Thursday, August 29, 2013

Frolicing at Fancy Fronds Nursery

Each year for the last 13 or so, Judith Jones, owner of Fancy Fronds Nursery, hosts the Fronderosa Frolic.What is a Fronderosa Frolic?

"Fronderosa Frolic is a celebration of plants and summer that has become the horticultural equivalent of Woodstock".

- (Val Easton, Seattle Times, 4/8/04)

"A festival of rare plants, garden art, artifacts, scintillating botanical conversations with some of the Northwests premier specialty growers and garden artists. Specialty nurseries are rapidly disappearing due to the aggressive marketing done by the large wholesale growers. Many of the new plants introduced by these commercial growers are first discovered or grown by keen growers operating small specialty nurseries. Please support them if you are interested in a diverse range of plants that have been correctly identified and tested to thrive in your gardens."Judith Jones

There is a raffle every hour of donations from our vendors to benefit the Equine Stewardship Center, NWESC. This non profit horse rescue and rehabilitation center also offers classes in equine care. Fancy Fronds has been using horse manure for garden beds and as a potting additive for over thirty years. Bring a bucket or bag and you can take away some of this "horsey goodness"!

You may remember my posts about last years Frolic.If not, you can see them , , , and .

For me, this is the last hurrah of summer.Sure there are a couple more sales in the fall but this one holds a special place in my heart because it happens while I can still believe that summer and thinking mostly of gardening can last forever.Just a couple of weeks before the major tasks of planning for the academic/choral year and the business of working six days a week has me stealing a few moments in the garden again, this event celebrates the carefree joy ofthe season.

One of Far Reaches Farm's tables filled with treasure.The climbing aconitum on the far right is one of the several beauties that hitched a ride home with me.

Salvia dombeyi is another.Here's description of the plant: "Salvia of the Gods. A small padded kneeling bench is handy to have in front of this plant to make it easier for garden visitors as they spontaneously fall to their knees. We forgive its need to be grown frost-free because the flowers rule. Immense red pendulous flowers from the huge calyces."

Among the vendors were many long time participantsand some newer ones as well.

Pennisetum alopecuroides 'Japonicum' showing offsoft seed heads.Growing 4 -5 feet, and hardy to zone 6, this is one gorgeous grass!

How cool to see Celestial Dream Gardens at the sale!Such nice people (plant folks tend to be that way!) and cool plants!

Some of Celestial Dream Gardens' offerings.Looks dangerous!

Another thing that makes this event special is the bucolic setting.We don't see scenes like this at many plant sales.Chimacum Woods nursery from Port Ludlow was lucky enough to use this as the backdrop for their fabulous selection of unusual rhododendrons.

While unusual plants are the main focus of the event, there is also quite a bit of beautiful garden art and furnitureavailable as well.

Couldn't stop looking at this simple but effective succulent combination.

Another plant area.While this is a big sale, the vendors are spread out through the large property so, even though there are a lot of folks in attendance,it doesn't seem horribly crowded.

The Desert Northwest tables contained an array of delights including this one which almost came home with me.

Look at those seductive blooms.Can you imagine a tree covered with these in August?Glorious.

And the foliage is evergreen, who could ask for anything more?

Ian brought with him Leucadendrons 'Safari Sunset' and 'Jester' (pictured) among other wonders including a couple of Grevillea x gaudichaudii that he brought just for Loree and me.Hooray!

The Frolic is the brainchild of and is hosted by Judith Jones, an international expert on ferns, co founder of the Northwest Perennial Alliance, and participant in the Northwest Flower and Garden Show since its inception.Here she is doing what she does best, sharing her expertise with others.I came across a nice article about her titled, "Fern Star Judith Jones can take you way beyond swords and maidenhair."Very clever!To read more about the self proclaimed Fern Madame, check out the article .

How nice to see that mine is not the only garden with plants in pots waiting to be planted.My garden is much smaller and the job easier though so I have no excuse.

Oh my goodness, look what's just escaped from his cage!Judith's garden is full of whimsy!

Hosta la vista baby!This monster snail could eat every hosta in the state!We were warned about storing that nuclear wasteat Hanford!

A few pots out by the garage.

An oft photographed part of the garden.

And a cute detail or two.

Still love this gazebo!

Behind the house and back garden we walk down to the river.

Something's been here before.Hmmm, wonder what it was?

Vendors camp out by the river, some in tents, others in more comfortable digs.

Tell me I'm not the only one who thought of Matt Foley, motivational speaker when I saw these vans down by the river.

Such a beautiful site, it might not be such a bad thing!

You are welcome to bring a lunch and picnic anywhere on the grounds and this area would be a lovely spot for such a thing.There's also a trampoline so you can work off those calories.Didn't notice the zip line across the river this year.I wonder if it's been taken down or if I just didn't see it.

Now these are some Fancy Fronds!

You never know what you'll come across in this garden but no one would be surprised if the giant whose chair this is popped out of the forest.

More of those fancy fronds!

Awww, I didn't know that Big Bird had passed away.

Fun fused glass pieces.

Wonderful blown glass by Barbara Sanderson of Glass Gardens Northwest.These "fiddleheads" are some of my favorite things that Barbara creates.Next year I'm going to get a few!

To see more of Barbara's work, go . Another of my favorite things about attending the frolic is all of the cool places along the way.We always stop at this nursery/fruit stand to get delicious seasonal fruit.I'm a big fan of peaches and since the frolic takes place during peach season, it's easy to decide what's for lunch.I picked up a whole box of them as they are so inexpensive now and they freeze well. They also have more than just run of the mill plants like this beautifully-shaped pelargonium. And always quite a variety of sizes of brugmansias. Fancy Fronds nursery in Gold Bar isn't far from Flower World and Molbaks, and just a hop skip and a jump from Wells Medina Nursery so there are a lot of great plant adventures to be had if you're contemplating attending the event next year.Hope to see you there!
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