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I always love hearing how, and when, someone caught the gardening-bug. In my case it was destined to be — it wasn’t anything I decided to do — gardening was just something you did, that everyone did. My grandfather grew a remarkable vegetable garden, wait — make that fruit and vegetable garden. He had the best raspberries in town and we snacked on sugar snap peas by the bagful. Both of my parents garden, although with regimented roles of dad as the lawn and veggie guy, mom as the tender of the “flowers” (even if it doesn’t bloom the ornamentals are referred to as “flowers”).

I don’t have strong memories of visiting nurseries when I was  kid, but I do remember stops at Northwest Seed & Pet. It’s a locally-owned business in Spokane, WA, opened 1944. As a kid what could be better? Your parents can get the boring stuff taken care of and you get to look at animals! Well, that was then.

Back in Spokane over Thanksgiving weekend my husband and I stopped in both NWS&P locations. He wanted to see the animals and yes, I thought maybe it wouldn’t be a bad idea to check in on their plant offerings, you know, just to see what they’ve got these days…

Aechmea fasciata, I believe.

Acalypha hispida (Chenille plant)

No doubt that Brugmansia at the back has been in inventory since when I still lived in Spokane (we moved to Portland in 2004), heck, probably long before that.

And the same goes for this clump of blooming Strelitzia

And that makes me very happy. Browsing through the plants here is almost like you’re looking at someones personal collection.

It’s the kind of place that seems designed to spark the love of plants in a young mind.

This is is not a hipster “trendy” plant store.

And whomever is in charge is a real plant nut.

Of course I was thrilled to see a nice selection of cactus and other succulents.

These little Euphorbia polygona cv. ‘Snowflake’ came home with me. I felt sorry for the little guy leaning right out of his pot.

At the second location there was a trio of sizeable Aloes, only $24.99! Although I wish they would have been labeled.

One of these tiny Leuchtenbergia principis also became mine. Sadly not the double on the left, somebody beat me to it while I was back looking at the kitties!

Hoya carnosa compacta…(I think) all kinds of crazy!

And finally, small Lucida Discolor — which I’m here to tell you are surprisingly easy to keep alive. You probably need one of these guys…

Thanks for coming along on my little journey down memory lane. Now I have to ask, how did you become a gardener (or plant nut). Was it a family obsession? Purely an adult (homeowner) thing? A desire to spend time outdoors? Maybe vegetable garden was your entry into the plant world…please, tell us more…