When we bought our house 4 years ago, there was a funny little section right in front of the living room window. It looked like this:

April 2007

It seemed like a real waste of space.  I always pictured it being a nice place to sit since it faces west and gets some good sun.  It has been a work in progress.  I pulled out those junipers pretty early on,  added a flower box to the wooden railing, and planted some brass buttons, irish moss and blue star creeper to fill in so that one day, it could be a nice little patio area.  And those $&!$ bluebells – I think I have FINALLY pulled most of those.  This is what it looked like this morning.

April 2011

I almost bought a little wicker patio set off Craigslist, but then saw some cushions at Home Depot that could work on our existing chairs. So I got with the program, bought some new plants to replace the tulips and daffodils in those boxes AND WENT TO TOWN.  Keeping it real, there was this.


And THEN there was THIS.

ta dah!

In the railing flower box, there are some herbs.


Behind the chairs are a mix of things, but I especially love the pink of the geraniums.


And here we are enjoying the fruits of our labor with a little Mexican coke and the last of Mike’s brown liquor.  Finally.

not too shabby

Looking forward to weekend morning coffee and evening cocktails in our new cozy little spot.

spring is in the air (when it’s not snowing)

I know I’m not the only one out there jonesing to get out in the garden, despite tonight’s forecast for some white stuff.  To tide you over, here is a small listing of my favorite spring plant sales…

Early Bloomers Plant Sale (2011)

Arboretum, Saturday, April 9, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
At Plant Donations and the Pat Calvert Greenhouse

“Long one of the Northwest’s best-kept gardening secrets, Early Bloomers has become an area favorite. Featuring plants that bloom early in Northwest gardens and many others, the sale offers a great start on spring planting with hundreds of favorite and unusual plants. Perennials, shrubs, small trees, herbs and much more, with many surprises!”

We went to this last year and got lots of great stuff.  It is mostly donated by members, and plants tend to be small, but definitely worth checking out.  Word to the wise, parking is a PAIN – very small lot.  We ended up parking in another lot and trekking back to the sale.

FlorAbundance Spring Plant Sale (2011)

Saturday, April 30, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Sunday, May 1, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Member Pre-Sale & Party

Friday, April 29, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Warren G. Magnuson Park, Building 30

“This magnificent sale, the largest in the Puget Sound region, features a glorious variety of plants from dozens of the region’s specialty nurseries. Species and hybrid rhododendrons, unusual annuals, favorite and rare perennials, trees, shrubs, beautiful conifers, groundcovers, vegetable starts, grasses, vines and even more. “If you love gardening, the Arboretum Foundation’s spring plant sale feels like horticultural heaven,” says garden writer Ann Lovejoy.

The Arboretum’s big fundraising sale – lots of vendors and plants!  Bring a wagon!  I got a currant last year, among other things.

NW Horticultural Society 4th Annual Spring Ephemerals…and More! Plant Sale

When:  Sat, March 12, 9am – 5pm
Where:  3501 NE 41st, Seattle, WA 98105 (map)
“A larger venue will allow us to increase the number of vendors & widen the range of plants available. World renowned horticulturalist Dan Hinkley will be speaking. In addition, there will be horticultural displays featuring many great plants (with an emphasis on hellebores) & a raffle for some special plants. All proceeds benefit the Miller Horticultural Library, which will be open, featuring books related to the season & topics we’ll explore, & to answer gardening questions. Held at NHS Hall, Center for Urban Horticulture.”

I have not been to this sale, but it sounds interesting and worth checking out.

Northwest Perennial Alliance Spring Plant Sale

When:  Sun, April 17, 10am – 3pm
Where:  9600 College Way N, Seattle, WA 98103 (map)
Description: Large selection of choice plants from specialty nurseries, members’ gardens & the NPA Borders. Discover new plant introductions as well as established favorites. Sale held indoors at North Seattle Community College cafeteria. Free parking in the visitor parking lots off College Way N, between 95th & 97th, along the west side of campus.

I made the family go to this one last year – one of my favorites!  Lots of vendors and unusual things!


AND The Big Daddy –

Master Gardener Sale

Mother’s Day Weekend, May 7th and 8th

Center for Urban Horticulture

The Lovely Miss Z and I went to this one last year – we splurged and bought the pre-sale tickets where they give you wine and food!  Definitely my favorite sale of the year! Got all my tomatoes here!  And probably some other things I didn’t need…damn wine.

I tried to post the info for Seattle Tilth’s sales but it doesn’t appear to be posted yet.

And though Swanson’s is a for-profit nursery, they do have a big sale where you can get some sweet bare root plants for 40% off!

Thurs., February 10, – Sun., March 13
Early Spring Sale – 40% Off all Bare root Roses, Fruit Trees & Shrubs

The Early Spring Sale starts Thursday, Feb. 10th, and runs through March 13th. Save 25% off on all Perennials, Herbs, Groundcovers, Potted Trees & Shrubs. Save 40% on all Bare root items including: Roses, Small Fruits & Berries, Fruit & Flowering Trees, and Shrubs. The best selection, and the best time to plant fruits and berries is now! We have a huge selection of blueberries, cane berries, fruit trees, and strawberries – All on sale at 40% off.

See last year’s score below!
Now if this supposed snow would hurry up and get on with it, I could start taking inventory and rearranging so I could squeeze in MORE green goodies! Of course, there is an entire backyard to deal with…