Monday, September 12, 2011

2011 Fall HPSO Sale

If you were a first time visitor to the Hardy Plant Society of Oregon’s fall plant sale you might have been easily confused by this… …parked right out front of Hall C at the Expo Center, where the plant sale was happening. I think it’s someone’s idea of a sick joke. Every year they put the plant people together with the gun people. My friend Scott mentioned that it’s a fun game to pick out who is going to the plant sale, and who’s going to the gun show. It’s really pretty easy to do.

But...on with the real subject of my post! It was with an odd mix of emotions that I headed into the plant sale. You see summer has finally arrived here in Portland. The last week had been hot and gorgeous! I could have very easily gone crazy at this sale with the foolish idea that summer was going to last forever…

But it’s not.

My lack of spring fueled enthusiasm is reflected in my lack of photos from the show, plus it didn’t help that I neglected to change the setting on my camera to the one best for indoor shooting! So here is just a couple with (of course) a photo of “my haul” at the end…

The owner of this booth was hurriedly scribbling this sign as I walked up, I wish I could have been there for whatever transpired moments before. It must have involved screams. This Stapelia (thanks Ricki for the correction) flower was amazing. Alstroemeria x Bomarea 'Fred Meyer' Pretty! But named after a grocery store founder? Colossal Chestnut…if I had acreage. But this one! It's small, and I’ve been in love with it since I saw it in several gardens I visited in Seattle. Robinia 'Twisty Baby'… No I didn't buy it. So what did I buy? I’ve been kicking myself for planting my Mahonia fortunei ‘Curlicue’ on the north side of our house, where I have to go out of my way to see it. So I picked up another from the Cistus booth. This will be the best of both worlds! Now there will be one out where the neighbors and people walking by can enjoy it, and one tucked away in the back garden where I can enjoy it! Speaking of the north side of our house…this is an area I never talk about. It was an overgrown mass of vegetation for years. We finally ripped everything out when the house next door sold and our new neighbors actually wanted to use their driveway. Since then I’ve planted just a few shade tolerant plants, being careful to leave plenty of room for them to get in and out of their cars (our property line runs right along the side of their driveway). I wanted add a few small ferns to the area around the Mahonia (just beyond the fireplace in the photo above) so I picked up two Himalayan Maidenhair Ferns (Adiantum venustum) and an ‘Angustifolia’ Hart’s Tongue Fern (Phyllitis scolopendrium). I’ve admired this Eucomis for quite awhile…and finally got one. It’s a bonus when you get a bloom too! Eucomis ‘Freckles’... And then there was the yucca. Sometimes I have an irrational need to buy something simply because it’s such a deal! This little Yucca rostrata was only $6, so I had to buy it. You understand right? But my day’s excitement doesn’t stop here! No. After the sale I had two very special friends visit the danger garden. I’ve been corresponding with Peter for a couple of years now (via danger garden) and finally had the opportunity to meet him, and his partner Tom, in person. As is the case when you’ve formed a friendship based on gardening we had plenty to talk about and the afternoon flew by.

Here’s the part where you are going to be extremely jealous…guess what Peter brought me!? This… YA! A gorgeous, tall, variegated Ginkgo! Isn’t it just amazing!!!! Love it. And if that wasn’t enough he brought me a Kalanchoe too, a slightly different version of ‘mother of thousands’…a very dense happy healthy plant. There are a few "babies" attached, they even survived a fall to the ground when I stupidly dropped it!This week’s forecast is for cooler weather, looks like I’ve got some planting to do!


  1. Your influence on me is showing. I was about to do my HPSO report, and there are crossover pictures. I took fewer shots, but was drawn to many of the same plants.

  2. I love your regional plant sales reports. Fred Meyer bred alstroemeria -- I guess a store chain has the same name, tho it's not a local chain here. That hybrid looks incredible. Peter sure knows what to bring to a danger garden party!

  3. So good to see you at the sale :-) That's a good idea, getting a 2nd Mahonia...I always try (emphasis on the "try") to site things I really love to be within easy view...bonus points if I can see it from inside the house. I'd say you should invite those guys over more often, if they bring gifts like that!

  4. Sounds like it was the perfect day for a girl from Danger Garden. All those plant gifts too. Now it's time to plant. I think I would have gone for that gorgeous flower on the Huernia. Just amazing. I went to our cactus show last week and came back empty handed. The whole show is just too crowded and I hate big crowds of people fighting to look at what is on the tables. They really need to get a bigger venue with all the people who are now buying cactus and succulents.

  5. What an exciting day you must have had. I am most intrigued with the Mahonia! I too love Robinia, and can attest that Twisty Baby was the most requested tree at the nursery last year. You did very well to not have to 'borrow' that cube van to take home your haul! And how wonderful to meet Peter. The variegated Gingko..... wowza!

  6. ricki, and I took a shot of the holding area and lack of check out lines too, like you. Only yours turned out much better. Great minds!

    Denise, ah, thank you for the Fred Meyer info, and yes it was rather incredible!

    scott, it was pure luck that I grabbed the second Mahonia. I was standing right in front of them talking with Sean and happened to look down (they were on the floor under the table) and see it. I briefly considered not getting it and waiting until I could use the rest of my gift cert at the nursery, but by then I would have forgotten I'm sure!

    Lancashire Rose, how exciting to go to a well attended cactus and succulent show! Ours are still quiet affairs, but then your climate is a little more friendly to them.

    Barry, had I not just bought a completely unwarranted chocolate Mimosa I would have totally grabbed the 'twisty baby'...maybe at the spring sale!

  7. Sounds like both you and Scott had a great time. And now I see that I need to visit Ricki and get her take on things. :) LOVE the variegated Ginkgo!! What a great plant pal Peter must be.

  8. LOL that chestnut brings back some memories! For work we used to have to go out and check orchards and see if they chipped their prunings. One time we were driving past a chestnut orchard and we were like oh those balls are so cute! My friend went to pick one up and OMG stabbed her finger with it. She said it was so painful!


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