A couple days before our Kitsap Peninsula adventure I got an email from the organizer, Peter (aka The Outlaw, but you probably already knew that), asking what time I needed to be back to Tacoma to meet up with Andrew. He'd hatched a plan and wondered how late was too late. Then he told me he'd emailed with Ian at The Desert Northwest, who just happened to be having an open nursery event that day in Sequim, just 45 minutes or so beyond our last stop, Far Reaches Farm. Ian was willing to stay open a little later and Peter proposed visiting. YES!
To say I was excited was an understatement. The highlight of the day just went from seeing Heronswood for the first time to visiting The Desert Northwest, and I am not exaggerating. In fact I was so excited to be there I took very few photographs. No pictures of the overall greenhouse set-up. No pictures of the sign, as I usually try to do. That's why I
So enough chatter, let's get on with the visit! Here's Anna checking out some fabulous plant treasure. I hope she won't mind when I say watching her see these plants for the first time was great fun. I heard her exclaim "oh what's that!!?" several times.
Naturally there were agaves...
Some of my favorites even.
I'm thinking a puya? I emailed Ian to get specific names on a some things but forgot to ask a few, like this one.
Alison and Peter shopping in the background.
I should give you a little background on The Desert Northwest, in case you're not familiar with them. From their website: "We are a specialty nursery located in Sequim, Washington, dedicated to the production and promotion of noteworthy water-wise plants! Here you can find a wide range of interesting and hard to find treasures, such as cold-hardy desert plants, plants from the Southern Hemisphere, Mediterranean plants, dryland native plants, and more. Founded in 2005, Our aim is to show Northwest gardeners how to make plant selections that require little or no summer water once established. We specialize in mail-order, as many of our plants also offer excellent performance, or potential, outside the Pacific Northwest! We propagate and produce all of our own stock here at our nursery in beautiful Clallam County, Washington, without the use of chemical fertilizers or pesticides. We also offer seed of some plants."
There is also this: "Our web site is also intended as an informative resource for those who wish to learn how to grow various kinds of unusual plants, especially xeric plants and others adapted to our summer-dry climate. Please enjoy the photo galleries, blog, and plant articles on the site! We hope you learn something interesting while browsing through our pages, whether it be about rare plants, gardening, or our climate."...it's true! The amount of information available on the website is amazing.
Here Anna is holding Banksia grandis. I bought one of these from Ian at the spring Hortlandia sale in Portland. I think he plans to return to the sale this April.
Grevillea 'Poorinda Royal Mantle'
And a flower...
Pure madness, in a good way of course!
Another Leucadendron jester, I believe.
Protea punctata (dried flower) with Leucadendron laureolum (narrower leaves, on the right).
Grevillea lanigera 'Mt Tamboritha'
Ficus afghanistanica 'Silver Lyre,' I don't think this one was for sale - I saw a tag from another nursery (one I frequent) in there. I'm glad I took a photo though, it's a beauty and one Andrew Keys introduced me to during his visit to Portland last summer.
Okay finally what did I buy? Well not as much as I would have liked to. The fact this trip was done in September not May had a dampening effect on my desire to purchase. Plus there was the budget, always the budget (and as you know if you've been following along I had been buying plants ALL DAY LONG!). So I picked up a Banksia blechnifolia, I bought one last spring but it sadly turned crispy when I (stupidly) left it in the hot sun while it was still in it's little 4" container (my excuse is I was stuck in jury duty). It's spending winter in the shade pavilion greenhouse.
My second purchase was a happy coincidence. Remember when I saw this Microcachrys tetragona earlier in the day at Celestial Dream Gardens but couldn't buy it because they didn't have any?
Well something possessed me to pull out the scrap of paper the name was written on and ask Ian if he had one. He did, sold! His description: "Microcachrys tetragona - STRAWBERRY PINE - From the windswept heaths of Tasmania's rugged highlands (I say that whenever I get a chance) comes this unique coniferous shrub that doesn't really look like anything else. It is thought to be a relict from a larger group of plants that was once widespread throughout the Southern Hemisphere. Making a low shrub to an eventual 2' tall and perhaps 3 - 4' wide, its fine, whipcord-like branches are a rich shade of deepest green. In the garden it tolerates sun or partial shade, and while it is easy to grow and moderately vigorous, I would not expect great drought tolerance since it comes from a region of high rainfall. The common name alludes to the female strobili which are bright red and resemble little berries."
So ends our day-long plant buying adventure. Judging by the car it was a very successful day...
But wait there's more. I shared the back seat with a few plant passangers...
This eucalyptus was particularly friendly.
We wrapped up the day with a lovely dinner before Laura, Charlie and Anna had to hit the road back to Portland. Peter, Allison and I just had to trek to Tacoma. If I recall it was about midnight when my head hit the pillow, a very long day having left Portland at 5:30 that morning, but oh so worth it!
All material © 2009-2013 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.