Monday, April 14, 2008

Let the gardening begin

Saturday was garden nursery day. tp from work and I have been planning this since February. We booked off the same day together and planned which nurseries we should visit, most of which are located in Langley.
Langley is not far from whoville but the landscape is very different. It's more a rolling countryside with small lots of farmland off a grid of narrow streets and avenues.
As it turned out Saturday was the most beautiful weather we've had this year. The temperature went into the twenties and it was sunny all day long.
tp picked me up at 8 and we drove out to the only nursery open that early. Rain Forest Nursery has six greenhouses and a narrow property with several levels that are all filled with every plant imaginable. The owner told us the season is so late this year that the front exterior garden wasn't really set up as it should be. However, I thought it was fabulous to see all the plants coming along at different stages. When tp mentioned where we worked and that she had seen them at last years garden show, they kindly gave us a "show discount." This is where I bought the Black Beauty Lenten Rose pictured in above two photos). This may be my new favorite flower.
After spending two hours there we finally loaded up tp's car and headed to our next stop. On the way I say a sign that read "Heirloom Tomatoes 75 cents."
Twin Oaks Herb Gardens was this fantastic little place with two small greenhouses run by a woman with great enthusiasm for carnivorous plants. I may have to go back and get one because these plants were so unusual looking and to have a plant that captures fruit flies seems like the way to go. Anywho her selection of heirloom tomatoes were varied and chosen to be most suited for our climate with many originating from Eastern Europe and Russia. I chose six for us to try.
She also carried a variety of scented geraniums and of course a nice selection of herbs. I chose a few perennials from her and got a great deal on the Beauty Bush (below). The photo doesn't really do it justice because you can really see the small buds of purple flowers that will soon open to a shade of pink (I 'm guessing since this is the most common). I'll have to find a location that will let it grow and grow. I suspect it could get quite large. We stopped off at tp's parents' house for a quick snack and to view tp's mother's garden that it a great collection of sedums planted in shallow pots and some in tall narrow pots. Her garden is all containers since they have little garden space, but a wonderful patio that faces a duck pond. Not far from their house is Cedar Rim Nursery which is a large well established business. We never even made it into their greenhouses and just walked the grounds picking up a few more perennials.

We had to watch our time because most places close at five and we had to drive to Abbotsford for our last stop at Tanglebank.
The day was very warm by now and the car was very full of plants. It looked beautiful.
Tanglebank is located in a more hilly area of the fraser valley. This is where I found the Japanese Rosy Buckler Fern.

By this time of the day though I was starting to fade. I was losing my enthusiasm. We headed back to whoville with just one more little stop in Port Who-dy at my favorite local garden shop that is tiny but carries an incredible variety. We just browsed. The car was full and we were running on empty.

Back home we unloaded the plants. tp stayed for dinner and another friend from work came by. db and I had made ravioli the day before. So we had a great dinner, talked plants, gardens and of course about other things as well. It was a great end to the day.

I hope to make it an annual event. Or would that be a perennial event?

plants in photos with the botanical names when I know them. (Corydalis, Helleborus Lenten Rose, Ranunculus ficaria "Brazen Hussy", Japanese Rosy Buckler Fern, Beauty Bush, Fritillaria, Aquilegia vulgaris, Dodecatheon pulchellum "Shooting Star")


Wandering Coyote said...

I went to a garden nursery today, actually, and I was really inspired to do some gardening this year. I'll have to do it in planters, but I think I can still do quite a bit with those. I'll have to price the whole thing out, but it would be a cool thing for me to do this summer.

Anonymous said...

Makes me itch to have a garden. I will talk to your sis about these plants and we'll look at your photos together. Sounds like you had an ideal day. md

sp said...

WC: you can do anything in a container. I think it's a great idea to do a little gardening if you can. It is so enjoyable and rewarding.

mister anchovy said...

We've planted a few indestructable pansies, but I don't think that counts, does it?

Captain Karen said...

Those are gorgeous! I can't believe you're able to get started already. We had snow yesterday ... and more possibly this weekend. However, I've got some seeds started which are going crazy! SP, are you doing veggies and if so, when do you start planting?

We got our garden plot last night! Woooooo!

Good for you Coyote! Look at all of us ... getting back to nature and growing our own. From everything I've read about container gardening, it seems totally do-able. Plenty of city apartment dwellers out there who are gardening. What are you going to plant?

sp said...

Pansies definitely count. When everything else is dormant, pansies always seem to surface.

Captain: Well, everything is still in pots. I haven't had the courage to plant in the ground yet. This weekend there's a slight chance that higher elevations will get a little snow! Yikes. As for the veggies, we are planting veg (I can't imagine a garden without them) and many people plant the May long weekend. That's probably when we'll plant. Read up about hardening off your seedlings before putting them into the ground. You need to introduce them slowly into an outdoor environment for them to have a better chance.
It is exciting isn't it? All of us gardening.

Wandering Coyote said...

I won't be planting anything until after the May long weekend, either. That's typically when people start planting around here because of frost risk.

I'm not sure what I'm going plant yet. My roommate said I can have the strip of garden along the far side of the front lawn, which would be good for deeper things that might not go in planters. I want a few veggies and a few herbs.

Vegan Run Amok said...

Oh, pretty plants!!