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Pine Cones and Pot Luck III

Glacier's End Pinetum - Olympia, WA

Welcome to what is quickly becoming an eagerly anticipated event on the ACS Western Region’s social calendar. Pine Cones and Pot Luck is the annual gathering of conifer enthusiasts from all over. This absolutely free event offers a bit of everything — a workshop or two covering things like conifer pruning, maintenance, correcting root problems, or how to determine the right plant for the right location. By mid-October, the fall colors will really be kicking to reveal an absolutely delightful palette of complementing colors and textures.


The venue is Glacier’s End Pinetum, in Olympia, Washington, the home garden of the current ACS first family, David and Anita Olszyk. If you’ve never been there, you’ll encounter a meandering 1-acre landscape loaded to the hilt with dwarf, miniature and exceptionally strange conifers and companion plants. Words to describe the place include, intense, complicated, relaxing and sublime. David and Anita have been developing this unique landscape since the summer of 2000 and it’s been fun to watch it evolve over time.

What’s the pot-luck part? Bring a warm or cold dish, side, or dessert to share with friends (including the friends you haven’t met yet). We’ll have coolers of ice; contribute your beverage of choice. We’ll also have a grill fired up, roasting savory meats for your enjoyment. Good food, good cheer and coniferous camaraderie are the goals of the day. Best part is that this event is absolutely free for ACS members and their guests. That’s right; bring a gardening friend and introduce him or her to Earth’s coolest plant society.

After lunch comes the fun part, the Conifer Swap Meet. We all have plants that have languished on our respective “on deck circles,” waiting for that spot in the garden that may never come. Rather than risk losing the plant, why not donate it to the mix and find it a good home with another Conehead who may very well have “that perfect spot in the garden.” One of David’s obsessions is grafting conifers as a hobby. By fall, he needs to find a place for excess plants that are not otherwise earmarked for either a spot in Glacier’s End or in an ACS auction. Pictured above is the propagation box / root spa where fresh grafts spend a season developing a good root system. October is prime time to pack them out and find them homes. David doesn’t graft common stuff, so there are some treasures in there.

If you’re interested in attending please RSVP via email to David (click on the link). Last year, we hosted an enthusiastic group of 40. This year, let’s aim higher, both in terms of people and fun.

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