The Styled Ramblings of Heavy Petal's Bruce Bailey


In praise of wildflowers…

I must admit I am the worlds worst blogger…maybe second worst. I guess one has to blog to be the worst?

I wanted to do this posting because I want people to take a moment and think about how many ‘wild flowers’ you have in your garden. Maybe hybridized wildflowers? Echinacea, agastache, columbine, baptisia, coreopsis, helenium, monarda, rudbeckia, solidago just to name a few. I could go on about grasses, but I am not going to prattle on about that. grassesandpenstemon10660698_10202005519094144_822764017_nboutelouha

I recently got re-involved with a landscape designer who asked me advice about plants that work here in Eastern Washington. She is more experienced with plants of Western Washington and our climate and soil type are truly different, a good friend and someone who listens to my offbeat opinion at times. I pointed out that winters here can be drought seasons, our soil is higher in PH, and she should be using plants that are tough as nails. She liked what I had to say and knows that I will speak up when I see something out of sorts. Her design had a good selection of hybridized and non-hybridized wildflowers, some great coloration, and even a few things that would be successful but unexpected.


This past spring I was happy to spend some time in both Seattle and Chicago with an outstanding plants-woman, Miriam Goldberger. I received her book, “Taming Wildflowers” in a swag bag – one of the many books I wanted this past year. I had been talking to Miriam for a couple of years. I really respect that she has carved out such a wonderful place in such an extreme climate…and I complain about my zone 5. I cant imagine living on the plains of Southern Ontario.

Her book…what can I say? It’s a sumptuous introduction to the exploration of wildflowers, their relationship with pollinators and how to incorporate them within your own garden – and you probably were in the first place! I think there is so much outlined in the precious tome I was given. Seed starting, which plants are great for cutting and more .

“Taming Wildflowers” helped me clarify the world of a relaxed romantic vision I may have been searching for. Helped me make some decisions about the incorporation of flowers/meadow into my own personal garden. I have been looking at a bit of blank slate on sixty percent of my 2.5 acre lot. I have come to the decision about using white clover as a lawn, and letting certain perennials such as echinacea, sanguisorba, and baptisia drift about with grasses, some native shrubs, tough as nails lilacs (I have 76 that need to get into the ground) and a variety of deciduous trees I have been hording.10580290_10202005515694059_2120644694_nratibida


Holiday Giveaway from WherePlantsRock

Welcome to my first giveaway. I know! I have never done one before and I had a great opportunity that was presented to me by P. Allen Smith and the folks at Berry Family of Nurseries.

Do you like the wreath at the top of the is article? That is what you have the chance to win!  Its 20 inches and will be sipped directly from Berry Family of Nurseries to your home. Please follow the directions carefully at the bottom.  The winner will be chosen at random from those who have followed instructions, on November 28, 2012. To choose the winner I will be using

Over the past two years I have gotten to know Allen and his hard-working staff and really admire all they are trying to do.

I have also gotten to talk with Heidi Berry on several occasions and learned a bit about the family business.

Allen shows a wide range of great decor in the Holday Collection

The Berry Family of Nurseries partnered with P. Allen Smith to create the P. Allen Smith Holiday Collection. Fresh greenery such as Noble Fir, Western Red Cedar and Douglas Fir along with berries and cones are hand assemble and tied to create the perfect accent for your holiday home. The Berry Family of Nurseries strives to be sustainable and gathers fresh greens from the lower branches of the trees, they strive not to cut trees down, but prune them. This makes me very comfortable offering this giveaway.

How I got the chance to offer this – Yes, I am going to spill the beans.

One of this year’s great highlights was a social media event I was invited to, Garden2Blog.

Allen started Garden2Blog in 2011 and he had the idea of gathering 20-25 garden bloggers or so and brought them together at his Garden Home Retreat outside Little Rock, Arkansas where they could meet with garden product representatives, ask questions, share experiences, and learn about plants and products available on the American market. His idea was that these bloggers would come away with information that could help strengthen awareness and help them to relate to a broader audience that is out there on the web, create dialog and share within the online garden community. It was truly one of the highlights of my year.

Here is the NITTY-GRITTY

My contest has a couple of hoops. To enter you must complete a few things. Yes, nothing in life is completely free.

Number One – You must follow the link to my Pinterest account. This first link is specifically to the picture of the wreath on my Holiday board. Please leave a comment, if you have a twitter handle please sign the comment with it as it helps me contact you if you have won. Secondly re-pin this to your own Pinterest board and tweet it out attaching @PAllenSmith and @WherePlantsRock to the tweet.

Number Two. Please follow the link provided to my second pin on Pinterest.  Please watch and leave a comment. I think you will like what P. Allen Smith is doing with bloggers from around the country, but it also gives you an idea of what Garden2Blog is all about.

A great contest from the the mistress of the small, the minute, the miniature.

The Mini Garden Guru From

It’s the Annual Miniature Garden Contest!

It’s contest time!

We usually try to aim for July/August with this contest but because the summer weather here in the States has been extreme for most, we’ve put it off starting the contest for a few weeks, and we’re extending the deadline to the end of October, to give you ample time to get a miniature garden together.

We’ve changed it up a bit from last year’s contest and last year’s Halloween contest. The main criteria is that is a “Two Green Thumbs’ Miniature Garden” meaning, the majority of the plants and accessories used in your submission need to be from our online store, OR a Two Green Thumbs Miniature Garden Center product that you found at your local garden center** (See below!) We really want to see how you use our items! And since we are so close the holidays by the…

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Just a Little Bucket- Found It on Ebay

Sevres bucket with goats heads

Could this be one of Empress Marie Louise buckets?

Alright, most of my friends know that this past year I have geeked about three ladies of another era. Marie Antoinette, Georgiana Cavendish, and Catherine the Great.

The past couple months I have been really researching the life of Marie Antoinette. She was a public figure, ridiculed, revered, scorned. I have been looking at her life, the way she lived and the objects she lived with. Marie was a girl who decided to ‘buck the system’ and she had style. Unfortunately she lived during a very difficult time during the history of France and she ended up loosing her head.

Marie had been given her own little hideaway, Petit Trianon, and used it as a place to escape the French Court at Versailles. This was a gift from her husband Lois XVI and is was all hers. Louis XVI did not build it for Marie, Louis XV did for Madame de Pompadour, and then was used by Louis XV and Madame du Berry. Now this was given to Marie and she used it to escape and created her own pastoral world. Country was on people’s lips and Marie had made country life very fashionable. Well, her version of it any how.

Marie and Louis also had a few other hideaways, one was Rambouillet. Rambouillet was a château Louis purchased in 1783 because he liked the hunting in this area. He was a big sportsman and was up before dawn to hunt the stag. Marie thought the place was ‘a toad hole’ and loathed to be there. Louis in his ever appeasing way created something to make the ever needing to be distracted Marie happy.

Louis had a dairy, Laiterie, built at Rambouillet for Marie Antoinette as a little surprise. She was making country life fashionable, a statement, and being the queen of fashion herself, needed a place for her and her friends to hang. Now don’t go getting pictures in your head of her in a milkmaid outfit milking the cows. The outfit yes, her hands to an utter no.

This was not a dairy like we know it. It was a small but grande working milk house, or milk temple, a place for her and her friends to gather and sit. It had a cooling room with fountains in the floor, a grotto, and  was lit by skylight. Furniture was especially made for this “temple” as well as a large assortment of Sevres porcelain-a few pieces of the porcelain survive. I think I just found another. It had a very ancient look, more Etruscan in detail and coloration.

Let me a back up a moment. I have gotten ahead of myself in a way.

This past May I was invited to attend Garden2Blog12. This is the second time this event has been held and hosted by P. Allen Smith and his wonderful staff and sponsors. It is held in Little Rock, Arkansas at Smith’s Garden Home Retreat. Twenty to twenty-five garden bloggers, writers, personalities, or social media types are gathered from around the nation and flown to Little Rock. Sponsors are given slots to communicate their products, create events, or sponsor the meals. It is no small affair and not done on the cheap.

One of the highlights of the event was a trip out to a Marlsgate Plantation. We were bussed out on a warm sunny day across the Arkansas delta to view the gardens that Smith had designed and to meet his art instructor.

This is no little museum, but a home that someone lives in. It is a grand affair, and that is an understatement. The house, this is the 1904/1905 incarnation, is full of wonderful treasures amassed, accumulated, and unearthed by the family of David P. Garner, Jr.

David is an avid collector and very much a walking encyclopedia of the times, artwork, furniture, and bric-a-brac that fill Marlsgate to the gills. One thing David talked to me was about the several sets and pieces of Sevres. He knows the hallmarks, and who worked on the pieces by the way they were initialed. He is a definite authority and definitely entertaining.

Lately I find myself on Ebay looking at what pieces of Sevres people are attempting to sell. I just about geeked the other day. I am cruising around Ebay and here is this very unusual piece listed as “Gilded Porcelain Cachepot Jardiniere”. (see picture at top of posting)

OMG! This is something I have seen recently. No, not as a photograph, but a watercolor sketch in a book. I found the book I had seen it in recently and though this a sketch it is also spot on.

Original watercolor sketches for the Sevres porcelain by Lagrenee’.

This odd piece that someone is selling as a pot to put a houseplant in is actually a glorified milk pail. Now in my reading I also discovered that the Empress Marie Louise, Empress Josephine’s successor, had these reproduced in white and gold. It is not Marie Antoinette’s milk pail. So much was looted, broken, or just vanished when Louis and Marie were taken into the custody of the French people. One would find some of the objects remarkable if not mind-boggling.Even though several of the ‘wooden’ buckets were made only a few survive.

Questions in my mind: Could this be a one of those that were made? How many are still out there in existence? Does this item need to be returned to the French Government?


I look forward to returning to Marlsgate in the future and talking more with David about some of his extraordinary family pieces and those he has hunted down himself. When I talked to David he extended the invitation to come spend the day and talk about the furniture, art, and beauty that is Marlsgate. I may do just that very soon.

Where Plants Rock- Bruce Bailey


Bruce Bailey is the owner of Heavy Petal Nursery in Moses Lake, WA, or, as he likes to call it, God’s Country. With majors in art, art history, and history Bruce finds expression in the garden art he creates along with the customers he cultivates through an unconventional selection of gardening products that ensure a unique shopping experience. New varieties and surprising introductions of garden worthy plants, as well as old fashioned and unjustly forgotten favorites are all on display. His boundless energy and dynamic spirit are in evidence in all of his endeavors, whether through painting, his plant selections, garden design, home interiors or speaking at garden shows.

“Bruce Bailey does not let living in zone 5 define his gardening or his life. His adventurous style is evident in every plant he selects, and every garden he designs. When I met Bruce, my first impression was one of boundless energy, and a mind always at work. His careful observations of nature–and nature expressed in gardens–informs his plant choices, and once formed his opinions are not hidden. Bruce’s educational background in art history and design, and he is an accomplished interior designer/decorator in addition to his ability of paint pictures with plants. Even plants for sale in his nursery are presented in a painterly manner.”

Linda Beutler – Author and Curator, Rogerson Clematis Collection

Deborah Silver recently mentioned Bruce in her blog Dirt Simple

Northwest Flower and Garden Show

Heritage Radio Network, We Dig Plants with Carmen Devito & Alice Marcus Krieg


Bruce’s speaking engagements for 2012

Northwest Flower and Garden Show in Seattle, Washington

Portland Yard, Garden, Patio Show, Portland, Oregon

Arkansas Flower and Garden Show in Little Rock, Arkansas

Boise Flower and Garden Show, Boise, Idaho

Other regional speaking engagements are also on the calendar.



A Container Named Desire– Containers, Care, and Combinations

Pump Up VolumeOutstanding Plants for Summer Containers

Painting Your Desert Garden–  Using foliage to bring color into your high desert garden.

Harmonizing Your Home and Your Garden– Color, Balance and Enhancement
New for 2013

Upcycling into Your Garden– Found objects, trash to treasure, and creating follies in your garden.

County Garning as Fashion– Marie Antoinette, Marie Louise of Savoy, Yolande Martine Gabrielle de Polastron, Georgiana Cavendish and the flowers they loved.

Flowers of Downton Abbey – a look at Edwardian gardening

Follow Bruce on twitter @WherePlantsRock

Visit his nursery website

You can contact Bruce Bailey

The New Southern Casual

The Park Hill Collection just keeps catching my eye. Yes, I have to walk by it. Yes, it draws me in.


Elegant reclaimed wood pieces, stylish and paired down mixed with vintage feeling prints, rustic metals and those dang sheep I got to have.

Truly, these are great! They are cast from molds of old/vintage pieces in a nice featherstone and given a weathered finish–just awesome.

Lanterns, framed mirrors, and other accessories that blend equally from the outside to the inside. All compliment a savvy sense of finish and presentation that can hit a wide rang of price-points.

Helen Yoest, garden writer and Raleigh, North Carolina resident commented to me, “A combination of contemporary south and old plantation before the days that were gone with the wind.”

I would have to agree with Helen that southern style has never looked better.

Thinking small at IGC

Don’t assume I am telling you to cut down on your spending–I am not!
I am suggesting you think about miniature and fairy gardening.

I am loving the miniature garden format. Seeing this in England six years ago I was wondering what the deal is? Gosh, who would want to do this?

The answer is you do.

This is a great idea! Janit Calvo with Two Green Thumbs turned me on to this. Containerized, gardening within a window-box, what have you– it’s all good.

People, if you live in apartment, a condo, or maybe you have limited space–miniature gardening just might be for you.

Retailers, be forewarned, this is a trend, not even new, but it’s on fire.