The Styled Ramblings of Heavy Petal's Bruce Bailey

Posts tagged “Nursery

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 Indie Garden Center Owner

Today was very enlightening. Walking around the trade show floor one just never knows what could catch an eye. She was seen. What I had hoped to find and don’t seem to at trade shows.
This girl is an edgy, goth/alternative type, but right on track. Girl? She just turned twenty-nine and today was her birthday.

Approaching her I asked if I could talk to her for a minute and see how she was enjoying the show and what she was looking at.

The conversation was very relaxed- footing was equal and she appreciated my candid and direct questions as much as enjoyed her esprit decor.
Much was learned quickly–she was here with her mother, a veteran of the garden center trade who had worked for someone else the past 20 years. The mother, with her daughters, had decided it was time to take a risk on something they could call their own. Risky indeed in this economy, but a risk worth taking.

Organics, sustainable, natural were words that came from both these women’s lips. They plan to raise and sell their own eggs- the young woman herself was a bee keeper and planned on having honey as something that was sold at the nursery. Chickens were also part of the package…an odd, but very thought out plan was being related to me and how they would do this in a town with a base population of thirty thousand people.

I feel at times very alternative, very not fitting in with the nursery crowd–too indie. I sell plants to people like this bright young woman when I go to shows and lectures in Spokane, Seattle, and Portland. There is an untapped market of brilliant younger people–couple, singles, families–that are educating themselves online. They are becoming the new plant geeks in the garden sphere.
Nothing like meeting a 22 year old peony collector who is plopping down a hundred dollars on an Itoh peony you have at your show booth. You read that correctly, too sweet to make that kind of stuff up.

Be aware of your customer base–it’s not all ladies 45-60. The base is becoming younger, way hipper, and highly savvy. Just because you have read the cover of a book seldom do you know the story at all.

American Beauties

Adaptation is a rule, and a lesson, that almost every gardener must learn. Where to plant, what to plant there, zoning, and watering are all thing that a gardener must keep in mind when purchasing a plant.

Native plants–native to your area or to the North American continent– can be so rewarding with minimal effort. The same holds even more true with plants that are native to the plain states.

European garden designer Piet Oudolf capitalizes on just those qualities that are so natural to the plant.

American gardeners, always in search of value and savings=maximum bang for the dollar, are discovering the qualities of native plants.
Rewarding the gardener with growth and blossom native flowers such as monarda, eupatorium, echinaceas, rudbeckias, and asters add color and texture to any landscape. Even my favorite hibiscus moscheutos are great, showy native plants. These flowers can be easily complimented with native shrubs such as hydrangea quercifolia, viburnum trilobum, and physocarpus.

Producers such as American Beauties really help a small retailer like myself locate and source a lot of the native plants.
I don’t know about you, but I am learning what my time is worth. North Creek Nurseries and American Beauties help me to find plant that my customers love.


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.