Some sad news regarding Steamboat Island Nursery

ian_wa(Sequim)April 18, 2013

Many of you will know Laine and Duane at Steamboat Island Nursery, having purchased some of the unusual and exotic plants they have offered over the years from their small specialty nursery in Olympia. Well the sad news is that Duane has passed away early this morning from injuries incurred when he was struck by a Sound Transit train on his way to the Mariner's season opener on April 8. I have been asked to pass along this news to anyone in the local hort/gardening community who knows them or is interested in helping in some way. They are hoping to be able to provide some much needed financial assistance for Laine, and are accepting donations to this end to the nursery address, 8424 Steamboat Island Road, Olympia, WA 98502 (check payable to Laine McLaughlin, not the nursery). If you want to talk donations, or donate cash, talk to Jay Higgins at You can also send messages to Laine directly to the nursery email:

If donating money isn't your thing, you can support the nursery (and hence Laine) by buying their plants. They are participating in the Rhododendron Species Foundation sale this weekend, and I hope I can convince enough people of the need that they sell out of everything they bring to the sale. If I find out about any more sales they are in, I will post it here. Here are details on the sale and how to get there: Even without the need, this sale is a great chance to get some interesting and rare plants just in general.

So enough about that. Let's remember Duane and keep Laine and the Steamboat Island Nursery staff in our thoughts through this difficult time. I may have to make some editions/corrections to this post as I find out more. Thanks for reading.

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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

I am sorry about this. I am planning to go to the sale.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2013 at 2:34PM
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thanks for doing this Ian.
How terrible.
I've passed this on to HPSW and our local NPA group.
I'm not sure I can get to Rhody species sale, but if Laine is at Lake Forest Park plant sale, I'll surely purchase there.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2013 at 4:18PM
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Thanks Plantknitter for spreading the word. I'll ask if they will be at the Lake Forest Park Sale. They have also done Sorticulture in the past. I'll see what I can find out.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2013 at 3:28AM
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CathyJ(USDA-8 West WA)

I was shocked and deeply saddened to learn of Duane's tragic passing in yesterday's Tacoma News Tribune. A few years back, for three summers, I had the pleasure of working for Laine and Duane when they were still doing retail at the nursery. Great people, both. I know Duane will be greatly missed by many. My heart breaks for Laine. Thank you for passing this along, Ian.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2013 at 9:07PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Seattle Times.

Here is a link that might be useful: Mariners Fan Etc.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 12:28AM
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