Monday, March 21, 2011

The one that got away…

Last Saturday was the Lan Su (Portland Chinese Garden) Spring Plant Sale, my first plant sale of the season! The garden shows behind us, the plant sales kicking off, and a sunny morning…life is good. The event got underway at 9am for members, and when we pulled up just before there were a few people in line. I took my time getting to the gate but once inside I made a direct line for the Collectors Nursery booth. This is where I found the Syneilesis (Shredded Umbrella Plant) last year and I wanted to grab a couple of others. Mission accomplished, that’s when I turned around and saw this gorgeous Loquat. Only $28. And already spoken for. I must have walked right past it on my way to the Syneilesis. It was part of the Chinese Garden plant booth. Damn. You win some, you lose some.

Matteuccia struthiopteris, or Osterich Fern. Cool, but should they be brown? Since I lost out on the Loquat my expenditures were small. Here’s my box of loot: 2 x Syneilesis…each small 4” pot has 7-9 plants coming up! 1 x Peltoboykinia watanabei – this plant is new to me but with new growth that’s got a hint of brown to it and bold palmate leaves possibly 12” across what’s not to love? My bargain for the day…a large pot of Aspidistra lurida (Cast Iron Plant) for $1! Since we were so close (the sale is held in a parking lot next door) we wanted to visit the garden, but had a few minutes to kill before they opened. Not being a morning person it was unusual to find myself wandering the streets of Oldtown/Chinatown so early on a Saturday morning. This Agave Americana ‘Variegata’ was in the window of an architecture firm. Back at the garden it felt like we had the pace to ourselves. They had a small teaser display set up just inside the garden entrance advertising the sale; Edgeworthia for “only” $20.95…each stick does have a flower on it though. I wonder how many people made it past the display without a second thought but once they were inside and saw this large bush in full bloom they went back and grabbed a plant? It’s a moss and lichen sampler! Still my favorite Camellia of them all. Back outside I finally remembered to take a picture of the small columns in the entry courtyard. I love them. Time to go home and be constructive…and dream about the Loquat that got away…


  1. Nice finds.

    The brown Ostrich Fern fronds are the fertile fronds with their spores from last year. They persist through the winter looking sort of strange until the new green fronds show up in the spring.

  2. that garden is gorgeous! I'll have to remember it if I'm ever in Portland

  3. Darn...too bad I missed you and MulchMaid (then again, I had a hard enough time dragging Norm there at all...trying to get him there for the opening is too much to hope for!) I was totally looking for some Shredded Umbrella after seeing them in your posts last week...blast...sometimes I think I must be a bit blind...hahahaha. I had to look up that Peltoboykinia watanabei to see what it looks like when mature...FAB-U-LOUS!

  4. I have Syneilesis in my back garden, planted it about 4 years and love the comments from people. It is quite the interesting plant coming up and my gets quite tall.

  5. Oh, to have an Edgeworthia...I wish.
    I really enjoy seeing what folks buy, and see the Nursery offerings. Thanks for sharing your finds at the sale. It looks like the beginning of a great garden season!

  6. Here we go again: I just saw an Edgeworthia in the border at Portland Nursery and wondered what it was. Thanks for the ID (and the mind-reading).
    May I put in a request to see the cast iron plant when it reaches maturity?

  7. Jealousy, jealousy...such an ugly thing. I'm "coveting" [this isn't so bad is it?] your Syneilesis! I've never seen it on sale anywhere. Forget the Loquat you got some great plants. Besides you need something to look forward to. BTW, the Ostrich fern is deciduous. Mine hasn't leafed out yet so it was correct to see the old fronds all brown. Thanks for taking us along on the tour.

  8. One dollar for Aspidistra lurida? One dollar??? You don't want to know what I have to charge, and I don't want to tell you.

  9. Ooo..Milky Way Cast Iron for a $1!! I think I woulda bought a dozen. Excellent find (I'm green with envy).

  10. Very impressive Chinese garden. I'm sure having it next to a plant sale gets people even more excited! Too bad you lost out on the loquat. They're getting quite popular down here because of their nice ornamental qualities combined with great fruits if you pick the right kind--even my conservative neighbor has one.

  11. i didn't feel bad about missing the sale after reading Scott's post, but after reading yours I do! Those were some neat plants. That Loquat would have been MINE!!!!!

  12. andrew, thanks! I liked them...a nice point of interest in the winter landscape.

    ellieT, oh definitely plan a visit if you are here!

    Thanks Hoover!

    scott, congrats on getting the non-plant loving partner there! I started hinting a couple of weeks ago that Andrew could join wasn't until that morning that I got confirmation he was in. I loved the couple of leaves I could see on the Peltoboykinia watanabei but the smart lady who owns Collectors Nursery includes photos of the mature plant in her displays, otherwise I may have passed it by.

    Steven, I am a little disappointed that last years plants haven't multiplied more, have yours?

    Aerie-el, perhaps there is an Edgeworthia in your future!?

    ricki, sure thing!

    Grace, I think it's showing up in more soon you should have your very own. Have you ever thought about making the trek up to Portland for the spring Hardy Plant Society sale?

    Les, oh but I do!!!!

    RBell, I would have too but I got the last one...

    James, your "conservative" neighbor! I love it. Are we talking politics or plants?

    Ryan, a plant fight? Well you would have probably gotten to it first so I would have still been in the same place...the land of regret.

  13. Congratulations on your loot! Looks like you enjoyed your shopping and garden visit. The loquat is just another plant and there will always be other times, other chances. It just got away ... for now.

  14. That was a beautiful Loquat.They come up as volunteers in flowerbeds around here. I'd say if you find a good size tree in your neighborhood, you'll probably find some babies that are just pulled up as weeds.

    Don't worry about that lost opportunity. It's a great little tree and can stand some very cold temps.

    David/ Tropical Texana/ Houston

  15. Loquat is for cough and lung in Chinese medicine. Sometimes i would take the Ninjiom Pei Pa Koa which is an extract of loquat when got sore throat.

    You can access info online @


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