Sunday I visited Marbotts, an old time nursery in NE Portland, I love this place. This is not a slick operation. You don't always find a price on each plant and as I discovered last year sometimes you have to convince the owner that you should be allowed to purchase a plant (more on that below). What it lacks in glamor it makes up for in authenticity. These people know what they are doing and have been doing it for years. They live on-site and I believe the second generation is taking over.
Last year I bought a papyrus at Marbotts. I knew it was too early in the spring to plant it out, Papyrus King Tut is a zone 10 plant and needs heat to thrive. The plants looked so happy and even though the nursery is very close to my home I just don't make it out there very often. I saw it and I wanted to buy it, right then. The owner, a surly old fellow wouldn't sell it to me. 'To early' he said. I know, I said, I will protect it, I promise. We talked awhile and I guess I convinced him I was worthy because eventually he told me the price and I went off to pay.
That papyrus turned out to be amazing. It completely took off and filled a large pot, stems were at least 5 ft tall, I loved it - all the while knowing it was doomed to death. Others buy true annuals at the nursery each year, I purchase banana and papyrus as my annuals.So as I was planting and moving containers around the patio this weekend I realized I needed to go buy a papyrus. I went out to Marbotts prepared to do battle. Well they were pretty busy and the old guy was monopolized by folks with tomato questions. So I managed to scoop up my papyrus, pay and leave unscathed. Bummer. I was kind of looking forward to the debate.