Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Cornell Farms, a nursery in Portland that I’d never been to!

My tireless quest for Blue Atlas Cedar eventually took me to Cornell Farms, I’d heard they had a good selection and I discovered they are a mere 20 minutes from home. I’d never visited because I thought it was much further away and (being honest) I was afraid it solely catered to the petunia, pansy and cement pig crowd. I was wrong! (although I did see a few pansies and cement frogs). This is where I found the branches I told you about yesterday, but I could have bought so much more… My visit was on the day before Thanksgiving, there were employees scurrying around getting ready for an impending Christmas tree shipment, still parts of the place looked like it was July. These succulent planters’ days are seriously numbered! I’ve been to a handful of nurseries in the area over the last few weeks and they all have an almost shut-down-for-the-season feel to them. Other than the wreaths and other cut holiday greens, this one felt like they hadn’t noticed it was November. I enjoyed that. This is Parahebe perfoliata, I love it. Naturally since it’s a zone 9 plant according to the label. Although a little research at home says it may be hardier…and it also gets silly little blue flowers. Maybe it’s a good thing I left it behind. A peek inside one of their “out-buildings.” I neglected to take a picture of the side filled with bulbs, lots of bulbs. Instead you get white Cyclamen, paperwhites, and the previously mentioned cement frogs. And a few succulents that were brought in from the cold. Blechnum spicata, or Deer Fern. I love wreaths, and I love Magnolia leaves. But for $64 these stayed behind. Pink flamingos! I don’t get the door. There were several of them throughout the nursery. I get the need for height, and color in a display, but why a door, outside? Could it be just as a place to hang a wreath? Maybe. 40% off…let’s see… Dasylirion wheeleri are surprisingly hard to find (in Portland), and here are two of nice size for 40% off $49.99. Someone please come scoop these up! Unfortunately the graceful and yet hefty presence of this old fig tree doesn't read in this picture. It was a thing of beauty. They have several greenhouses…
This nursery really is quite huge! I wonder what it looks like in the height of the season? I wish my Mahonia eurybracteata 'Soft Caress' looked this good. At least I can say my Mahonia x media 'Charity' does look this good… Another of those plants I’m just dying to find a place for (I clearly need to annex a neighbors garden right?), Arbutus unedo…gorgeous. Look at this color, wow! Even their Melianthis still looks great. Yes I will definitely be visiting Cornell Farms again someday.


  1. wow that certainly does look like a wonderful place! I am always so impressed to see all the great succulents from your nursery visits. I too can't wait to see what it looks like in season!!!

  2. I often forget about this nursery, and I don't live too far from it. I'll have to give it another try. Funny that Parahebe perfoliata is Zone 9 - really? I've had mine outside, unprotected for 4 years and it has never suffered damage in the winter. In fact, it is the star of the garden in spring when in flower - it stops people on the street for a second look. The foliage is wonderful all year - evergreen in my garden. Give it a try.

  3. Hmmm, strange they're so active at this time of year, until you said I was thinking the same thing. A quick drive around town here and you quickly realize the season is dead until spring. Nothing but christmas trees, and hellebores, yawn.

  4. Loving those succulent containers!!!

  5. The hanging red sign makes me want to use my Monty Python voice and 'demand a...Shrubbery! One that looks nice, but not too expensive.'

  6. That *is* an amazing number of nurseries you have in "PDX", since one still got past you! I think your city has more nurseries than Abq has hort-challenged desert deniers.

    Their displays and succulent pots are amazingly rich combos for the cool season.

    And of course, I like the clean washed look of everything, thans to the drippy climate. I want to see that freshness so bad in the courtyard, and in the views beyond. It's been 2 months...

  7. Wow, this looks like a wonderful nursery!

  8. It is kind of out of the way, but with OCAC right across the way (gallery, gift shop & Hands On Cafe) I find it well worth a special trip every once in a while.

  9. But...no Blue Atlas Cedar? :(

    Nice place, though. I hope they got the rest of their succulents under cover.

  10. Louis, I will be sure to visit in late spring and report!

    Lisa, thank you for the report on your Parahebe...just the words I needed to make me buy it next time I see it...blue flowers or not.

    Nat, I'm tempted to go back in January and see what they're up to!

    Delphine, merci!

    Megan, they did a great job.

    ryan, oh I dare you...when and if you are in the area to stop and do just that.

    Desert Dweller, drippy indeed! We'd just had a few huge downpours and in fact there was drizzle while I was there. Probably shouldn't have had the camera out.

    Peter, do I see a Portland nursery tour in your future?

    ricki, so you've been before then?

    Hoover, oh they were the ones with the beautiful (expensive) Monrovia B.A.C. from yesterday.


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