Fancy-leaved Begonia starts, for indoor or outdoor use. These types have help me overcome a long-standing prejudice of the genus.Those that have stopped in over the years know that Sutton's is a bit like a maze complete with connecting tunnels, steps, narrow aisles, and forbidden areas. Each area seems to have its own theme, at least to me. There is the herb starts area, the succulent area, small annuals, large annuals, tomatoes, pond plants, and potted arrangements. That's just the inside. Later in the year, the outside seems to magically turn into a plant flea market complete with stalls covered by umbrellas. It is the place to find many bedding annuals in cell packs, perennials (including plug sizes, love these!), and potted trees and shrubs. You can find such Alaska garden stalwarts as Meconopsis (blue poppy), Trollius (globeflower), Rhubarb, and Paeonia. I've had good luck finding more unusual and even brand new varieties of perennials there as well.
Grabbed up one of these plug size Isolepis cernua for my ornamental grasses presentation next weekend. The plug size is very affordable. Fiber optic grass (actually a sedge) is great in containers: you won't regret using it. A bit hard to find here though.
Anna and Patty are the friendly proprietresses for this family-run greenhouse, whose motto is "Turning brown thumbs green for over 45 years." A compelling reason to visit right there. Their brand new website shares the greenhouse history in a nutshell, complete with picture of mom and grandma, the founders. To illustrate the charm of the place, they have an after hours drop box for those that shop the outdoor plants when the greenhouse isn't open. I've used it myself once or twice. Of course, like anything that works on honor, there are the abusers. Not only those that don't pay, but steal the payments of others. Boo, hiss!
So many little plugs, soon to be potted up to four packs or six packs, if you don't purchase them first. This is one of the only greenhouses around to offer the plug size in my experience.
At a visit last season I nearly tripped on a little dog coming in the door. I was lucky enough to be given the tour of his private room. Very posh. Used to be the kids play house, now the dog's palace. There's an analogy in there somewhere. I was told when the greenhouse gets busy, he gets put away so he won't escape out the door and get lost on a busy road. For those that know Anchorage, Tudor Road is about as busy as they get. So you probably aren't going to see any wee doggies on your visit. Too bad, he's quite a mascot. At a previous visit, he followed my daughter around and won her over. She was torn between petting the dog and trying to catch the goldfish in the small indoor raised pond, a difficult decision for any child. We missed him at our March visit but were assured he was still around offering moral support.
Indoor pond complete with funky garden art.
You'll notice all the snow. The only flowers outside in March are on the dumpster.
All that colorful foliage just waiting to gladden a container on your porch...in a couple of months.
For those in the area, Sutton's can be found on East Tudor Road at 2845, between a church and a resource center for the homeless. (There is an analogy in there as well, but I'm not touching it with a ten-foot pole.) All you southcentral gardeners or visitors, head on over to Sutton's to get your green fix. They're open seven days a week, noon to 5pm.
Do you have a favorite nursery you go to for a leafy fix?
If only my houseplants looked this lush.
This tour was for kicks and giggles, not for compensation....