Monday, May 21, 2012
Rare Plant Research Open House, 2012
This is either my 6 or 7th annual pilgrimage out to Oregon City and the home of Rare Plant Research. It used to be that Andrew would send me off with a “buy lots of cool things” farewell. This time he just said “don’t spend more than $30.” My friend Julie laughed and they both had fun joking about how I would likely exceed that number. But you know what? I came very close to hitting that target. In fact if not for the plant I bought specifically for him then I would have been under $30, crazy!
We started our tour in the “not for sale” collections greenhouse. A great way to get your exotic plant lust a flowing…
And then went into the dry caudiciform house.
Burl (the man behind the nursery) seems to be pulling back from growing so many Agaves, and there weren’t any new Aloes, something that surprised me since Aloes seem to be the “it” succulent right now. A lot of the cool plants I saw this weekend I already have, or were really beyond my budget ($30 or otherwise), like this $175 Yucca.
Here are some friends of Lil’ Sanford (my newest Yucca rostrata which I bought from Burl/Rare Plant Research booth at the Hardy Plant Society of Oregon plant sale in April)…
Ice plant was spilling across the floor in a couple of the green houses.
Seeing plants like this in multiples is even better than just one or two…
Although this much Tetrapanax is a little intimidating.
Near the olive plants there was a young man (a shopper) explaining to an older couple that indeed you can grow olives in the Willamette Valley. They were not so sure, and were still shaking their heads long after he walked away.
There were several interesting planted-up containers for sale around the nursery, unfortunately I only took one picture.
A sea of Senecio.
Bromeliads…in an assortment of hurt your eyes brights.
I don't remember the name of this plant, but every year in the “not for sale” collections greenhouse I fondle its leaves. This is the first year I remember seeing it for sale…I came oh so close to buying one, then realized it’s the kind of plant that draws your attention fast…but then can’t really hold on to it.
I was also tempted by these…
But since I’ve grown all three of those before, and lost or tossed them (in the case of the Furcraea, it was looking pitiful), I just walked on.
I have no idea what this crazy business is. Anyone?
Finally we took the short walk up to the owner’s home on the hill, which is really beginning to take on a convincing “patina”…
Since I’ve shown you all the things I didn’t buy, here’s what I did…
I fell for a couple of those day-go Bromeliads…
And bought a second Aloe dorotheae, at only $6.50 how could I not?
For Andrew I picked up this Pachypodium succulentum.
And as you can see from these last few photos the rain returned to Portland yesterday. Our 14-day dry streak was nice while it lasted, but it is only May, and that means rain.