Crazy for conifers

  • Written by Molbaks

When you hear the word conifer, what do you think of? Aromatic cedars, needle-heavy pines, or perhaps one of the many firs that cover our countryside?

Here in the Pacific Northwest, land of the tall trees, we tend to take conifers a little for granted, and sometimes forget how varied and dramatic these plants can be.

Conifers are a garden staple at Molbak’s. Often called the "backbone" of landscape design, they bring four seasons of color and texture to your yard. And contrary to popular belief, they aren’t just green anymore. You can choose from a wide array of colors: steely- blue, bold gold, vibrant plum and needles iced with snowy-white, many with textured bark and bold, vivid cones that add a splash of color that can change with the seasons.

Conifers come in many sizes, from mini to mighty.  And they grow in a variety of silhouettes — round, weeping, arching and spreading — so whether you use them for tall accents, as background, hedging, as low edging, in containers or even as groundcovers you will find that there is indeed a conifer for every spot.

And the best thing about conifers is that for the most part, they are low maintenance and drought tolerant. Once established, they are largely plant-and-forget shrubs and trees. That’s right – no pruning!

When you are looking to add conifers to your yard, we suggest you take a look at some of these distinctive types we have in our nursery.

Native to Japan, Hinoki cypress are beautiful additions to Pacific Northwest gardenscapes. Unfurling ruffled fans of lacy, textured foliage in gold, plum, white or green, these easy-care conifers come in heights from tiny to tall and a variety of silhouettes. One of the more unusual varieties is "Chirimen," a rare Hinoki cypress  named after Japanese silk.

Cryptomerias are another Japanese native that thrive in our area. These carefree evergreens spread delicate, fine needles in shades of green that change color with the seasons. Accents of red, shredded bark and tiny cones add a mix of texture and dimension. Choose from a variety of silhouettes, from mounding shrubs that are soft to the touch to tall, airy trees. 

Robust Korean firs are prized for their curved, thick needles in shades of green, gold and silver that are arranged in spirals around their branches. Perhaps the most distinctive feature of these easy-care conifers are their large bold purple or red upright cones accented with golden winged seedpods, standing at the end of their branches. One favorite variety is "Silberlocke," boasting elegant silvery needles and large purple cones.

Of course, Molbak’s stocks endless varieties of your other conifer favorites – firs, spruces, yews, pines, junipers and more, most sun-loving, and some for the shade – and all easy to grow and care for. So when you are ready for some carefree color and texture – Go Crazy for Conifers.


Want to learn more?

March 1, 10-11am

Molbak’s FREE SEMINAR:  Crazy for Conifers

Featuring Jock Demme, Iseli Nursery

Winterize your home

  • Written by Jeff LaFlam, Northshore Fire Dept.

winterize your home imageWith winter weather upon us, we worry about icy roads, frozen plants and just staying warm. Your home, whether it is an apartment, condo or house, also needs special attention this time of year. Freezing temperatures can cause substantial damage to buildings if you are not prepared.

Here are a few tips to help keep you and your home comfortable this winter:

1. Keep your pipes warm. Some of the most expensive winter damage comes from burst pipes. Pipes in attics, crawl spaces and in outside walls are all vulnerable to freezing.

Make sure that pipes in cold areas are well insulated, keep sink cabinet doors open to allow warm air to reach the pipes and in severe conditions allow a slow trickle of water to flow through faucets that are connected to pipes running through unheated spaces.

When you leave your house set the thermostat to no lower than 55°F and if you will be gone for an extended period, consider shutting off your main water supply and draining the pipes by opening the faucets. If you suspect a frozen pipe, don’t take chances, call a plumber. NEVER try to thaw pipes with an open flame as this is a significant fire hazard.

2. Protect the outside of your house. Clean gutters and downspouts so water doesn’t back up and freeze. Cut back tree limbs that could break off and damage your roof. Disconnect garden hoses and protect outside faucets from freezing weather.

3. Prepare emergency kits. Put together an emergency kit for your home and one for your car. You should have a flashlight, batteries, a portable radio and warm clothing. You should also keep extra food and water at home and in your car. For more information on emergency kits, go to

4. Install carbon monoxide detectors in your home.

One of the most significant winter hazards is carbon monoxide poisoning caused by the improper ventilation of furnaces, generators, portable fueled heaters and fireplaces. Install a CO detector on each level of your home.

While you’re making your home winter-ready, don’t forget fire safety. Test your smoke alarms monthly, take safety precautions with candles, fireplaces, cooking and smoking. These are all potential causes of devastating home fires.

Check out the additional safety information available at

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.


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!


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!


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


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!