Spring Hours
Open Daily 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

"M" is for Magnolia

"A humble bumble bee
In the hills of Tennesee
Lolled upon a blossom
Of an old Magnolia tree
Soft blue the sky
Bright was the hour
Pleased was he, that his world should be
The space that encircled a flower."
-William D. White 

On the north corner of the Nursery grows a sprawling, magnificent Magnolia × soulangeana 'Rustica rubra' (Saucer Magnolia) shade tree.  John Christianson remembers it to be approximately 35 years old.  This time of the year, the tree is stunning as it's naked, craggy branches burst with bright, rosy pink goblet-shaped flowers that reach toward the south west.  Being disease-resistant and needing very little care , it is beloved by staff, customers, spring tourists and migrating birds whose song makes time stand still for a few seconds.  

A large spreading deciduous tree, this hybrid Magnolia may grow up to 20-25-feet tall and prefers full sun to part shade.

Although the blooms are the most notable, the sculptural fruit that follows is a show stopper!  The pods have a lovely rose-colored velvet exterior that contrasts sharply with the shiny red-orange seeds that birds feast on.

For a final applause, in the fall, the dark green leaves turn a rich shade of golden brown before falling to the ground.

We would be remiss not to mention another favorite variety to place in your garden:  Magnolia sieboldii with its vase-shaped growth habit and fragrant citrusy white flowers with a button center.  Another lovely addition to your garden.


Custom Containers & Repotting Services at Christianson's Nursery

We are delighted to once again offer the design talent and potting services of our creative experts, Laura Campbell and Elissa Kamins. These two designers plant all types of containers for our customers including baskets, terra cotta pots and ceramic patio containers.

Their first love is in designing seasonal containers.  In Spring and early Summer they're designing custom containers for weddings, anniversaries, birthday parties and special events, or anytime a pop of color is needed on patios, terraces, walkways, and front porches. They also plant herb gardens and containers with fruit trees and flowering shrubs.

Our custom containers include the appropriate soils and fertilizers so your plants will thrive. Bring your own containers or purchase one from our vast selection.

"Spring is the time of plans and projects."
 - Leo Tolstoy


As we turn the calendar to April, it feels like a switch has flipped. The air is filled with birdsong and sweet fragrances, the Skagit Valley tulip fields are bursting into color, and our gardens are coming to life. It's a time of putting plans into action, cleaning and clearing, digging and planting.
This is also a great month to rejuvenate our homes. Aside from throwing open your windows and doing the Happy Dance, here are a few simple ideas for refreshing your living spaces this month  (p.s. everything in bold is something we carry in Primrose or at the Nursery):

1.)  Add little touches of artwork, found objects, or vintage items with a springtime vibe; perhaps new throw pillows, a bird's nest, a little wall art, or a sentimental greeting card in a pretty frame? Smaller keepsakes look extra special under a glass cloche. Pick out a few favorite colors or themes from your new object(s) and build on those in your spring decorating.

2.)  The tried-and-true method for refreshing the vibe of a room without lifting a paintbrush or spending a fortune is to change out your decorative pillows , lap throws , and smaller area rugs .

3.)  If you do happen to have a little time and energy, paint!  You don't need to paint entire rooms. Simply updating the color of one accent wall or one object can transform a room.    

Tulip Festival Events

Art in the Schoolhouse

10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Monday, April 2 - Monday, April 30

Pat's Philly Steak Sandwiches & Crepes
Monday, April 2 - Monday, April 30
Absolutely Nuts!
April 7 - Sunday, April 89 am - 5 pm

Conic Roasting Pop-up Espresso Bar
Saturday, April 14, 21, 28
9 am - 5 pm
Sunday, April 15, 22, 29
11 am - 3 pm 

The Skagit Valley Tulip Festival, a destination event for the Pacific Northwest, is held from April 1 - 30 and celebrates the beginning of springtime with millions of tulips bursting into bloom. Even though governed by Mother Nature, the tulips bloom throughout the month, allowing us to share our corner of the world and showcase Skagit Valley agriculture.

Tulip fields, snow geese, daffodils and Mount Baker all provide a dramatic backdrop for this month's Art in the Schoolhouse. Spend an afternoon rubbing elbows with local artists from the Stanwood Camano Arts Guild and view their current work while shopping for new garden additions.

Fuel up while visiting the Nursery and eat lunch at Pat's Philly Steak Sandwiches & Crepes! We are just crazy about these crepes filled with strawberries and topped with fresh, lightly sweetened whipped cream!

Try goodies from our new vendors during the month of April, too: Conic Roasting, a Skagit Valley based specialty coffee roastery will make espresso and specialty drinks on weekends, and on April 7 - 8, Absolutely Nuts will be roasting on-site fresh cinnamon roasted almonds, cashews, pecans, and hazelnuts.

Plan to spend a full day or an overnight with your family and friends and experience the stunning vistas of Skagit Valley in springtime. An experience to remember!

A Spring Workshop

Create Your Own Springtime Hanging Basket!

Saturday, April 28
10:30 a.m. - noon
reservations required
class fee: $49

Hanging baskets are a simple and often dramatic way to accent a front porch or entryway. Doing it yourself lets you get your hands in the soil and gain confidence to do other baskets on your own!

In this class, basket designer Laura Campbell will teach you how to plant a hanging basket that will bloom throughout the summer. Your choice of a cedar or wire basket and pre-selected plants with a range of color, texture, height and growth habit (upright or trailing), will be set up behind the Potting Shed along with soil and fertilizer; everything you need for a colorful hanging basket that will bloom from Spring to Fall.

Visit the Nursery or call to register 360-466-3821
"Ask John!"
John loves hearing from his customers and do they love to ask him questions! Each conversation features an actual question submitted by someone like you.     

Q: Hi John,  Some property just sold behind us and now we need some privacy but don't want to build a fence (cost prohibitive).  What trees do you suggest that would grow fairly fast and are evergreen? 
- Darren H., Oak Harbor, WA    
A: Hi Darren, The highest volume plants at nurseries have always been hedge and screening plants.  It takes more than a few plants to screen off the neighbor's property.  Or, perhaps edging a garden with dwarf boxwood to define your borders: plant 12" apart for 50'. 

In recent years, a new tall hedging plant has emerged as one of our most popular, 'Green Giant' Western Arborviate (Thuja plicata x standishii).  The primary reason for its popularity is its fast rate of growth (4-5 feet per year) and its relatively narrow growing habit, growing up to 40' tall and only 12' wide.  "Green Giant' is a naturally denser alternative to the familiar Leyland cypress, with the same fast growth. 

Plant 'Green Giant' on 6' centers (trunk to trunk) and it will quickly fill together for a beautiful green hedge.  You may also prune it to keep a smaller shape.  
- John Christianson  

Have a garden-related question? 
Email us:
Listen to "The Garden Show", Sunday Mornings with John and Mike on both,  KAPS AM 660 and FM 102.1 at 10:30 in the morning.   

~April Specials~

  April 1-17
beautiful blooming trees 
with white, pink, purple or yellow 
flowers including evergreen varieties
20% off 
April 18-30  
Rhododendrons and Azaleas
thousands from which to choose
20% off 
Christianson's Nursery
15806 Best Road Mount Vernon, WA  98273
 (360) 466-3821 or 1-800-585-8200
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