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:  Info@northwestperennialalliance.org. 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…


Back to spring in Seattle today, shocking my poor lettuces AGAIN, since they woke up cold and crispy on Saturday morning.   We bought some little lovelies at the Arboretum Early Bloomer sale Saturday, and spent a good chunk of the day weeding (mostly the Geek) and planting here and there.  Still some things left to plant, and at this point in the spring, it can be hard to tell what’s a weed and what might actually be a plant making its return.  Especially when we’re removed and rearranged and added so much in the three years since we bought this place.  Here it is while we were still doing interior work, hadn’t even had the windows replaced yet…

The only thing still standing in this shot is the Japanese maple.  And I am STILL pulling those god foresaken  bluebells out.  I hate them with a white hot heat.

The windows go in!  Added the flower box and some sweet peas under the railing, and decided one day that those shrubberies were getting on my last nerve and had to COME OUT RIGHT NOW.  Damn near killed me trying to get it all out.

Below, we brought the lychnis (the pinks) with us from the Green Lake place, and left the azalea on the far corner.  The rest is gone.  And those freaking yellow flowers whose name I don’t know are still popping up everywhere!

This the same space from two years ago.  The area under the window by the railing was planted with Irish moss, brass buttons and blue star creeper, so we could have a place to sit out front (see me and Miss Z before the tilth sale!)

Then last spring/summer I pulled out that climbing rose and the heathers.  Put in the star of the show, “Ukigumo” maple. Added some echinaccea, hollyhock, poppies, grasses, daisies, nine bark, sunflowers…

Dusty miller, crocosmia…some of which I might have pulled today if I hadn’t had these pictures to remind me of what was where last year!  That liatris was almost a  goner today!  This space is only a sliver of the yard – we’ve also made some pretty big changes to the front border and under the rhodie “tree”, and on the south side of the house.  The north side and the backyard, well, let’s just say those are ongoing.  And going. And going.  At least I have a good spot in the front yard.  Just need one of those standing hammocks now…and a mojito…

fresh booty

Yesterday on my doorstep was a box of treasures, fresh from Annie’s Annuals in California.

It’s been awhile since I ordered plants through the mail, so I was a little scared of what condition they would be in.  Luckily, they were in pretty decent shape.  Several broken leaves, and only one that may need replacing.

Since my camera is on its last legs and won’t be replaced til payday, I thought I’d post the photos from Annie’s site. Of course this isn’t what they look like YET, but hopefully someday soon!

Fragaria vesca ‘Golden Alexandria’


Agrostemma githago ‘Ocean Pearls’


Papaver ‘Pink Heirloom’ “Pink Heirloom Poppy”


Claytonia sibirica “Candyflower”


Delphinium elatum ‘Double Innocence’


Hesperis matronalis ‘White’ “White Sweet Rocket”