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Visits with Father Christmas 2018

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23rd Annual Holiday Tea & Visit with Father Christmas

You are invited to attend our 23rd Annual Holiday Tea! 
Saturday, November 24, Hosting a maximum of 36 guests at each of our four tea settings: Noon, 1:15 p.m., 2:30 p.m., and 3:45 p.m.
Please reserve your seats at the Garden Store in advance by calling 360-466-3821
Donations benefit the La Conner Library Foundation

As we approach the holiday season, we gratefully extend our appreciation to our customers by serving a complimentary Holiday Tea. Our 1888 Schoolhouse will be decorated in a delightful candlelit forest theme with custom woodland arrangements on tables covered in white linen. Auto harpist Bob Harper and violinist and cellist Dennis Burkhardt will play lively Celtic, Scandinavian and American music to add to the 19th-century ambiance.

Meet Father Christmas
10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Maximum of 7 students for each hour-long class

Father Christmas will be here greeting children of all ages while listening to their Christmas wishes as they sit together in an antique red clipper sleigh nestled in our warm greenhouse. Bring your cameras to take your own keepsake photos or pose for a complimentary, vintage-inspired photo strip by SaraWelchPhoto.com.

Do It Yourself Wreath-Making
Hourly classes begin at 11 a.m., Noon, 1 p.m., 2 p.m., and 3 p.m.

reservations required
class fee: $8

Bring your family and friends to this seasonal, hands-on class where you will create a fresh evergreen wreath using the Nursery’s wreath-making machines. You will receive instruction and assistance from our expert wreath designers Karen Harper and Laura Campbell. We provide a stunning array of seasonal greens and berries (sold by the pound) or bring your own. The cost of one wreath form is included in the class fee. Wear warm clothing and bring pruners, gardening gloves and a Thermos of hot chocolate.

Can’t make it to class? You can reserve our wreath-making machines beginning November 27 to December 24 and we will be happy to assist you as questions arise. Schedule a date and time by contacting the Garden Store 360-466-3821

Christianson’s Holiday Open House and Art’s Alive! Celebration

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Christianson’s Holiday Open House and

Art’s Alive! Celebration

Kick off your holiday season at our annual Holiday Open House and Art’s Alive! celebration. As twilight settles over the Nursery on Friday evening, twinkle lights, luminaries and lanterns illuminate the walkways from our Garden Store to Primrose, and from our freshly wintered greenhouses to the tropical Conservatory.

Friday Evening, November 2, 5 – 8 p.m.

Saturday, November 3, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Friday Evening, November 2, 5 – 8 p.m.

In keeping with our yearly tradition, this Friday night event marks the start of our Holiday Open House and features light refreshments and appetizers served in our Conservatory. A highlight of the evening is the eagerly-awaited ‘opening of the doors’ of Primrose at 5 p.m. for the holiday unveiling. For those who haven’t yet experienced this event, imagine a Norman Rockwell scene where bundled up shoppers are gathered around a twinkling little shop, some on tiptoes peering in, and then, when the doors swing open at 5 p.m., the party begins!

Friday will also be an evening of art exploration as we host a wonderful array of visual and jewelry artists as part of the Art’s Alive! celebration that occurs throughout the La Conner area.

Saturday, November 3, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.

The Holiday Open House and Art’s Alive! celebration continues Saturday. As always, Primrose will be adorned from floor to ceiling with inspiring seasonal displays and creative ideas for gift giving and entertaining. Our Garden Store and Conservatory will also be dressed up for the holidays and will feature a wonderful selection of seasonal plants, wreaths and trees, garden antiques, gifts for gardeners, and whimsical holiday decorations.

The Conservatory and Greenhouses will also be filed with a thoughtfully curated group of artists who will be showcasing their seasonal best, providing you with a wonderful opportunity to expand your collection of art and winter-themed gifts. Join us for this festive event filled with holiday inspiration, local artists, and abundant good cheer!

Please note: Primrose will be closed all day on Thursday, November 1st and Friday, November 2nd, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. so that we can put the finishing touches on our holiday displays.

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Congratulations to the Winner’s Circle
Skagit Valley Giant Pumpkin Festival


First Place: Gerry & Dani Gadberry (Team Gadberry), Battleground, WA:  #1322.5

Second Place: Jim Sherwood, Mulino, WA:  #1285.5

Third Place: Jack LaRue, Tenino, WA:  #1234

Fourth Place: Jeff Uhlmeyer, Tumwater, WA:  #1173.5

Fifth Place: Dick Kilburn, Anacortes, WA:  #945.5

Sixth Place: Mike Radach, Camano Island, WA:  #885

Seventh Place: Monte Wetzel, Puyallup, WA:  #875

Eighth Place:  Geoff Gould, Mount Vernon, WA:  #748.5

Ninth Place: Joan De Vries, Mount Vernon, WA:  687.50

Tenth Place:  Patrick Obukowicz, Ferndale, WA:  #612



2018 Top 10 Average: #976.9

2017 Top 10 Average: 973.7

Difference: +3.20 Pounds

Skagit Valley Giant Pumpkin Festival 2018 Facts

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The excitement is building in Mount Vernon as the Skagit Valley Giant Pumpkin Festival prepares for the arrival of tractor-sized pumpkins to arrive for the Weigh-off next Saturday, September 22, 2018 from 9 a.m – 4 p.m.
What is a Giant Pumpkin Weigh-off?
It’s all about farming the biggest, beefiest, burliest behemoth for the grand prize of $1500 cash and bragging rights for 2018.  Last year we had a record-breaking entry by Jim Sherwood whose Giant weighed 1,702 pounds-try to beat that!
Growers start lining up at 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and the weighing will begin at 1 p.m.  Winners will be announced at 4 pm!

The Skagit Valley Giant Pumpkin Festival

Voted the Second Most-Improved Weigh-off in the
World for 2017!

The GPC has about 110 sites world wide.  For most improved site we take the average weight of the top ten pumpkins for each site from the previous year (2016).  For Skagit their 2016 average top ten weight was 583.0 pounds and compare it to the present year (2017) average which was 973.7 pounds. Next we run a percentage of improvement which for each site. Skagit had an improvement percentage of 67.02% the second best improvement in average weight in the GPC for 2017.  

Using forklifts and special harnesses, the gargantuan gourds will be carefully placed on a 5-ton capacity, industrial-strength digital scale under the watchful eye of officials from the Pacific Northwest Giant Pumpkin Growers. Skagit Valley’s Giant Pumpkin Festival and Weigh-Off will serve as an officially sanctioned Great Pumpkin Commonwealth (GPC) site.
The top two grandest gourds will be displayed in front of Christianson’s Nursery, Saturday and Sunday, September 22-23,
9 am – 6 pm at 15806 Best Road, Mount Vernon, WA.
Interested in competing?   Download the forms here: http://www.christiansonsnursery.com/whats-happening/2014-giant-pumpkin-participant-info/
The Skagit Valley Giant Pumpkin Festival is proudly and officially sponsored by:
Christianson’s Nursery is an official Giant Pumpkin Commonwealth (GPC) site. The GPC has about 110 sites worldwide. To learn more about the sanctioned record-recording group, click here: http://www.gpc1.org/

Lavender Bunches: $2.00 a bunch or write a poem

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At it peak, we placed bundles of lavender at our cash wrap along with a sing which read:
“Lavender Bunches: $2.00 a bunch OR…Write a poem for any season!”
The following poems resulted. To read all, follow the link here:
Unicorns are the most beautyfall on earth.
Frequent blooms.
In time,
ready for harveting,
bees still linger.
The smell of sunshine on ferns,
The peace that comes from a shady forest grove on a hot summer day.
And the childish joy of tossing rocks in the creek
with someone who makes your heart flutter…
-Ellen Smith
Soft and calm
Collecting stones
A bright, delicious apple
My partner’s arm
Warm coffee
Baby sharing flower petals
dew-covered leaves
walking slow
savoring jasmine, daphne, honeysuckle, and honeybees.
-Jen Gustafson
Have her lavender
steer the deer away
to play at the neighbor’s
it okay.
Cut me a sprig
to tuck behind my wig.
Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
Lavender is gorgeous,
and so are you!
Lavender, you make my heart sing,
You make the rhythm of my heart ring.
Lavender so strong and sweet,
So much like my country.
It makes me weep,
United we stood,
Divided we will fall.
What a tragedy it might be
for one and all.
Speak up!  Speak up!
Before it’s too late.
Perhaps we can still change our fate.

2018 Tri-Valley Rose Society Winners

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Image may contain: 7 people, people smiling, people standing and shoes

Congratulations to the award-winning gardeners who were chosen by a community vote in the Tri-Valley Rose Society display for the best in the following categories:

Best In Show: ‘Fragrant Plum’ by Chris Eubanks

Best Fragrance: ‘Larks Ascending’ by Donna Smith

Best Miniature Rose: ‘You’re the One’, by Larry Sawyer

Best Climber & Rambler Rose: ‘Cloud 10’, by Ellen Smith

Best Old Garden Rose: ‘Linda Campbell’, by Larry Sawyer

Best Hybrid Tea & Grandiflora Rose: ‘Fragrant Plum’, by Chris Eubanks

Best Floribunda Rose: ‘Drop Dead Red’, by Stephanie Banaszak

Best Shrub Rose: ‘Rhapsody in Blue’, by Larry Sawyer

Best David Austin Rose: ‘Lady Emma Hamilton’, by Larry Sawyer

Best Other or Unknown Rose, by Denise Hollister

Thank you to all of the participants, attendees, and volunteers at Christianson’s 15th Annual Rose Festival last Saturday.

Pictured here, the Rose Tri-Valley Society community rose display winners hold their prized stems for a group photo: John Christianson, Ellen Smith, Donna Smith, Cisco Morris, Chris Eubanks, Denise Hollister, and Stephanie Banaszak

#christiansonsnursery #arosydayout #rosefestival #ciscoe #trivalleyrosesociety #prizewinners

Rose Care for Health

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Roses are easy to grow, long-lived, and remarkably tolerant. With  a little extra care and attention the more healthy and disease resistant your roses will be.  
When planting roses, make sure you place them in a sunny spot that gets a minimum of four hours sun and space them about 3-4 feet away from other plants.   
Watering is unarguably the most important aspect of growing any plant.  But how much watering should your rose get?  According to David Austin, breeder of English Roses, water the following amount per rose according to the seasonal schedule below:   
Watering Schedule for Spring:  
Watch out for particularly prolonged dry spells.
Newly planted roses – water every two or three days.
Established roses – water once or twice a week as needed to keep the soil moist around your roses.
Watering schedule for Summer:

Established roses – water as needed to keep the soil moist around your roses.  As your rose starts blooming, take note if your flowers are wilting. This will happen in extreme heat but is a reliable sign that your roses need more water.
Newly planted roses – water every other day.
Shrub roses –   1-3 gallons
Climbing roses – 3-6 gallons
Rambling roses – 3-6 gallons
Standard roses – 3-6 gallons
Roses in pots – 1-3 gallons


Since roses use so much energy during the blooming months of late May to mid August, it is vital to nourish them, especially repeat blooming varieties.  E.B. Stone Organic Rose Food is a great fertilizer that may be used every 2 months starting mid April and after the first bloom cycle has finished to promote stronger repeat flowering.  Do not feed from mid August on.
We recommend mixing up a batch of the following homemade Organic Rose Tonic to ensure thriving roses:  
Other important rose care includes pruning and mulching your roses.  Pruning creates shapely forms and it also encourages new growth.  Mulching helps retain moisture and fosters weed control.    
Visit the Nursery to pick up a copy of our 2018 Rose List and view our rose selection located just south of the Greenhouses.  


Cut Flowers in June

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It is a joy to pick whatever is in bloom and bring inside. June is an exciting month because so much is growing and blooming, and it seems the choices in creating a fresh cut bouquet are only limited by what grows in or around your garden.


Adding more variety to June-blooming flower gardens  takes a bit of research.  A good place to start is to know what plants you already have and continue with or diversifying from the color scheme you have already chosen. 


We have defined basic plant types below to help you understand their flowering habits followed by a list of suggested flowering plants to get the most blossoms to be used throughout the season.  


An annual is a plant that lives for one season. They tend to flower all season long and are inexpensive, bright with color and are less of a commitment.    Gardeners pair them with perennials and biennials as they are sizing up to fill in the gaps with fresh color.


Perennials come back year after year, and have shorter bloom times than annuals.  Often, gardeners will pay more for a well-established plant to get a jump start on a landscape design or replacement.  


Biennials need care over the winter and may be a bit trickier to get established.  Biennial plants grow for two seasons and don’t bloom until the second year.   


Shrubs are small to medium-sized woody plants that are distinguished from trees by their multiple stems above ground and shorter height, and are usually under 10-feet tall. 




Bachelor Buttons (Centaurea cyanus)

Cosmos, (Cosmos bipinnatus)

Larkspur (Delphinium consolida)


Zinnias, (Zinnia violacea)






Bellflower (Campanula)

Centranthus (Centranthus ruber)

(Early) Dahlias


Iris-Japanese and Siberian (Iris ensata and I. siberica)

Lady’s Mantle (Alchemilla)

Lily (Lilium) 

Lupine (Lupinus) 

Peony (Paeonia)

Hollyhocks (Alcea)



Foxglove (Digitalis)

Hesperis (Hesperis matronalis)

Poppy (Papaver somniferum)

Sweet William (Dianthus barbatus)



Roses (Rosa)


Lilac (Syringa)

Mock Orange (Philadelphus)

Snowball (Viburnum opulus ‘Sterile’)





Thanks to our Veterans and their families!

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Natural bridal inspiration

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Natural bridal inspiration in botanical gardens

Washington Bridal Inspiration & Wedding Inspiration

Magnolia Rouge

“We are smitten with the clean fresh feeling of this shoot by HEATHER PAYNE and Erin from FLORET that we featured in Issue 14 of MAGNOLIA ROUGE MAGAZINE. Captured at CHRISTIANSON’S NURSERY in Mount Vernon, Washington, it features the most stunning of floral arrangements by Erin. The simply wedding dress by BADGLEY MISCHKA is perfect for the modern bride with it’s clean lines, and fresh natural make-up is the perfect accompaniment. And as always I’m obsessed with the organic paper goods by the fabulous BROWN LINEN DESIGN.”

View this timeless bridal style shoot on the Magnolia Rouge blog: