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Although this could very well be a picture of me finding a new treasure at a favorite nursery, it's actually an illustration by David Catrow for a children's book called Plantzilla.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Wednesday Vignette - Blue Sky, New Leaves, and Moss

What is that strange azure color?  Why are moss-encrusted, web-footed denizens of our soggy region emerging from their dwellings squinting, eyes shielded from the foreign fiery sphere in the sky?

High temperatures more typical of summer have come our way this week, that's why.  Fear not dear friends, the rain is scheduled to return on Saturday.

Wednesday Vignette is hosted by Anna at Flutter and Hum.  Click here to join the party!

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Fishing for Art - A Visit to Brian Fisher's Vashon Island Studio

Saturday was (finally) a warm(er) and sunny day, perfect to be on a boat in the water.  In this case, the boat was a Washington State ferry and sailing time to nearby Vashon Island is only fifteen minutes, not nearly long enough to cast a line or net.  Besides, fishing from such a vessel seems to be frowned upon.

Fortunately the reason for our boat ride was not to catch dinner but rather to visit talented artist and friend, Brian Fisher and to enjoy some of his new work.   To see  a 2012 visit to this home and garden click here.  Much has happened in both Brian's garden and studio space since then and we'll see more of  the garden in a later post.  In addition, Quartermaster Press, a printmaking collective, is having a 25 year celebration and retrospective show at their new digs in the Vashon Center for the Arts  (There may have also been a couple of nursery visits involved.)


Speaking of new digs, Brian and Peter have added fabulous new buildings to house Brian's studio..







I'll shut up and let the work speak for itself. 

Sacred Circles are Brian's first foray into digital collage.  Please forgive the reflections.




Okay, here are a couple of older pieces  of which I'm particularly fond  "Of Cabbages and Kings."



"Communion" has lived in my home for several years now. 








One of  four pieces  which will be hanging in the Tacoma Art Museum in June.  



If you're looking for something interesting to do next weekend and aren't attending the garden blogging discussion that Alison and I are hosting at the Bellevue Botanical Garden, drop by Vashon Island's Collector's Conversation!




Brian was kind enough to supply the following images which are far superior to mine.


Satyr Play - Monotype Print

Salix, Monotype Print

The River of Forgetting  - Monotype Print with 24k gold leaf


Majorca, Sacred Circle, Digital Collage


Here's Brian demonstrating Collagraphy:




You may be wondering what our net pulled up on this Fisher outing  Mixed Myth - Watercolor

Want to see more of Brian's work?  Check out his website here and to personally visit his studio along with those of 25 other artists, plan on attending Vashon Island Visual Artists Spring Studio Tour, May 5-6 & 12 -13 10am to 5pm.

Monday, April 23, 2018

In a Vase on Monday - Eggxactly What the Doctor Ordered

It's spring and this weekend was blessedly bereft of precipitation.  The sun even made several appearances and our highs neared sixty.  The coming week will see our first seventy degree highs this year, the perfect antidote to our heretofore  rather soggy spring.

This egg-shaped vase with attached hen and chicks  decided to come out of the cupboard for today's offering.


Because of the weather, I wanted to spend as much time working in the garden as possible so just grabbed a bit of what was abundant and in the way, all rampant spreaders.  Lunaria annua, Kerria japonica 'Pleniflora,' and the dreaded Hyacinthoides hispanica (Spanish Bluebells) that continue to thrive even though they've been dug out several times.  Those that do stay are pulled up, foliage and all as soon as they're done blooming.

Some blown out quail eggs that live in an abandoned nest on a table on the back porch were added along with a rather strange creature created by Jeff Pinto
In a Vase on Monday is hosted by Cathy of Rambling in the Garden.  Click here to check out what others have brought inside from their gardens or scavenged nearby to brighten their week.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Portland Nursery Hopping #1 Marbott's Nursery

Not far from Portland's Expo Center, where Hortlandia took place last weekend, is Marbott's Greenhouse and Nursery, growing plants for homes and gardens since 1930.  Mr. Marbott, better known as Ernie, is 89 years old and still a fixture here.  It was a delight to once again discuss tuberous begonias with Ernie and to hear how excited he is with the beauties he starts from seed in November.  By now they're full grown and starting to bloom.  After all these years, starting seeds and watching plants grow still holds his heart.  Tuberous begonias are exactly what I'd come here to find. 

While I always have surviving tubers from last year starting inside, it's always nice to add one or two already in full bloom.

While 'Nonstop' tuberous begonias are widely available as plants, few greenhouses (I'm only aware of Marbott's and Wells Medina who grow their own plants)  bother with the large. old-fashioned kind.  Perhaps because their stems are fairly brittle and might not be the most sturdy things to transport to stores.  Fortunately, tubers are widely available.  Some of my favorites are those that I ordered from Blackmore and Langdon a few years ago. 

These are not the trendiest plants but the big bright blooms remind me of how beautifully they grew in the Alaska gardens of my youth. 

Another plant that I've only seen at Marbott's is Kalanchoe uniflora 'Coral Bells.'  It's a great, easy-care succulent that flowers over a long period and the dried blooms make a delightful tinkling noise in the breeze.

Another favorite that bloomed most of the summer in Alaska is fragrant stock.  Here it stops blooming  in the heat of summer. There's nothing quite like that scent. 

Shady characters. 



Coffee anyone? 

Spring color!

Heuchera 'Red Lightening' looks good all year long.  



Marbott's grows most of what they sell.  The promise of lots of gorgeous annual blooms.

thes little demonstration gardens are looking sweet. 


More annuals!

For those who enjoy blue flowers, there's nothing quite like a carpet of gentian.

The geranium (Pelargonium) houses are full.  


I usually don't notice the rock garden in the front as it's on a busy street and the parking lot is closer to the retail areas.  However, Ernie called his son over to take me out front to a locked greenhouse to see some special begonia hanging baskets they'd put together.

It would have been rude not to get one or two, right?  After all Mr. Marbott Jr. went out of his way and all.

One last look before moving on to a few more nurseries. 

Happy weekend all!