. The path I’ve taken has been long and varied, and has given me a philosophical approach to life. I may joke that I’m a sybarite, but the truth is, I find joy and luxury in life’s simple things as well. My outlook on life has roots in a culture rich in history and tradition, and I care a great deal about environmental stewardship. Aesthetically, while drawn to the visually clean, functional practicality and sustainable solutions that are the hallmarks of modern Scandinavia, I also have a deep appreciation for the raw, the weathered, and the worn - materials that tell a story. To me, contrast, counterpoint, and diversity are what makes life interesting and engaging. Color has always informed everything I do. I’m a functional tetrachromat, and a hopeless plantoholic. I was originally trained as an architect working mostly on interiors, but soon ventured outside - into garden design. It’s that contrast thing again… An interior adrift from its exterior, is like a yin without a yang. My firm conviction that everything is connected gets me in trouble time and time again. The world is a big place, and full of marvelous distractions, and offers plentiful opportunities for inquiry and exploration. I started writing to quell my constant queries, explore my discoveries, and nurture my curiosity. The Creative Flux was started in 2010, and became a catch-all for all kinds of intersecting interests. The start of Flutter & Hum at the end of 2013 marks my descent into plant nerd revelry. I occasionally contribute to other blogs, but those two are my main ones. For sure, topics are all over the map, but then again - so am I! Welcome to my blogs!
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22 Responses to New acquaintances and old addictions

  1. Pauline says:

    You have bought some wonderful plants, some of my favourites as I love shade so much! Sounds as though you had a wonderful time.

  2. Evan Bean says:

    Nice haul! You picked out some real beauties. This post makes me feel a little better about my own splurging at Flower World. The show had many tempting plants (I did eye that Platycladus), but my garden needs bones more than it needs little treasures. However, I am planning to add more small conifers to my garden this year, too.

  3. bergstromskan says:

    Beautiful, fun, thank you Anna

  4. rusty duck says:

    I’ve been taking notes, as I’m just about to launch into the shade here. Love the Paris(es). And yes, definitely a serious addiction problem!

  5. Even by my very generous standards, you did go a bit crazy, not that I can fault any of your selections. Feeling covetous, I looked most of them up, only to confirm what I already suspected: I’m way out of the climate range for most and, despite our wet-by-our-standards winter, their water requirements put them out of reach. I look forward to seeing them in your garden!

    • annamadeit says:

      What about the little Calochortus tolmiei, Kris? It’s a CA native, and it’s so darn cute! Yes, you are absolutely right about me going a bit crazy. Feeling rather ridiculous about the whole thing, actually.

  6. lyart says:

    Your shopping cart is far more diverse and beautiful than my latest one. Great choises! Am all eager to see, how they will turn out. And now I don’t feel quite as bad about my own recent loss of shopping control….

  7. hb says:

    All very exotic plants to these SoCal eyes, but all treasures. Calochortus tolmiei is alas a NorCal (where there is water) plant.

    Sounds like you had a whole lot of fun at the show. Your joy is apparent–Thanks for sharing it!

    • annamadeit says:

      I hope I can make them survive up here, where we’ve had a terrifying abundance of water this February… As for the show, it’s always fun to escape the everyday doldrums and hang out with friends and likeminded in a beautiful setting. Should do it more often… 🙂

  8. Peter/Outlaw says:

    You’ve got it bad sister and that’s one of the many reasons we all love you! Great plants you got! It was so nice to see you at the show!

  9. rickii says:

    I’d say you are setting a marvelous example for us all. Shop on!

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