Monday, November 12, 2012

A low key horticultural field-trip, in November

There was a conference for Independent Plant Breeders in Portland a couple weeks ago, the event brought a nice group of plant nerds to Portland, one of them my friend Derick, also known as Mr. Impatiens. Whenever Derick is in town the call goes out to the gang for a little nursery hoping. Who am I to refuse? Since this was a Sunday late in the season our adventures stayed in town and low-key (unlike this trip, this one, and this one which were dawn till dusk free-for-alls). We started at Garden Fever, “my” neighborhood nursery.

As I've probably mentioned before this is a Daphne I would happily plant in my garden, however that's on hold until the price comes down, still too expensive for my blood.

Beautiful though!

The remains of this tall Kniphofia bloom reminded me of just one thing...do you see it too?

A fabulous seedy question mark!


The foliage of the Fine Line Buckthorn reminds me of the Rhododendron stenopetalum 'Linearifolium' (Spider Azalea) which I occasionally lust after, a bonus with the Buckthorn is no silly pink flowers! On the downside it does get quite large.

After finishing up at Garden Fever we headed to Thicket off Alberta street, sadly they were closed for the season so no pictures from there to share. But next door to the nursery (at a private home) I spotted this bird bath planted up with succulents...

A nice idea if you've got a cracked bird bath that won't hold water any longer.

On to Portland Nursery where I visited my Christmas Palm Tree options again.

So perfect...so expensive...

Nursery shopping in November can mean empty tables, especially in the places that do a large trade in holiday trees and greenery, as they are making room for the next wave of "goods." Thankfully a few non-holiday vignettes still remain.

And I'm still in love with this Lupinus albifrons in a display container...none for sale.

Next stop Cornell Farm, where holy smokes! Cousin Itt for sale right here in Portland!

Don't you just want to run your fingers through it's hair?

There is a price to pay for rarity (no, those are not gallon sized pots).

Cupressus A. 'Blue Ice'...I like! Perhaps an icey blue Christmas tree?


This is so beautiful that it's painful. Why oh why can't I grow Yucca 'Bright Star'...

Chubby Opuntia!

So purple...

Since I'm not a fan of garden "art" this display should scare me, but instead I kinda love it. Why? It reminds me of the shells at Lotusland.

Plus the spikes!


We were there in time to see all the succulents before the temperatures drop...and they go where ever they go to stay warm.

Love them...

All of them.








So did I buy anything? Just this at our first stop of the day (Garden Fever)...

Not that I need another tender plant to overwinter, but I couldn't resist that color!

Oh and that conference that I mentioned? I got to meet Mr Greensparrow aka Joseph Tychonievich of the fabulous Arrowhead Alpines who was in town for the event. Just in case you're wondering yes...he's just as cool in person as you think he might be. Although sadly he didn't break out in song as I had hoped he might.

37 comments:

  1. A purple leafed Daphne, very nice! They tend to be expensive as most of them can be so slow growing and difficult to propagate (and in most varieties, difficult to keep alive for long). Same here though, sometimes when I see a new Daphne that I like it is so expensive I just leave them be till the price comes down.

    I enjoy your nursery visits as I inevitably see new plants that we would love to have. That Echeveria is gorgeous!

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    1. Yikes spending $26 for a plant is even less appealing if it's difficult to keep alive.

      Yes as soon as I saw that Echeveria I knew it was coming home with me!

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  2. Very colorful nursery selections, enjoyed seeing the new silvery selections of course.

    Nice photos of the birdbath, I'm finding almost anything makes a good succulent planter since I discovered how well they grow in our climate.

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    1. So true, I've seen succulent planters made of shoes, boots, handbags, old toys, crates, tires, shells. Of course just because you can doesn't mean you should... (smiley face here)

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  3. Why can't you grow Yucca 'Bright Star'? I have this plant and so far it is still alive. Is there something I should know about? Is it picky?

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    1. I wish I knew. The first one I bought I planted in the front garden. It looked great for about a month, then it died. But it didn't! It came back from the roots as two tiny plants. Two years later...still tiny plants. I'm talking about leaves that are 2.5" long.

      The second one I planted I put in a container (a tall one...so the roots could go downwards) it looked great for the summer but over winter (btw it was moved under the eaves of our shade pavilion so it got very little rain) it started to get these big brown spots on the leaves. UGLY! In the spring I cut the scarred leaves off and moved the plant to a less prominent container. It slowly grew back over the summer. I think I'm up to about 6 leaves now.

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  4. Super jealous of your amazing echeveria!! There is no way to resist colour like that. I have a thought about the yucca bright stars. It is an observation of mine that the way each leaf or arm comes out from the centre creates a collection point for water - almost like a bromeliad. I wonder if the combination of leaves/pine needles and water building up in the centre of the plant by its very form causes rot? I'm almost tempted to slightly tilt my newer 'bright star' just so that the water runs better out of the crown of the plant. just an idea.

    That butia capitata is a perfect christmas palm! What does that run for in Portland?

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    1. Isn't that Echeveria amazing!?

      I like what you have to say about the Y. 'Bright Star' and it might be worth a try. My only other thought is that the leaf growth pattern isn't all that different from other Yucca...why are they wimps? It's my own personal theory that this poor thing is a mutant of breeding that will never look as good once you take it home. Or maybe that's just my way of rationalizing my personal short comings.

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    2. Funny I was just thinking about my Christmas palm options and realized I didn't answer your question about price. It was either $199 or $119...I realize that is a huge difference but I just dismissed it as being "over $100" which both are...

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  5. I love that question mark, and I love even more that you saw it. It would look great in a Dr. Seuss inspired garden, perhaps rising above a flock of alliums. Alas, that's wrong season but one can dream.

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    1. I LOVE that mental picture. So fabulous to imagine.

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  6. That is a great echeveria, you had to buy it.

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    1. I am so glad you understand. Especially when it was only $5.99!

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  7. I've been waiting on that daphne too. Why is it so expensive?! Grrr.

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    1. Because they know how much we want it.

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  8. I've never actually been plant shopping with friends before. Sure sounds like fun!

    Also, what does it mean when I read the title of this post and thought "why did Loree wait so long to tell us about this field trip that she took back in November?"

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    1. Yes indeed, especially when they are plant nerds who have great taste but not exactly same taste as you. That way you don't have to fight over the only $5.99 metallic Echeveria. You should probably come out to Portland for the spring HPSO sale and go shopping with us.

      Funny about your monthly mix up, especially since I originally called the post "A low key horticultural field-trip, in October" luckily I realized it was November in time to change it.

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  9. So much fun meeting you too, Loree! Wish we'd been able to spend more time together. Well, next time.
    I can tell you, from a nurseryman's persective, that daphnes are expensive because they are a giant pain to grow in pots... once they make it to the garden, they are easy as can be but in the nursery... ugh. Hence the price.

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    1. Well heck I guess that makes good business sense. Maybe I'll have to work better at rationalizing the purchase then...

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  10. I can't believe there is a spiky plant that refuses to respond to your ministrations...can't it feel the love?

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    1. Exactly!!! I just don't understand.

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  11. Couldn't we just spray paint our green daphnes purple and call it good? Your new echiveria is beautiful & I'm jealous of your fun field trip! My 'Bright Stars' look o.k. but have never gotten that beautiful pink cast that you show in your pictures. Rats!

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    1. How about you give that a try and tell me how it works out?

      It was that pink cast that convinced me to give it another try after my first failure. Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice....oh what ever. But notice I did NOT fall for it a third time!

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  12. Wow, still lots of goodies to be had! I am dying for that black Daphne too. I think it would look amazing with some pale yellow daffs. What a dream boat.

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    1. The black Daphne with yellow daffs planted with your orange house as a back drop...WOW! That would be fabulous.

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  13. There's nothing like being introduced to your own back yard: can you believe I've never been to Cornell Farms? Thanks for the push. It might not happen until spring, but it's on the list for sure!

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    1. I think it was about this time last year that I first paid a visit. It's an interesting place, I've found a couple of great things there.

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  14. Oops. I was trying to figure out what Echiveria that Daphne was :/ There goes my plant geek card!
    Also, was everyone on Earth at that conference? Two of my friends were there as well.

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    1. Yep, everyone on earth except you and I...

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  15. That Daphne with the dark leaves is cool. Bummer that you can't grow Bright Star. I put three in my gravel garden this past spring, and they have probably doubled in size, with gorgeous healthy leaves. Well, we'll see how they do over the winter.

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    1. My hat is off to you Alison. Update me in the spring please. Maybe I do need to try again...

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  16. It's probably for the best they didn't have the Lupine...where would I put it!?!

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    1. I seem to remember you asking for suggestions on something to fill that empty spot...

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  17. It's funny, because before I even read the captions, I thought "the only one I would buy is the metallic Echeveria." Great minds think alike!

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    1. Indeed! Have you seen that one for sale before? I haven't.

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  18. You met Joseph Tychonievich! We now have one degree of separation!
    We lived in Howell, near Pinckney and the nursery. Only visited once, on what must have been the hottest day of the summer. We were the only folks on the place, he came out and chatted. Very nice man.

    LOVED his nursery. So many cool, unusual, distinctive plants.

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  19. Oh, oops. I've met the owner, Bob Stewart.
    So much for that.

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