The Plant Place – Long-Standing Olympia Nursery Expands To A New Retail Location

olympia gardening


By Kate Scriven

Bowle's Golden Sedge displayed against one of The Plant Place's beautiful ceramic pots.
Bowle’s Golden Sedge displayed against one of The Plant Place’s beautiful ceramic pots.

It is spring.  My perennials are emerging and the yard is awakening for a new season.  My pots look conspicuously empty.  Sections of neglected beds are calling to me.  “Go to the nursery, Kate.  You know you want to buy some new plants.  You NEED some new plants.  Fill me up and make me pretty.”

The call of the empty flowerbed is powerful.  And, I inevitably cave.  Because, as a gardener, I love nothing more than browsing the amazing selection of plants available in a well-stocked garden center.    “More plants?” my husband says, looking incredulous.  “Yes….many more,” I answer with trowel in hand.

If you are a gardener like me, you know the joy of a morning spent shopping for plants and an afternoon planting them.  And you know where the best quality plants can be found.  Now, Thurston County gardeners have a new choice when buying retail perennials, shrubs and trees.  Located on South Bay Road is the newly opened retail location of The Plant Place.  If the name sounds familiar, it’s with good reason.

The Plant Place has had a long standing presence in the Olympia area.  Eighteen years ago, Puget Sound Landscaping established a nursery to supply its landscaping jobs in the area.   In 2002, through corporate division The Plant Place Nursery was established.  Its site near the Olympia Airport serves wholesale customers with high quality, high volume perennials, shrubs and trees.  Up until this spring, the location was open to the public as well.   Retail customers were able to shop the extensive plant collections; however plants were organized in large sections by type, perfect for a landscaper looking to purchase 20 rhododendrons, but not for retail customers.

For home gardeners like me, browsing in a garden center, viewing potential plant pairings and gaining inspiration is one of the best parts of gardening.  The Plant Place staff understood – they are gardeners too, and the new retail-only site opened in early April.

The Plant Place's new retail-only location on South Bay Road in Olympia opened on April 4.
The Plant Place’s new retail-only location on South Bay Road in Olympia opened on April 4.

Upon entering, the first thing you’ll notice are the wide gravel paths meandering through gorgeous plant displays.  Gone are the massive rows of single species.  Here, a Japanese Maple shades pots holding Blackout Heuchera and soft Neapolitan-hued Hellebores.  Vibrant groundcovers are nestled against blue-green Hostas and spiky perennial grasses, inspiring combinations that work well in Puget Sound gardens.   Hardscaping in the form of rock walls, water features and stunning ceramic pots show how plantings will soften existing landscaping features, or how adding architectural elements creates interest for your beds.

Nursery manager Jim Espedal has worked at The Plant Place for eleven years and is excited for the new retail location.  “It’s a little more user friendly here.  It’s laid out well for the customer to browse safely and easily.”  The location is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am to 6pm and you’ll find Espedal hard at work on site almost every day.

With over twenty-three pages of plant varieties listed on their website as “available now,” it can be overwhelming to the retail buyer to know what to buy for their particular project.  This is where The Plant Place sets itself apart from the rest.  Espedal’s knowledge of the nursery stock and how to care for it is extensive and I highly recommend talking through your choices with him before committing. The staff at The Plant Place will ensure you aren’t disappointed once your treasures are in the ground.

olympia gardening
Longtime nursery manager Jim Espedal cares for the extensive perennials, shrubs, and trees at The Plant Place.

What else sets them apart?  The quality of their stock.  The plants are healthy, vigorous and unique.  You can find unusual specimens you may not find elsewhere alongside hardworking perennial favorites.  However, don’t come looking for marigolds and petunias.  The Plant Place only sells perennials, shrubs, and trees.  They can, though, help you think past petunias and design pots and beds that won’t require hours of deadheading or reinvention every year.

The offices of Puget Sound Landscaping are directly next door to the new retail location.  And the design staff is available to consult on your project or design your dream garden.  Delivery of large plants is also available.

“It’s a really fun shopping experience,” shares nursery buyer Angie Dorian.  “Strolling through here is not only fun but it’s also educational.  We’ve put combinations together to help people see which different plants look good together and hopefully help them plan their own spaces.”  And as the only wholesale/retail nursery in the area, their prices are extremely competitive.  Buying plants in bulk for their wholesale facility allows prices for the retail plants to reflect those discounts.  Passing on those savings to retail customers is something they are proud to be able to do.

The only drawback I can see with The Plant Place’s beautiful new retail location is its close proximity to my house.  When those flowerbeds start calling to me, I’m now only 5 minute away from gorgeous, healthy plants and a knowledgeable staff only too happy to help me find just the plant I “need.”


olympia gardening
The talented staff at The Plant Place can help you design the perfect garden using their extensive nursery stock and hardscape materials.

The Plant Place Nursery

3333 South Bay Road

Olympia, WA 98506



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