We have been in the midst of annuals planting hell. Planting is my least favourite gardening task; I like setting the plants out but not so much putting them in the soil. Perhaps this is because we plant with obsessive attention to detail, putting water and a mix of Zeba Quench and Dr Earth fertilizer in each hole so it’s time consuming and very detailed and I never feel we have enough time. Today we were going up to the Wiegardt Gallery to plant cosmos but considerable rain decided us to go Warrenton and Seaside plant shopping instead. On the Long Beach Peninsula, oldtimers call going to Astoria and the north Oregon coast going “overseas”, from days when there was a ferry instead of the (long, scary) bridge. I’d been planning to go on Thursday because I could not stop wondering what other nurseries had to offer that I did not already have…. Today was better because Thursday will be a big push to get all our public gardens perfect for memorial day weekend.
First we went to Seven Dees in Seaside. Only when we went into a back greenhouse did I find a few things that thrilled me; I knew it would be fairly picked over on a Sunday. I did find the wonderful pink and green leaf variegated Eryngium and another Eryngium called something like “Big Blue”…snagged them of course. (I let my pink and green Eryngium halfway revert to green….) And saw this water feature which spoke to me….Oh, it would look so wonderful next to our bogsy woods. It was marked sold and I did not even ask the price. Right now an old bathtub is pretty much the limit of my water feature budget.
The fairy garden container also pleased me even though I spend my budget on plants rather than little things….
We only filled our small car up maybe halfway with plants. Occasionally I do find something cool at Fred Meyer: last year, some good inexpensive ferns and a whole flat of small Salvia patens. I wondered if perhaps this time we would have room for groceries without juggling plants. I used to often travel home with a flat of plants on my lap till I realized that the air back going off would kill me with the hard plastic flat. How ironic that would be.
On a whim, we went west into Gearhart to check out the former Fitzgeralds, once a good nursery, last year just an outpost of Seven Dees with nothing much exicting. How thrilled I was to find new owners and wonderful new plants, well priced, a lot of them from Xera. I learned that last year “Back Alley Gardens” was a hidden treasure of a shop in Seaside, and now it’s in the old Fitzgeralds building. The Fitzgeralds sign is still there with “Natural Nook” and “Back Alley” gardens signage underneath (washed out in this photo).
I got a few lavenders that were new to me, one irresistibly named ‘Dilly Dilly’. The lovely ‘Raspberry Ruffles’ lavender in the front of the photograph, below, I already have from one of our good Peninsula nurseries, The Basket Case Greenhouse. The best thing at Back Alley for me was a whole selection of new plants that did not duplicate anything I already have…some cool salvias, a couple of gorgeous cold-hardy Jasmines, a pewter-hued small grass, a couple of plants from Xera that were new to me. I didn’t take pictures till I had half cleaned out one table, and bought so much we ended up having to layer plants on top of each other in the car.
It’s great to know there’s a place closer than Cistus and Joy Creek that can fill my lust for the unusual. Our local nurseries are so good to us and will order pretty much anything we want, but I crave the excitement of finding trays of plants that I did not even know existed. And because we are going to be on the garden tour this year, I’ve given myself license to buy, buy, buy.
Inside, the shop had, as Fitzgeralds used to, lots of appealing home and garden decor.
I’m still trying to get back to posting about garden touring 2011….(which by manipulating the publishing date I am putting where it belongs in the timeline) When the annuals are planted and we settle into my favourite activity, garden care, I should have some writing time. Or maybe tomorrow, whose weather promises rain and wind…