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Winter Wonders - Flower's

  • Written by Molbak's

We are so fortunate to live in the Pacific Northwest, where gardening is a four-season activity. With a little perseverance and the right equipment (waterproof work gloves and warm boots – Bogs are a great choice), one need not wait until the arrival of spring to nurture and enjoy the beauty of our gardenscape.

And, because of our milder climate, there is an amazing collection of winter and early spring-blooming shrubs and perennials that reward us with fragrance and flowers, even when winter is at its height.

One of the most versatile and easy-to-grow cold weather bloomers guaranteed to light up your beds and containers are Hellebores. Also called Lenten or Christmas Roses, these charming, mostly evergreen perennials are beloved by "collectors" because there are so many colorful varieties to choose from. Sporting single, double, or water lily-shaped blossoms some striped, speckled or edged, in shades from the deepest burgundy-black to green and ivory backed with rose, many have contrasting stems and leaves that add to their eye-catching display. And you can take your pick from array of bloom-times from early winter through spring. With just a modest collection you can have flowers all winter long.

Hardy cyclamens are also a bed and container favorite. Their pink, red or white comet-like flowers and leaves with contrasting veins, create texture and color when other bloomers are dormant. Combined with small conifers in containers, or accenting a border, they add radiance to frosty gardens.

When you are looking to make more of a statement, there are countless evergreen shrubs that flower and add fragrance to fight the winter blues. Evergreen Camellias colorize any spot with their long-lasting blossoms and deep glossy green leaves. Available in an endless number of flower styles, colors and bloom times, these easy-care classics are tireless garden performers. Or try a native evergreen Oregon Grape with its clouds of scented yellow blossoms that transform into metallic blue berries in the fall, or spicy Sweet Box that infuse frosty borders with drifts of fragrant, white winter flowers.

For a more sculptural look, deciduous shrubs that blossom on bare branches create a sense of drama. Silhouetted against cloudy winter skies, fragrant Witch Hazels burst with red, orange or yellow blossoms that look like sizzling fireworks. Rare Asian Paperbushes cheer up even the darkest days with their brilliant yellow pom-poms of scented flowers dangling from cinnamon colored branches.

And "Dawn" Viburnums add a blush of blossoms that perfume the air; just snip a branch and set in water to scent your indoors. When planting, remember that some of these shrubs need a little protection from colder temperatures, so try to locate them in a sheltered spot if needed. One option is planting them near a doorway, where you can always be sure to take in their delightful fragrance and blossoms.

So – chase away winter’s gloom with vibrant blooms! Come to Molbak’s for our assortment of fragrant and flower-filled perennials and shrubs and cold-weather gardening gear that will keep you warm and toasty, when the temperatures are cold and frosty.

Kick your holiday decorating up a notch

  • Written by Molbak's

Submitted by Molbak’s

The holidays – a joyful celebration of hearth and home – and what better time to express your creativity. Whether your décor is traditional or modern, sprinkled with glitter or more rustic, festive plants that celebrate the season are a carefree way to bring excitement to your Yuletide display.

This year, dial up the holiday "WOW" factor with some new poinsettia varieties and ideas featuring traditional blooming houseplants and topiaries that can showcase your own special style.

THE CLASSICS

Brilliant color and long lasting "flowers" make easy-care poinsettias cool Yule bloomers.  A decorating go-to in red, pink and white, these merry must-haves come in dazzling color combinations with contrasting stripes and sparkles. Try "Christmas Feelings Marble," a frothy confection of cream touched with pink, or "Tapestry Red," a vibrant crimson with green and gold leaves.

Assemble a variety of plant sizes and shades, to create a multi-tiered explosion of color, or fill a large, shallow ceramic dish with tiny, pint-sized pink poinsettias for a simple, elegant centerpiece. Molbak’s features the hottest new varieties in eye-catching shapes and shades, even a bold orange-red that will light up your Thanksgiving table. 

Showering the season with bursts of star-power, Christmas cactus and cyclamen are at their holiday best. Vibrant color-soaked blooms in tones of red, pink and white are perfection alone placed in a birch bark cachepot, tied with ribbon.  Place a trio of snowy white cyclamen in silver or slate grey planters, accented with glittering branches to create a frosty focal point. 

Take your decorating to new heights with paperwhites and amaryllis. Flaunting generous single, double and exotic bird-like blossoms, amaryllis now delights in colors that complement any décor. Create a stunning amaryllis centerpiece of three pots, rising from a bed of cedar garland and pinecones. Or give your fragrant paperwhites a refreshing look by growing them in seaglass chips and shells, or place the pot in a glass vase surrounded with brilliant red-berried garland.  And this season – break outta of the pot! Poinsettias, amaryllis and paperwhites can be used as long-lasting cut flowers too!

TOPIARIES AND TREES

Elegant and easy topiaries add an air of quiet sophistication. Shaped as gentle wreaths, bold lollipops or mini-me holiday trees, they create dimension and structure that will grace your home long into the new year and beyond. Whether you choose English ivy, delicate Myrtle, fragrant lemon cypress, aromatic, silvery lavender or kitchen classic rosemary, just pop one in a terracotta pot and finish with a flourish of ribbon.  Add tiny ornaments and lights for a touch of sparkle and place a pair to frame your mantle, or on your dining table as gracious accents. And, when warmer weather comes, you can plant them outside in your containers or herb garden!

Visit Molbak’s for more ideas not only for your home, but for unforgettable hostess gifts as well. We have plants, containers, baskets and ribbon, everything you need to make this holiday season one to remember!

Cheers!

Screaming Reels - Nov. 18, 2013

  • Written by Derek Anderson

Ben Hana CohoWe are well into November which means Thanksgiving is just around the corner!

It’s time to start preparing for that big family gathering and traditional turkey dinner.

Tired of being traditional? Why not try a fresh grilled silver salmon like the one in the picture above? The fresh silver salmon are still coming into the Skykomish River in good numbers. The Ross family fished with Screamin’ Reels just the other day and hooked a total of 15 fish. Nine of the fish were silver salmon and the other six were tackle burning chum salmon which we released unharmed.

The river conditions are perfect and the heater is now on board the 23-foot boat to keep the chill off. It’s a great time of year to get out and enjoy the outdoors and experience what Mother Nature has to offer in this great place we call home.If your next coming weeks are a bit too busy to get out fishing give us a call to book your winter steelhead adventure! We fish two person trips in the drift boat on smaller streams and four person trips out of the jet boat. Both boats are equipped with heaters to keep everyone comfortable. Book a steelhead fishing adventure for a loved one which makes a great holiday gift!

Tight Lines, Derek Anderson

SILVER SALMON RECIPE

Please enjoy the latest and easy silver salmon recipe that my family now enjoys:

Take one fillet of fresh silver salmon

In a shallow dish add extra virgin olive oil (about four or five tablespoons)

Lay the fillet skin side down in the dish and baste the meat side with the olive oil

Take minced onion and sprinkle over the meat side

Mince some fresh garlic – about one to two tablespoons and sprinkle over the meat side as well

Heat your BBQ grill up to maximum temperature for a few minutes, then turn to lowest setting

Place the fillet meat side down for approximately seven to eight minutes

Then take two spatulas and work the fillet off the grill and flip, putting the skin side down

Cook on low for another four to five minutes. Make sure you do not overcook the fillet. Take a fork and check the thickest part in the middle of the fish. The fish should flake apart but still be very moist inside. The meat will be slightly pink. Remember once the fish is off the grill it will continue to cook a bit.

Once the fish is done take the spatula and slide it between the skin and meat. The beautiful fillet will leave the grill while the skin sticks. Place it on a serving dish and enjoy!

Miniature Gardening: Imagine Enormous Possibilities

  • Written by Molbak's

By Molbak’s

Molbak’s was thrilled to welcome best-selling author, Janit Calvo, to a special seminar and book-signing event. Calvo’s book, "Gardening in Miniature: Create Your Own Tiny Living World" is a customer-favorite at Molbak’s and Amazon.com, and the reason is simple: Miniature gardening sparks our imaginations in a very big way. 

The fascination with miniature forms is nothing new. The first known human artifact is a tiny female replica that dates back to 35,000 to 40,000 BC. Dollhouses and model railways have been delighting hobbyists for centuries. Teacup poodles, dwarf plant varieties, matchbox cars—miniaturized versions of the original are all around us, more charming and captivating because of their size.

But don’t let the whimsical, playful nature of miniature worlds deceive you. "Some seem to think its child’s play and not for real gardeners," Calvo explains. "But gardening in miniature can be as challenging as designing a full-sized garden; proportion and scale, elements of garden design, and sustainability all need to be considered."

Here’s a quick overview of how to get started creating your own mini-garden:

1. Think it up. Miniature gardens start and end with imagination.  Think of the story you want your mini garden to tell, then consider what container and elements you’ll need to bring your scene to life.

2. Round it up. Sometimes just one tiny piece of inspiration—a mini watering can, a pint-sized Gazebo, a wee ceramic sleigh—can spark an idea that turns into a delightfully complete scene. Finding the elements to fill your mini-world takes patience and creativity, but remember: the search is half the fun.

3. Set it up. After you’ve tracked down the right plants and elements for your miniature garden, experiment with arranging them atop the soil. Place the larger elements first then decide where you want the smaller pieces to live.

4. Plant it up. Once the overall design is established, dig in. Plant the plants with the largest root mass first. Dig a hole for the roots, plant and smooth out the soil, then move onto the next plant.

5. Spruce it up. When finished planting, smooth the soil a final time, gently water the entire surface with a sprinkling can, and press soil down lightly with your fingertips. (This will help keep your soil contained and keep your patios, paths and hardscaping tidy.) Incorporate your paths, and design elements and stake them in place if necessary.

Oh Deer!

  • Written by Molbak's

by Molbak’s garden+home

This well-worn phrase has been expressed in countless different ways.  By children or hikers in the wilderness – it is said in breathless amazement. By gardeners – it’s generally expressed in frustration, as we survey what’s left of our yard after deer have used it as an "All You Can Eat Bambi Buffet!"

Deer are becoming a fixture in more populated areas.  And – they create significant landscape damage in gardens year after year. So what can you do to protect your plants from these pesky picnickers?

Some people use the barrier method: deer fencing, netting  and even motion-controlled water-jets, (which can be fun to watch!) Others use deer repellent, which targets a deer’s sense of smell or taste.  Repellents come in spray and granule form and there is even a brand new systemic form that comes in tablets. The tablets are buried in the soil, and the repellant is absorbed throughout the plant – making it inedible.

Molbak’s believes, the most effective way to deter deer from snacking, is to make your landscape as unappetizing as possible and send them packing. But you don’t have to give up color, texture and beauty to do it.  We’ve gathered a collection of gorgeous deer-resistant plants, groundcovers, shrubs, grasses and conifers that will have your uninvited dinner guests high-tailing it back to the woods!

Bergenias or Pigsqueak

These shady evergreen perennial superstars sport pink blossoms in spring, and bold leaves that tint red in fall to perk up borders, create a textured groundcover or shine as easy-care edging.  Deer turn up their noses at Pigsqueak, and pass them up for more succulent dishes.

Fescue

Is it the texture or the taste that takes these drought-tolerant grasses off the "Deer Menu?" Not only do they add color and movement, they are virtually carefree!  Cover tough, dry spots with these evergreen grasses, avoided by both deer and rabbits.

Luminous wintertime wonders – Hellebores send deer packing.  Even though these feisty perennials bloom in cold weather, when gardens are dormant, deer pass up their elegant flowers and foliage. Hellebores come in an amazing variety of blossom and leaf colors, and are a beautiful addition to your beds and borders.  

These conifers come in so many colors, shapes, sizes and growing habits, you’ll want to add them for their personality alone.  Plus, they are easy to grow, drought-tolerant and loved as "plant and forget" shrubs and trees.  Perfect for hedging or as accents and deer say, "No thanks!"

A brilliant choice to deter deer. Whether you choose evergreen or deciduous varieties, these spiny shrubs burst with vibrant, ever-changing color. From small to tall, their fiery leaves and glistening berries in winter are sure to keep you planting more and more.

So if you are looking for a way to shut down your "Deer Diner," come to Molbak’s and take a look at the many varieties of deer-resistant groundcovers, bloomers, conifers, trees and shrubs we offer.