A Trip to the Emerald City

Jennifer Zurko

My plan wasn’t to see a wizard, but to check out some of the local growers and garden centers around the Seattle area. While there, I saw a few displays that should offer some inspiration in your own neck of the woods, whether you’re from Oz, Kansas or somewhere else over the rainbow.


This past December, Molbak’s opened a new area of the garden center they call “The Wedge” (because it’s “wedged” in between the gift store and the garden center). Kate Domoszlay, the Annual-Perennial Buyer for Molbak’s, says The Wedge was created to highlight their newest products—from new plants and furniture to accessories and even books—geared toward their younger customers. I liked that they used a wooden ladder hung from the ceiling to string outdoor lights.

A Standout Idea

Sometimes, hanging plants get lost “up in the air,” so this backdrop at Molbak’s is genius—especially for smaller pots with trailing plants.

Leave Venus Alone

Besides houseplants, succulents and cactus, another popular plant type I saw a lot of is carnivorous plants—all of the Seattle stores I visited had a large display of them. The temptation for children (and some adults) to stick their finger in the mouth of a Venus flytrap is undeniable, but also harmful to poor Venus. In case you didn’t already know, Shaun Murphy, owner of the Indoor Sun Shoppe, said that a Venus flytrap can only open and close so many times before they die, so enticing them to close their mouths shortens the number of days they’ll stay alive. These signs at the Indoor Sun Shoppe and Molbak’s make sure people admire Venus from afar and keep their fingers to themselves.

DIY Saguaro

Molbak’s called out their cactus offerings with some clever and simple self-made imitations of large desert cactus using some wood slats and a box of toothpicks that fill in as Saguaro spines very nicely. GP