Saturday, 8:49 a.m. More than 20 cars were parked on the shoulder of 196th Street Southeast in Maltby, waiting for Flower World's 9 a.m. opening.
It was a slow morning.
"You should have seen it Mother's Day weekend," said Ed Wise of Snohomish. "Cars were lined up around the corner and down the road."
Wise, a member of the Snohomish Lions Club, was opening the group's coffee, hot-dog and ice-cream stand in Flower World's parking area, near the bulk-soil bins. This is the second spring the service club has operated a weekend-only snack stand at Flower World.
The Lions don't worry about attracting crowds for this fund-raiser.
Flower World does that. If you're a home gardener, you've probably already heard about the 15-acre retail outlet.
Or Molbak's in Woodinville or the Gray Barn in Redmond or Squak Mountain in Issaquah or Angelo's in Bellevue.
Home gardeners dig large, well-stocked nurseries the way teenagers dig the latest rock bands. And the Eastside has plenty to choose from.
Cindy Kourkoumelis of Bothell has been a fan of Flower World for several years.
"They always have wonderful things," she said. "I love going there and just walking through the rows and rows of greenhouses and different plants."
Word-of-mouth advertising has enabled Flower World owners Maryke and John Postema to sell retail for 10 years with only two brief radio-advertising campaigns, she said.
"We've been in the nursery business since the early 1970s but were only wholesale until 10 years ago," she said. "We raise 80 percent of what we sell."
Nurseries on the Eastside apparently have bloomed under local ownership.
Molbak's in Woodinville, the perennial favorite nursery and gift shop, attracts more than 1 million visitors a year. It was opened in 1956 by Laina and the late Egon Molbak. Laina Molbak still is active in the company, along with their daughter. Today the company, still family-owned, plants and sells more than 7 million pots and flats a year.
Furney's Nursery in Bellevue has been tucked on 3 acres on Northeast 16th Street, just north of Bellevue-Redmond Road, for 25 years. It was started by Edith and Everett Furney, who in 1940 started a nursery in conjunction with their orchard in Des Moines.
"We're still one of the best-kept secrets on the Eastside," said manager Alice MacMurdo.
Another Bellevue landmark, Angelo's Home & Garden Center on 156th Avenue Northeast, about six blocks north of Crossroads Shopping Center, has been owned by Angelo Toppano for more than 40 years. Few Eastsiders remember his first nursery, near today's Lake Hills Shopping Center.
In Medina, Clyde Hill, Hunts Point and Yarrow Bay, householders consider Wells Medina on Northeast 24th Street their personal nursery. It was opened 25 years ago by Ned Wells. He and his family still operate the popular spot, where neighbors exchange gossip and everyone seems to know one another.
Jim Pommer has owned Squak Mountain Greenhouses & Nursery for more than 20 years, said his son, Matt Pommer.
"We grow all of our own annuals," Matt Pommer said. "People have been coming to pick up color (blooming) plants for their gardens."
The sunshine, he said, brings out the gardeners.
------------------------------------------------- Where to buy your gardening tools on the Eastside -------------------------------------------------
Here's a sampling of Eastside nurseries:
Alpine Nursery, 16023 S.E. 144th St., Renton, 425-255-1598. Hours: 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily.
Angelo's Home & Garden Center, 2211 156th Ave. N.E., Bellevue, 425-746-6760. Hours: 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Bellevue Nursery, 842 104th Ave. S.E., Bellevue, 425-454-5531. Hours: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Classic Nursery & Landscape, 12526 Avondale Road N.E., Redmond, 425-885-5678. Hours: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.
Cottage Creek Nursery, 13300 Avondale Road N.E., Woodinville, 425-883-8252. Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.
Evans Creek Nursery, 20018 N.E. 50th St., Redmond, 425-836-4643. Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.
Fall City Green House & Nursery, 4120 Fall City-Carnation Road S.E., Fall City, 425-222-6492. Hours: 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.
Flower World, 8322 196th St. S.E., Maltby, 425-481-7565. Hours: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Thursday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.
Furney's Nursery, 13427 N.E. 16th St., Bellevue, 425-747-8282. Hours: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.
Gray Barn Nursery & Landscaping, 20871 N.E. Redmond Fall-City Road, Redmond, 425-868-5757. Hours: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Saturday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.
Hayes Nursery, 12504 Issaquah-Hobart Road, Issaquah, 206-391-4166. Hours: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.
The Herbfarm, 32804 Issaquah-Fall City Road, Fall City, 206-784-2222. Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Hopkins Nursery, 15028 100th Ave. N.E., Bothell, 425-488-1179. Hours: 9 a.m to 6 p.m. Monday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.
Landscape Design Center, 5016 192nd Place N.E., Redmond, 425-867-5268. Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.
Molbak's, 13625 N.E 175th St., Woodinville, 425-483-5000. Hours: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday to Thursday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.
Munro's, 7622 Simonds Road N.E., Bothell, 425-828-0222. Hours: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Saturday, or by appointment.
Patterson Creek Nursery, 24808 Redmond-Fall City Road, Redmond, 425-868-0755. Hours: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.
Smith & Hawken, 12200 Northup Way, Bellevue, 425-881-6775. Hours: 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.
Squak Mountain Greenhouses & Nursery, 7600 Renton-Issaquah Road S.E., Issaquah, 206-392-1025. Hours: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Saturday.
Wells Farm & Nursery, 32925 S.E. Issaquah-Fall City Road, Fall City, 425-222-6266 or 425-641-5460. Hours: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.
Wells Medina, 8300 N.E. 24th St., Medina, 425-454-1853. Hours 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.