Spree In Seattle

Yesterday we received an inch of snow that’s still hanging around. For about a week now, a pair of mallards has been visiting the pond, rain or shine, snow or ice. Duck visits are one of the signs of spring I get excited about.IMG_0916

It’s the time of year when gardeners all over the world dream big, colorful, fragrant dreams and then shop for promising seeds, enticing plants, unbeatable tools, and more. I own my share of big, colorful, fragrant dreams, so made sure to do my share of shopping at the Northwest Flower & Garden Show last week in Seattle.

In this era of online shopping, I know it’s possible to buy just about everything with the click of a button, but it’s a really great thing to discuss ideas with knowledgeable tradespeople, getting valuable input from individuals in the green business, and to support them at the local level. I was at the garden show to enjoy friends, view the amazing displays, and attend educational seminars, but I managed to stop and shop at a few sales booths on my way to the other events.  🙂

My favorite purchases:

Astrantia! Or, sadly, also know as Masterwort. I’ve been wanting to add these shade-tolerant, moisture-loving, star-shaped perennial blooms to my garden since I saw them featured in last year’s area garden tours. These are so popular and almost common in the UK, but not here in the US. I purchased five bareroot plants.IMG_0921

I use a beautiful set of Felco shears from one sister for the hard pruning, but these lightweight shears/secateurs are unbeatable for the price. I bought this exact type four years ago at a lavender festival and still use them almost daily, sharpening them regularly. This second pair will allow me to always keep one pair down in the shed for the lower gardens and one pair in the garage for the upper gardens. What a splurge.IMG_0920

My first tree peony. This photo shows flowers I hope Paeonia suffructicosa ‘Kinkaku’ will bear in the coming years. (Photo from a blogger near London —  http://experiments-with-plants.blogspot.com/2013/06/tree-paeony-20-jun-2013.html)  More on that fun purchase another time.01pb_SAM_7572

Like all gardeners, I’m a sucker for a great pair of gloves. I tried on many and selected these beauties. They are wonderfully soft and fit, well, like a glove.IMG_0919

Other items that wound up with me on the return-trip ferry include onion sets and a dahlia tuber. Predictable.

But that’s not all. When I returned home I decided to check out our local general store, Swain’s, to see what the garden area buyers had added for spring. That went well for me. I picked up a few gifts and a few new dahlias. I’m still trying to keep my total varieties the same number as my age — a challenge for the dahlia lover I am.


12 thoughts on “Spree In Seattle

  1. Those gloves are gorgeous! My fancy ones just bit the dust last week (fingers wore out, ugh) so I look forward to hearing how durable the fingertips are in the ones you got – I swear I get new gloves every year no matter what they’re made from!


    • I’ll be sure to let you know how they hold up. They are marked as “rose gloves” but I’m already finding them super flexible for all kinds of pruning — and the gathering that follows pruning… 😉


  2. I’ve had my felcos for 20 years, I love those gloves. Oh dahlias- I made up my order last week and I haven’t sent it off yet as I have to try to justify the extravagance to myself. Mind you, I still have a way to go to catch up with my age, you must be either very young, or really, really love dahlias.


    • I really, really love dahlias. Hahahaha. Justify that extravagance! Also,my gifted felcos with the rotating handle are awesome, and I hope they last me 20 years since dahlias are tremendously affordable by comparison.


  3. Oh my gosh, I’m doing some mental calculations on how many dahlias you showed last fall and I swear you must be over 100! I can only imagine the show when you hit 125 🙂
    The astrantia should be great. I’ve killed mine through lack of watering, and I never actually had a plant over an inch tall. I can’t wait to see yours take off.


    • You’re funny, Frank. Well, I do have close to 150 dahlia TUBERS, but the number of my named varieties of dahlias can and will equal my age each year while I’m able to plant and dig! That’s 57 soon. I also have 6 or 7 unnamed, unidentifiable varieties we inherited with the house. I don’t include them in the count — allows for more fun collecting. Then there are those varieties that don’t make it due to voles or rot, so this year I’m able to add a few new varieties… and I’m having such fun selecting them.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi March,
    I love to read your blogs. Lovely pictures and a beautiful place. We will visit Seattle and Vancouver in May, please tell us what we don’t have to miss. As we love beautiful scenery we think this is the places to go for.
    Love Anne Irestaal


    • Anne! It’s great to hear from you. Your grandchildren are absolutely adorable, especially that new baby girl! You will have a great time in Seattle and Vancouver, and I’ll work on a list of places we especially enjoy in both cities. We are 2.5 hours away by car and ferry, and would love to see you! If you have time in your schedule, come stay here with us! I will work on an email with more info. Your email address will work wherever you are — in Sweden or Portugal — the beauty of email. xox


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