Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A visit to Terra Nova Nurseries

Last week myself and a small group of plant-centric friends (Ryan, Derick and Lyle) were invited by none other than Mr Dan Heims to tour Terra Nova Nurseries, complete with a visit to the lab and a walk through their display garden.

We started with a glimpse at one of their greenhouses and its robotic watering system, and then peeked into the lab were we watched the staff divide growing plant material into new containers. Everything is extremely clean to prevent contamination; the tweezers the workers use to grasp the plant material are heated just short of “red hot” before they are used. And that wall, in front of the workers, is perforated, with a fan behind blowing air at them so anything that might fall off of them is blown away from the work surface. Next we went into another greenhouse where the staff was planting plugs up to the next size container. Here Dan is showing us the unique material they use for planting the plugs; he said it’s actually similar to that used in cigar manufacturing. Double Hellebores… Hundreds of them! Can you imagine how beautiful this would be if they were all in bloom? It’s time to visit the display garden…but first you must follow Derick through the door in the Arborvitae… Look at the size of those Bergenia leaves! Of course Terra Nova is known for their Heuchera and Heucherellas and there were several in the garden… This one Heucherella 'Solar Power'… It was nice to see a clump of the Black Calla I got on my birthday, Zantedeschia ‘Edge of Night’… much more impressive than a single leaf and flower! More from the garden… Echinacea 'Cranberry Cupcake' And a beautiful plant we were all drooling over, Persicaria ‘Brushstrokes’…the green so bright it glowed. Crocosmia Twilight Fairy, gold flowers with dark foliage. I think Dan is explaining something to Ryan and Lyle… Love this Hosta ‘Jade Cascade’… Roscoea ‘Cinnamon Stick,’ I was very glad to have picked up this plant earlier in the summer. Seeing these and not having one of my own would have been torture! And finally I’ll leave you with this subtle Canna flower… Thanks for the tour Dan! And thank you Ryan for organizing our outing!


  1. So sad I couldn't go...I would have loved to have seen all the plants...I wish I had a clump of Cimicifuga like that...mine are determined to scorch, no matter how much I water! That dark-leaved Crocosmia almost makes me want one...we'll see next year ;-)

  2. Wow that must have been a treat! Fascinating lab, amazing grow houses and beautiful garden all in the same location.

    Unfortunately all those wonderful Heuchera cultivars don't do that well here--the local native species does great, but not the more glamorous Terra Nova cultivars. Sigh.

  3. You are welcome Loree! It was a great trip. Dan clearly loves plants and there was lots of great stuff to see. I got some seeds from the Canna in that last shot!

  4. I'm really envious of all your garden/nursery visits. I haven't been out enough this summer. I am planning a trip to Port Townsend , I know there a few nurseries up that way.

  5. Looked like a fun trip!! Amazing to see plug production from TC first hand! Sorry, I couldn't join you. Another time!!

  6. Another great post with even more unique plants! I have posted what I think maybe a unique plant this morning. I thought of you as soon as I laid my eyes on it!

  7. Wow, pretty cool set up. All those double hellebores. I bought nearly $100 wirth of doubles from Pine Knot this year. Never heard of Roscoea ‘Cinnamon Stick' looks very unusual.

  8. Scott, I would have loved to have seen the photos you would have taken! Wish you could have joined us...

    Hoover, it was one of those days when I am just so happy to live in Oregon!

    Ryan, uhm...seeds huh? I look forward to the germination report.

    Linda, lucky you as I imagine that means you'll be visiting Far Reaches Farm!

    Riz, sorry you missed out too. Hopefully you'll have another opportunity in the spring!

    Darla, I think I like being associated with a Stapelia...

    Randy, I hadn't heard of it either until just a couple of months ago!

  9. Now that you have been to Mecca, should we call you Haji?


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