Thursday, March 25, 2010

The “other” Portland Nursery

I’ve decided to make it a priority during my unemployment to visit area nurseries that I’ve not yet been to. For example Portland Nursery has two locations, until recently I’d never been to their Division Street location, it’s a little further to drive but the prospect of discovering something new made it an adventure.I was there earlier in the month, and they hadn’t broken into full spring nursery mode quite yet, but there was still plenty to look at. This location seems larger than the one I normally visit. The side of the main building was covered with several of these “green wall” planters.
While they look a little bare at the moment I can see myself falling in love with them once they are filled in and lusher (is that a word?).
Inside there is a huge room dedicated to houseplants and tender plants that need a little assistance to make it through a typical Portland winter. Unfortunately they weren’t all labeled well; several were simply called “House Plant” like these beauties…
I fell hard for this Furcraea selloa 'Variegata' or Variegated False Agave…
And this rippled Agave that was part of a planted display. It had so many pups tucked under its arms, it was tempting to try and liberate a couple.
These sexy Licuala ramsayi were downright hypnotic…
And if you’re in the market for a sizable tree fern (Dicksonia antartica) in the Portland area this one is for you! Bring along $300 though.
Back outside this Hymenanthera alpina caught my eye, the shape of the short branches...
And the berries, held so close…
Daphne Houtteana, I remember first being drawn to this plant in a post on Nestmaker, but seeing it in person, blooming, it was amazing! But expensive….at $74.99.
I hear the warnings about Tetrapanax suckering and when I see little clumps like this I dream of the same in my garden. So far no luck.
And then my heart skipped a beat. I had almost forgotten about it and our first meeting nearly a year ago, but a glimpse of the bright green, deeply folded foliage brought it all back to me. Last April I visited Gossler Farms, growing in their display gardens I saw this…
They didn’t have any for sale but I left with a name (Veratrum or False Hellebore), and the desire to someday own it, and now here I was face to face with it.
And would you believe I left without buying it?

I don’t know why. I just couldn’t make up my mind where I would put it, and I was trying to remember that I am unemployed, and I’ve hardly been an angel when it comes to spending money on plants.

That visit was on March 3rd. Last Saturday, March 20th…I went back and bought it. Veratrum Californicum, from Bosky Dell Natives, you're mine now!


  1. That's often my method for making purchases...if it haunts my dreams, I will go back for it...but only if I can bear the possibility of missing out entirely. That is a beaut of a plant!

  2. You asked earlier if I bought the Lime Glow juniper I showed at PN. I didn't, because I couldn't figure out where to put it. But like you and your Veratrum, it's been haunting me. I may end up getting it, if I can just figure out a good location. If not, I guess PN will let me have visitation rights...

    I admire your program of nursery visits. Since I've been on shortened hours, I've been able to get to several nurseries I don't visit regularly. Limited employment does have its advantages.

  3. Fabulous photos. The Veratrum Californicum is lovely - so unusual especially when folded. I love the green wall!

  4. Green Wall planters rock! I like that they were planted to fill in. Sweet. Matti

  5. wow looks like they really take care of their plant stock! Do you happen to know what that pink/maroonish plant that was in the succulent hanging?

  6. Nice to accompany you on a nursery jaunt. I've planted tetrapanax this year and am a bit leery about its prospects for containment in zone 10. It's coming up gangbusters this spring. The pleated leaves of the veratrum are very cool, good choice to go back for it.

  7. ricki, it does make one feel much more "responsible" really wait and see if you must have it.

    Jane, I do feel a little guilty (just a little). I ripped out a perfectly healthy grass thing to plant the new purchase. It was a thug of a grass thing...and ceased to make me happy some time ago...but still. Good luck finding a home for your juniper!

    Evelyn, thank you! We are currently scheming a green wall approach to the back of our garage. It will be a while but I am very excited about it!

    J.J., thanks!

    Matti, I realize now I should have got a shot of the drip system they were using to water....duh.

    Mary C, other than just that it is a sedum I don't. Sorry!

    Denise, I am jealous....

  8. I like that the green wall at least shows how they got the plants to stay in - chicken wire! Not the most attractive but it will be covered up, presumably, in time. Maybe they should have painted it dirt brown or something... Nice finds! When I'm not supposed to be spending money, nurseries are the first places I have to cross of my list! I admire your restraint.

  9. I always forget to go to this location, although I always love it when I go there. I must make a trip over, and I'm going to need that Veratrum.

  10. Hi Loree~~ And here, all along I thought you were writing about the Division Street location. This is the store I'm familiar with, an old haunt during my Portland dwelling. I used to take my now-grown kids there. My son was so helpful with the wagons. He's a grown man now. Where does the time go?

    My Dicksonia is dead. I was at Home Despot [yes, I spelled it that way on purpose] yesterday looking for another small plant. I won't be stupid twice.... well I might be...

    I know what you mean about leaving without the coveted plant. Sometimes buying it just doesn't feel right. There's no seriously tangible explanation for the internal resistance. Yet if it gnaws away at you, you'd better get back there. I've done this many times.

  11. Loree, do you remember how much the Licuala ramsayi were? I've come to the conclusion that I must have one :-).

  12. Not a clue! (that was almost two years ago that I posted about them) but you know I don't remember seeing them the last time I was there. You might want to give them a call or email them to see if they still have them. Good luck!

  13. Loree, I've been trying to figure out what a good price for a Licuala ramsayi is. Will call local nurseries. It's a zone 10 plant, but I'm willing to give it a shot!


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