Thursday, July 8, 2010

A visit to Fry Road Nursery

Since I had never been to Dancing Oaks Nursery but I know someone who has, I asked her advice on the best time to visit. The ‘her’ I am speaking of is Grace from Gardening with Grace. She was very helpful and persuaded me to wait until at least the end of June when the display garden would be really amazing. I’m glad she did otherwise I wouldn’t have gotten to see the remarkable Eremurus in bloom at Dancing Oaks.And Grace being a kind person and enthusiastic gardener she encouraged me to visit another one of her favorite places, Fry Road Nursery. And she even offered to meet me there to give me a guided tour. How could I say no? So after spending the morning at Dancing Oaks I then made the beautiful drive to Albany, Oregon. One of the first things I saw was this unusual flowering Bromeliad. Oh wait…those are Begonia blooms! They fell from above. Ah… Impatiens omeiana! This one is on my lust list!
In all my agave loving and collecting years I’ve never actually seen an agave labeled as THE tequilana agave. Now I have.
Beautiful Ensete maurelii yes?
Look at what it’s growing in! This container is like less than 3” deep!
More agaves! Do you think I could pass up these little cuties? (yes…agaves can be cuties). I wanted them ALL!
This one is a little…well…odd. Aristolochia gigantea…Side view...
Papaya trees….with fruit!
The green houses were packed tight!
Colocasia 'Mojito'…this was the first I’ve seen this variety “in real life” and somehow I resisted buying one. Yes. I regret it.
Abutilon red tiger. Love love love these little lanterns. Again, didn’t buy and regret (I was trying to be good!....but good is no fun).
Look at that beautiful Datura flower.
Now look at the size of the hole the plant is growing in. Incredible.
Another view of the nursery.
And more Colocasia.
Check out this tray of Yucca rostrata seedlings that Grace noticed. Aren’t they adorable? The date on the tray is 7.6.09…so they are 1 year old!
Another case of an amazingly huge plant growing from the tiniest little container.
Can you believe it?
In the background of this picture, on the left, you can hopefully make out a few tall Callistemons. The object in the center is what the roots of one stem looks like when you pull, and yank, and pull, and then a nursery employee pulls, and then you lift the tray and the employee pulls and FINALLY the little plant breaks free. Sold.
Outside one of the greenhouses was this pile of banana stalks and leaves. It was kind of a sad site.
I wonder if you can tell the age of a banana stalk by the rings, like on a tree trunk?
So what did I buy? Will of course the Impatiens omeiana (and I'm watering it like mad with our 95 degree heat that came out of nowhere!)
And at $1.98 I had to have the Callistemon we worked so hard to free.
Only $1.98! Why did I only get one?
These little agaves (Agave ovatifolia and two Agave montana) are now in the danger garden (only $2.98ea)
I finally have an Alocasia (as opposed to a Colocasia)… Alocasia 'Frydek'
And since I am still sad about loosing my Chinese Yellow Banana I got a little replacement (only $4.98!).
So do you sense a reoccuring theme here? The plants at Fry Road Nursery are incredibly cheap!!! If you are passing through the Albany area you should definitely check them out. Unfortunately you won’t get to be toured through the nursery by Grace, like I was (thank you so much Grace!)…but she says she does spend a lot of time there, so you never know. If you see a blond lady with her arms full of pink blooming plants you should ask “are you Grace?” because it just might be!


  1. Wow! You and Grace weren't kidding about the affordability of the plants there. I really need at least one Colocasia - both mine croaked this winter, along with the musa basjoo and several other 'tropicals."

    Looks like a visit to Fry Road Nursery is in my future (after this heat wave passes.) I, too, am watering like crazy.

  2. I thought that Impatiens omeiana looked familiar- looked through my tag book, yes... bought in 06 , where is it?

  3. AnonymousJuly 08, 2010

    Bravo again, Loree!!! Your photos and prose are delightful. I am going to email the link to Ann and Mark.

    I hope your newbie plants are doing okay with this ghastly heat. They look great. And once your lottery winnings materialize, I hope you'll come back, or maybe even before that!

  4. Well, I'm penciling in Fryes, and how clever of me to decide to travel by car(i.e. plant trolley) instead of plane on my next journey to Portland---the itinerary includes Joy Creek and Cistus for sure, but it's been a couple years since I visited Dancing Oaks ..and there Ferguson Fragrant too! Your photos are enticing to say the least.

    Kathy in Napa

  5. You should have picked up that abutilon! It's hot :)

  6. LOVE the abutilon - I've never seen one like that and must try and find one! Thanks for the fun nursery tour - wish I lived closer so I could visit! BTW: My 15 year old daughter just walked by, saw the name of your blog w/your tagline and started cracking up, saying "that's really cool"....

  7. I'm terrible at buying things because they're cheap, I think I'd have a real problem in a place like that!

  8. Great prices! I especially love the photo of the yanked rootball, as some of the coolest nurseries seem to have that same problem. I know they say not to buy plants with roots like that for all sorts of reasons, but all it tells me is that the plant was well taken care of and vigorous enough to break free! Why did you only get one? I guess space will always be an issue, but I wish I could find them at that price... I could have a whole potential hedge for 10 bucks!

  9. Dropped by from Grace's. You are so lucky to have met her. She is awesome! Great tour.

  10. You should have gotten the A. tequilana, I never saw that one before either. I wonder which one they use to make the Agave Sugar I see at the coop.

  11. Ha ha... I almost thought they were really flowers from the brom :-D

    Oh, I just bought a black colocasia which I though it was alocase until I see this post. I am glad I read this post. TQTQ! But my leaves are much smaller. Do you happen to know the ID?

  12. It's like Means with a completely different selection. Bargain agaves? I think we've talked about liking to give agaves as hostess gifts, this would be the perfect place to stock up.
    And only some of my alocasias seem to be coming up as planned. My best garden summer ever had several peeking from the borders. I'm going to have to take a trip to Albany.

  13. Very fond of weird, but that Aristolochia,,,beyond the pale. Lucky you, touring with Grace.

  14. What a great place! I've never seen a nursery with so many agaves! I spotted several plants which I admired in the Little and Lewis garden. I certainly should visit Fry Road nursery. You took very interesting pictures. For example, a cut banana stalk. Amazing! The prices are also amazing! You and Grace certainly had a great time. Thank you for this posting!

  15. MulchMaid, fun! I bet you will find many treasures that you "must" have!

    linda, interesting...overgrown by a nearby thug? Lost to winter cold or summer heat? Hope you find it.

    Grace, lottery winnings!? That would be wonderful. Guess I need to buy a ticket though eh? Everything is taking the heat just fine (thank you!). I was giving them big drinks to get through and I think they appreciated the help.

    ks, what fun you have ahead! And thanks for the reminder about Ferguson's. Another to put on my list.

    Megan, shoulda for sure.

    Rebecca, oh I bet you could get one of those abutilon to winter over no problem, hope you find one. I think Monrovia has them. And thanks for passing along the remark from your daughter!

    Andrew, but just think of how much fun you would have!

    RFG, why did I buy just one? Well I guess space mainly. But I am really regretting it.

    Darla, thank you!

    Matti, good question about the sweetener. I'm going to have to read the fine print next time I see it.

    Stephanie, I don't have an id, I did look at your blog and didn't see pictures of the colocasia (lots of other beautiful things though!)

    Means, exactly...I was thinking the same thing (Means). And yes these are the perfect little agave gift size! Especially at first when I thought they were only 89 cents! I was seriously going to stock up!

    ricki, you are right! (on both points)

    Tatyana, you know I think the same for me regarding seeing a nursery with so many agaves. They are definitely some of the smallest agaves but for sheer numbers they probably even beat Cistus! Thank you for stopping by!

  16. That is so beyond cool that you met Grace. And also that you got to go to her favorite place for cheap plants! That's too bizarre about the bananas and other big plants growing in flats. Guess that proves that root systems are pretty much horizontal unless it has a taproot, huh? Crazy. Love your finds! You might have to go back to get that abutilon, though...


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