What a gorgeous Indian Summer we've been having here in the Northwest. The days have been clear and blue, the mornings and evenings especially golden and pinkish, and the nights crisp and cool. I'm not usually thinking about the garden this time of year, since pretty much the only thing that's happening is the last of the tomatoes and squash are ripening while the rest of the beds sit sort of neglected and dry, waiting patiently for someone to finally clean up spent blooms and do some pre-winter mulching.
I may not typically be thinking gardening in October, but for the past year my sister has been telling me about this amazing nursery over on the Kitsap Peninsula, and we've been saying we'll go. It's closed during the winter and this month is our last chance for the year, so we finally scheduled a day and I hopped on a ferry to meet her there.
It couldn't have been a bluer morning out on Puget Sound.
As I pulled into the long driveway toward Dragonfly Farms Nursery for the first time, I knew it was going to be cool. I parked my car under a fish in a tree
and started to soak in this late-season wonderfulness.
We wandered through the extensive paths and gardens before heading up to the retail area.
The beds at Dragonfly Farms are full of giant rusty machine parts turned garden sculptures; I can't get enough of that stuff. I just love it.
And this one surprised me by being the coolest birdhouse ever.
There were a few of these great benches built into raised beds.
Note to self, find some gargantuan pipe sections and a giant slab of slate and make a bench out of it. Yeah, I'll get right on that...
More fun surprises that pop up this time of year: cute little baby perennials and spreading pansies that just show up at the edges or even right in the middle in the garden path
and bottle borders.
I love bottle anything. It's a hereditary thing for glass, my relatives and I can't help it - we just came this way.
I also love spheres in the garden.
Gazing balls, armillary sundials, giant sculptures, floats, old bowling balls, anything round just makes me happy when it's nestled into the landscape. And there are plenty here.
the mother of all garden spheres
and then that sphere's mother.
Yes, the mother of the mother of all garden spheres. Really. There are quite a few amazing sculptures by this local artist scattered throughout the grounds.
And if rusty metal isn't your thing, there's always mirror glass.
I am also a big fan of Seussian trees. You know, ones that remind me of beloved characters from my childhood.
But I'm not sure I've ever seen a tree that reminded me so much of Snuffleupagus.
I sort of want one as a pet.
But this one lives here with his whole family, so I wouldn't want to break that up.
Just look at the shape of this planter. I am afraid to build stuff because I think it will turn out this shape, but now that I see this, that wouldn't be so bad. And see the broken pot behind it? Placed as though that tree just busted out of it overnight.
There are hidden treasures everywhere,
many of them were once useful objects...
An adorable old gingerbread-covered house peeked through the shrubs and trees telling us that we might have stumbled onto the owners' private space, so we headed back out through another path that meandered through more gardens and eventually brought us back to the nursery
filled with locally-sourced goodies
gorgeous fall color
and friendly and helpful planting advice.
I can't wait to go back in the spring and summer and enjoy a completely different kind of show of colors and textures.
After we had our fill of gardeny goodness, we enjoyed a delicious lunch outside on a deck overlooking the waterfront with a couple new friends who didn't seem to understand why we were both talking to them so nicely but not offering them food (it was way too good to share).
With my belly full of yummy food, my car full of new plants,
and that warm nice feeling from spending a great day with someone I love
I headed home again across the amazingly blue Puget Sound.
What a great day!
If you are here in Western Washington and are into gardening, I suggest you head over to Dragonfly Farms Nursery between Kingston and Hansville and wander, discover, and stock up on great plants and unique garden art - you won't be sorry you did! The owner is super nice and has cute dogs, it's a woman-owned small business supporting other local small businesses, and one of the neatest places around.