Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Horticultural Field-Trip, part 1

Last Thursday I had the opportunity to join up with Ryan Miller (gnomicscience), Scott Weber (rhone street gardens), and Derick Pitman (Mr. Impatiens) to go on a day long nursery/plant jaunt. What an adventure! You know you’re with cool plant people when you can spend 14 hours straight with them and not run out of things to talk about. After meeting up at Sean Hogan’s house and getting a tour of his garden (sorry no pictures…my morning’s coffee hadn’t kicked in yet and I wasn’t thinking clearly enough to grab my camera) we were off to Xera Plants. Here are a few of the things that caught my eye... Sempervivum arachnoides, spreading its legs. Maihuenia poeppigii. I had to pass up this spiky little cutie since it was growing in their propagation area, put then did it again at the HPSO Sale on Saturday. Naturally now I’m obsessing about it. Manfreda virginica ‘Spot’ passed this one up too, but did manage to grab one of them at the HPSO Sale. There is something so perfect about a group of little agaves like this. Lomatia myricoides, new to me. “Possibly the hardiest and certainly one of the most architectural of the Protea family” and I left it behind. Whoever said you can’t have every plant you want was not a nice person and I don’t like them. Genista aetnensis. Everytime I look at the one I bought last time I was at Xera it makes me ridiculously happy. So I bought another one this time. Lyonothamnus f. Var. ‘Asplenifoilius’ the leaves on this one caught my eye, they looked familiar. Ah yes…I saw a much larger version at the Chapel Pub a couple of weeks ago. The gang swarms the tables of plants pulled aside to go to the HPSO Sale. There are several of my favorite plants in this group. Including the Pseudopanax ferox. And what I think is Sophora prostrata? Euphorbia rigida. Magnolia laevifolia…I was very excited to see these, and one did come home with me, yay! More Pseudopanax… Loved this vine but forgot to ask what it is. Hopefully one of you can tell me? Masses of Phormium to make me swoon. When is a Dusty Miller not lame? When it’s a Senecio viravira. Leaving Xera, and its pink flamingos, we traveled on to Bovees Nursery. Never having been to Hawaii I felt like walking through Bovees Vireya Rhododendron greenhouse was the next best thing. Big, bold, bright and colorful flowers. These white R. tuba, from Papua New Guinea, were quite striking as well. But I would have missed the best part had Ryan not pointed it out. Look how the blooms begin, pushing off their little hat… I think my favorite (because for me it truly is all about the foliage) were these…with the rusty indumentum. Sexy! Back outside we were in a mossy Rhododendron wonderland. With fabulous vintage garden lighting. And a couple of charming vignettes. Okay…time to make a quick stop to unload our plant haul and next stop…you guessed it! Cistus.


  1. Loving the look of that Magnolia laevifolia at Xera! The rusty, dusty indumentum on that rhododendron at Bovees gets me too. You four had a very cool trip together. What fun, with more to come!

  2. Just recently discoverd your blog...LOVE IT,and your love of unusual plants. I live in Michigan where we are not able to grow a lot of the plants you talk about outside but I love reading about them through your blog.

  3. I must take my resident Rhodoholic to visit this Bovees place...never heard of it. The photos of the flower emerging are priceless.

  4. the flamingo’s feathers will typically be more white or pale pink in color. They tend to live near saltwater, and often prefer large lakes and areas of muddiness where they can feed and mate. While they will sometimes migrate during mating season, their natural movements are someone difficult to determine due to human interference, which has spread the greater flamingo well beyond its initial habitats.

  5. Have been looking everywhere for Senecio vira-vira, also known as S. leucostachys! Dang, girl!

  6. Ah, where to begin...? What a fabulous trip it must have been. You're lucky to have so many wonderful nurseries [and plant people] in your locale.

  7. What a red-letter day!

    Never seen Sempervivum arachnoides. Look tempting. And Magnolia laevifolia is also new to me. And the list goes on ...

    I fear that had I been in your shoes, I would have needed a truck to take home all my purchases.

    Green in Seattle,

  8. that trip was so much fun! It's so funny how among the four of us there was not a lot of overlap in plant interest, but we all found great stuff to see.

  9. What a nice trip you've just had there, loved looking at all those plants especially they are similar to the exotics also available for sale here. I do love the colours of some rhododendron leaves especially on the new leaves.

    I would say though that Lomatia tinctoria is hardier than L. myricoides, and also found the latter very sensitive to ordinary fertiliser (it died actually). It needs a phosphate free feed. Looking forward to the next installment :)

  10. MulchMaid, do you have room for the Magnolia? If so I'm sure Garden Fever could get it for you...or Cistus has them too.

    Eddie, thank you! And to think I complain about the weather in Portland. I would be lost gardening in Michigan.

    ricki, your Rhodoholic will be in heaven! Truly.

    garden flamingos, even though your comment is a little "spammy" I do have a tender spot in my heart for plastic flamingos (goes back to my college days) so it stays.

    Denise, come on up to Portland!

    Grace, I truly am. Next field-trip will be to Dancing Oaks, one you are lucky to have in your locale!

    Van, funny we briefly talked about renting one...figuring we would need the space. Considering all the cool stuff we saw were very restrained.

    Ryan, so true (no overlap in plant interest). I wish your camera could have continued the journey with us because it would have been so fun to see the trip through your and Scott's perspective too.

    Mark and Gaz, this is where my lazy gardening ways come in handy. If you don't ever fertilize you don't have to worry about such things!

  11. It was a great time, wasn't it! I kept thinking too how interesting it was with our varying plant choices/interests...made it much more interesting, to be sure...and we avoided getting into fisticuffs over plants ;-)

  12. Sounds and looks like a great trip! I believe the vine you are wondering about is Holboellia coriacea or angustifolia.

  13. Scott, I don't put it like that "fisticuffs" and it sounds kind of fun.

    Lauren, thank you for the identification!


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