One of my favorite holiday events starts today, down a long, winding driveway at the South end of Whidbey Island. Nursery owner, florist, garden designer and pie baker extraordinaire Mary Fisher holds a cozy, friendly open house at Cultus Bay Nursery from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. the weekend after Thanksgiving (Nov. 26, 27, 28) and the two following Saturdays and Sundays (December 4, 5, 11, 12).
The nursery's sweet little potting shed will be lit with candlelight and piled high with fresh-cut fragrant pine, fir and cedar. The air is always temptingly scented with the smell of hot cider and Christmas cookies. There will be plenty of hot tea, cider and cookies to keep you fortified while you visit, shop, stroll the nursery.
Mary and her staff have fashioned greens into one-of-a-kind wreaths, garlands, swags, and centerpieces. Gifts for your family and friends include homemade jams (including Cornelian cherry), chutneys, fruitcake, bird treats, and of course plants with special winter interest. Then there are the durable, handsome garden trugs made by Mary's husband Tom out of cedar and willow.
The unique ambience and handmade treats and decorations at Cultus Bay offer a perfect excuse for a day on Whidbey Island. Catch the ferry from Mukilteo, stop by the seaside town of Langley (extravagantly decked out for Christmas), enjoy the most delicious coffee at Langley's favorite social spot, Useless Bay Coffee Company, and drive up island for a hike at gorgeously scenic Ebey's Landing, all after stopping in to Cultus Bay Nursery for holiday gifts and cheer, of course.....