Veni, vidi, WeHoP – a glorious garden geek adventure – part 2

We got out of our cars less than a minute after we left Heronswood, stretched our travel weary limbs, and began exploring the offerings of Celestial Dream Gardens.

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Jeff with the cool earring showed us around his domain, answered questions and pointed out the real treasures.

I decided I had to have a Voodoo lily, with the spotty stems and fabulous leaves.

I decided I had to have a Voodoo lily, with the spotty stems and fabulous leaves.

Alison and Laura trying hard to restrain themselves in one of the greenhouses.

Alison and Laura trying hard to restrain themselves in one of the greenhouses.

Laura captured by Pirate.

Laura captured by Pirate.

This nursery sported some of the coolest foliar textures...

This nursery sported some of the coolest foliar textures…

... as well as some groovy old trucks.

… as well as some groovy old trucks.

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Jeff had some really interesting plants...

Jeff had some really interesting carnivorous plants…

... and I couldn't help but wonder if the juxtaposition of them next to the peony was intentional. I loved how well the spent seed heads of the peony go with the reptilean forms of the carnivorous plants. Way cool!

… and I couldn’t help but wonder if the juxtaposition of them next to the peony was intentional. I loved how well the spent seed heads of the peony go with the reptilean forms of the carnivorous plants. Way cool!

Celestial Dreams' resident Griffin saw us on our way as we left for our next appointment - WeHoP.

Celestial Dream’s resident Griffin saw us on our way as we left for our next appointment – WeHoP.

But, alas, we got distracted! A few yards after getting back on the road, we spotted a somewhat amusing sight – a tall, lanky cowboy selling rare plants out of his truck. The sign behind him announced the Kingston Missionary Church, and for a while, I suspected the church was trying to weigh in on the excitement and intense traffic surrounding the Heronswood plant sale. We stopped to investigate.

He couldn't possibly have known that we were a bunch of rapacious garden bloggers, but as we gathered around his truck, the Cowboy kindly offered to show us his garden which was "just down the road". We all looked to our fearless leader. After a call to WeHoP informing them we would be a little late, we agreed to stay. I'm so glad we did! Our Cowboy turned out to be Shayne Chandler - another notable plantsman and garden designer extraordinaire. Being guided around his garden by him, for me was the highlight of  our trip. (Which incidentally was a trip with a very large number of highlights.)

He couldn’t possibly have known that we were a bunch of potentially rapacious garden bloggers, but as we gathered around his truck, the Cowboy kindly offered to show us his garden which was “just down the road”. We all looked to our fearless leader. After a call to WeHoP informing them we would be a little late, we agreed to stay. I’m so glad we did! Our Cowboy turned out to be Shayne Chandler – another notable plantsman and garden designer extraordinaire. Being guided around his garden by him, for me was the highlight of our trip. (Which incidentally was a trip with a very large number of highlights.)

It turned out to be an absolutely enchanted place, and many plants were accompanied by a travel story. We were all spellbound, and thanking our lucky stars for having been so fortunate.

It turned out to be an absolutely enchanted place, and many plants were accompanied by a travel story. We were all spellbound, and thanking our lucky stars for having been so fortunate.

Amazing bark texture. Just wish I remembered what kind of tree it belonged to.

Amazing bark texture. Just wish I remembered what kind of tree it belonged to. Peter – help me out here… (I saw you photographing it too…)

Fabulous colors and textures in a cool, green, understory setting.

Fabulous colors and textures in a cool, green, understory setting.

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We probably could have lingered quite a bit longer in that amazing setting – it truly was a treat and there was so much to discover. But it was time to go. Sally and Tonya at WeHoP were waiting.

A short while later, we were there. Sadly,  being so late in the season, we discovered most of the greenhouses were nearly empty. But Sally and Tonya had plenty to show us. But first lunch!

A short while later, we were there. Sadly, being so late in the season, we discovered most of the greenhouses were nearly empty. But Sally and Tonya had plenty to show us. But first lunch!

Imagine our surprise! On two long mahogany planks, they had set up a fabulous smorgasbord of cheeses, bread and crackers, veggies from their gardens and all kinds of yummies. We were not expecting this at all, and truly felt like royalty!

Imagine our surprise! On two long mahogany planks, they had set up a fabulous smorgasbord of cheeses, bread and crackers, veggies from their gardens and all kinds of yummies. We were not expecting this at all, and truly felt like royalty!

I thought the paths of insects going through the mahogany was beautiful.

I thought the paths of insects going through the mahogany was beautiful.

After lunch, we wandered through their display garden where potted arrangements of an astounding variety were displayed. During the summers, the City of Poulsbo and Tacoma commissions them to place pots around the city to beautify the urban experience. The concept is only in its second year, but is a huge hit, as you can imagine. Who doesn't like pretty?

After lunch, we wandered through their display garden where potted arrangements of an astounding variety were displayed. During the summers, the City of Poulsbo and Tacoma commissions them to place pots around the city to beautify the urban experience. The concept is only in its second year, but is a huge hit, as you can imagine. Who doesn’t like pretty?

An example of a potted arrangement.

An example of a potted arrangement.

And another...

And another…

Loree petting a lonesome Grevillea in the greenhouse.

Loree petting a lonesome Grevillea in the greenhouse.

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After we said our goodbyes, we headed for Far Reaches Farm, which is where I completely lost all self control.

It was a bit of a drive, but abundant beautiful scenery to lose yourself in.

It was a bit of a drive, but abundant beautiful scenery to lose yourself in.

The Pirate was kind enough to drive the entire day. I spent the trip either admiring the views, or gawking at the incredible plants that had joined us along the way.

The Pirate was kind enough to drive the entire day. I spent the trip either admiring the views, or gawking at the incredible plants that had joined us along the way.

Finally we were there!

Finally we were there!

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I marveled at the incredible breadth and variety within the Salvia species. Here is a Rosebud salvia.

I marveled at the incredible breadth and variety within the Salvia species. Here is a Rosebud salvia.

Here is the stately Salvia Tupa...

Here is the stately Lobelia Tupa…

... which incidentally looks fantastic in the company of Melianthus.

… which incidentally looks fantastic in the company of Melianthus.

They also sported a fab selection of Crocosmias - a fact I happily stored away for later.

They also sported a fab selection of Crocosmias – a fact I happily stored away for later.

Arms and cars full of plants, we left as they were closing, and headed for our last stop on our radiant day of horticultural revelry – Desert Northwest – as you probably guessed, a nursery focusing on drought tolerant desert plants.

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We were shown around by Ian and his son Nigel. Not only did they stay open late for us - they had cold drinks and other refreshments waiting for us when we came. For the second time that day, we felt like royalty.

We were shown around by Ian and his son Nigel. Not only did they stay open late for us – they had cold drinks and other refreshments waiting for us when we came. For the second time that day, we felt like royalty.

I learned from Loree that this is not an ailing plant. Its droopy leaves are that way to protect the plant from critters that eat it. Once it grows tall enough to be out of reach, it changes character completely. Fascinating, and kind of humbling too. Plants too have a conscience.

I learned from Loree that this is not an ailing plant. Its droopy leaves are that way to protect the plant from critters that eat it. Once it grows tall enough to be out of reach, it changes character completely. Fascinating, and kind of humbling too. Plants too have a conscience.

Desert plants have a fantastic array of forms and attributes.

Desert plants have a fantastic array of forms and attributes.

I fell helplessly in love with the Banksias.

I fell helplessly in love with the Banksias.

We finally said goodbye, and as the sun was setting, we headed to Snug Harbor Cafe on Ian's recommendation. By now, we had a crazy number of plants in the car.

We finally said goodbye, and as the sun was setting, we headed to Snug Harbor Cafe on Ian’s recommendation. By now, we had a crazy number of plants in the car.

Snug Harbor Cafe is a cozy little place that provided a great ending to a wonderful day.

Snug Harbor Cafe is a cozy little place that provided a great ending to a wonderful day.

Part 3 of the WeHoP romp will be devoted to fabulous flower and foliage combinations we encountered on our trip. Stand by…

About annamadeit

Born and raised in Sweden, my aesthetics and outlook on life are strongly shaped by a culture rich in history and tradition. I care a great deal about environmental responsibility, and my aesthetic reflects the visually clean, functional practicality and sustainable solutions that are the hallmarks of modern Scandinavia. I was trained as an architect at the University of Cincinnati and as a color specialist at the Scandinavian Colour Institute in Stockholm. I'm obsessed with plants and gardens, and aim to take my skill set a step further by designing gardens as well as interiors. As someone so aptly said: " Architecture is the skin that separates the exterior from the interior". So true - you can't successfully focus on one without incorporating the other. I'm also an avid cook, and I love to ski. In addition, I put time and efforts into trying to rectify things that I feel are wrong in my immediate community. As you will see, The Creative Flux will touch on all these things, and more. For sure, it's all over the map, but then again - so am I! Welcome to my blog!
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22 Responses to Veni, vidi, WeHoP – a glorious garden geek adventure – part 2

  1. It’s hardly attractive, but I’m jealous, jealous, jealous! What a wonderful day you had. You are definitely Garden Bloggers Fling attendee material, Anna!

    • annamadeit says:

      You should know we all missed you, and kept saying “Jane would love this”. I can’t wait to attend my first Fling, even though I barely know what it is – except what I’ve learned from all the posts about the SF one. 🙂

  2. Alison says:

    What a treat to find Part II following so closely on the heels of Part I. I hope you go to the Fling, because if you enjoyed the nursery romp, you’ll definitely love the Fling. A little less nursery, a little more garden touring, but just as exhausting, and even more garden bloggers to converse with and get to know. I hated to think about the trip back so late in the dark for you Portland folks. It must have been after midnight when you got back home.

    You got a great shot of that wormy wood. I think that bark was from a Mahonia.

    • annamadeit says:

      Thanks! There will be a Part 3 posted tonight, with just nice plants, colors and textures that I couldn’t possibly have fit in to the other two. They are long enough as it is, and would have been marathon posts had I tried. We did a lot that day, didn’t we? It was one in the morning before I got home, but we took turns driving, so it wasn’t too bad.

      Yes! It was a Mahonia! I remember now… I knew it was something common – just couldn’t think of what. Thanks for the memory jog!

    • annamadeit says:

      I really hope to attend the Fling. I have been smitten…

  3. Laura says:

    Shayne’s garden was my favorite part of the trip too. Probably because it was such a lovely surprise. I’ve never seen a Mahonia that big before. I’m looking forward to future adventures with you! Thanks for letting us carpool in your car. 🙂

    • annamadeit says:

      No, thank YOU for the great company and the hotel room! Wouldn’t have done it without you! The Pirate was an absolute trooper, driving the whole day. Did you find room for everything you bought?
      For the record, you should know that your blueberry-basil scones were a big hit with the boys! 🙂

      • Laura says:

        I haven’t even tried to start placing my new treasures, yet. Tee-hee! And I’m glad that your boys liked the scones.

      • annamadeit says:

        Guess what? Mine are ALL in the ground!!! But don’t be impressed. True to form, they are all in temporary limbo. But at least they are no longer confined to those little overheating plastic pots. But, some of them were so pot bound, it took me ages to unravel their cramped little roots. 😦 I hope they are all happily stretching their toes by now.

  4. Ricki Grady says:

    I’m with Jane in the unattractive envy category…but please, don’t stop! And good for you, being willing to jump off the itinerary when opportunity knocks.

    • annamadeit says:

      Yeah, I still don’t know what it was about us that made him offer to show us his garden. We were all puzzled, but endlessly enchanted and grateful as our kind, humble, and endlessly talented guide walked us through his self-made paradise. Now that the connection has been made, perhaps he would agree to do it again? Fingers crossed…

      • Shayne Chandler says:

        Hey guys–you just seemed really interested in plants (and you knew your plants). I’m always happy to show my garden to fellow plant geeks. I’m glad you enjoyed it, it was a fun tour. Anytime you want to come by, let me know. I have some other gardens in the area you might be interested in seeing!

      • annamadeit says:

        Yeah, it was truly a treat! Don’t be surprised if you get a lot of calls from people – we’ve been telling all our gardening geek friends about it. And I know Tonya at WeHoP was really intrigued. As for future visits and other possible garden viewings – YES PLEASE! 🙂

  5. linda says:

    I was so close to going, but I had booked the HPSO talk, which I enjoyed! Next time….

  6. Peter/Outlaw says:

    Alison’s right, that was mahonia bark. It was incredibly kind of Shayne to invite us to tour his garden.

    • annamadeit says:

      Yeah, I still don’t know what compelled him to do it, but I won’t argue with fortune! What a treat! Do you remember the name of that tassely (new word) conifer that was sitting against his garage door? There is a photo of it in post #3, if you need a refresher. Also, Loree and I are wondering about a shrub with fabulous serrated leaves in that post too – do you know what it is? It is so cool…

  7. Shayne Chandler says:

    The corky bark is the trunk of a large Mahonia ‘Hope’ and the drapey conifer is Dacrydium cupressinum. I take the Dacrin in the winter. There is a large one in the Strybing Arboretum.

    • annamadeit says:

      Thanks! That bark is incredibly cool! And the Dacrydium looks so pettable. Would love to see a big one some day… Okay one more – what is the one that I thought reminded me of a bridal veil? I hope you don’t mind all my questions…

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