Tuesday, April 14, 2015

An early spring visit to Dancing Oaks Nursery

If you've been following along then you know we recently spent some time south of Portland in Corvallis, Oregon. On our drive down I wondered if there was any chance Andrew might become so buried in their book stores that he'd need even more time and I'd be free to visit Dancing Oaks Nursery. Since they're only about 30 minutes north of Corvallis, but an hour and a half from home in Portland, I really was amazingly close. As luck would have it their bookstores were that good! On my drive to the nursery I kept catching glances through the morning fog of light green/yellow trees leafing out but couldn't figure out what they were.

Then it hit me, that's moss!

Pretty spectacular.

I've never been to Dancing Oaks so early in the season. The majestic oak that towers over the nursery is usually fully leafed out.

Odd, the stems on these Rhamnus 'Fine Line' don't have the spots that mine do.

And it's remarkable how far behind the plants are here. Spring comes earlier in Portland.

Love the foliage.

Ditto here. I keep thinking I'll add one of these to the garden.

Those tags with the number 88 on them have me thinking they must have been getting ready for the big Hardy Plant Society of Oregon plant sale this weekend. (I can't wait!)

Astilboides tabularis

Sad schefflera.

Too cold? Nah, last winter wasn't that bad, even here...

The mini-dinosaurs are saying "do not enter"...I obeyed.

I did however spot this from the side of the greenhouse, in the "do not enter" area.

Aralia elata 'Aureovariegata'...

There were none for sale, damn.

Things look so different here early in the season. When I've visited in June or later this area is a riot of foliage...

Skunk cabbage...

Trillium

And more trillium...

Back to the greenhouses where this one grabbed my attention.

Yes, it had to be mine.

Galega × hartlandii 'Lady Wilson'

Albuca spiralis, not for sale.

Persicaria 'Purple Fantasy' which looks like the plant I have (thanks to Scott) and know as Persicaria runcinata 'Purple Majesty'. Plant names are such a moving target!

At first glance I thought those white flowers must belong to a Dierama, it's been so long since I've seen one blooming.

However I don't think the flowers are quite right, and the stems and leaves were round, rather than flat. Any guesses as to it's ID?

Done with the greenhouses it's time to wander through the display gardens...thankfully the fog had burned off and things were turning sunny.

You see a plant a hundred times but finally it's in just the right place to catch your eye and tug at your heart. Arachniodes simplicior 'Variegata', I saw this one as I was walking back to the car. Now I must have it.

Oh and in addition to the Colutea x media I also bought a Begonia pedatifida.

I bought it for the leaves but the base (?) is quite cool too...

Finally a parting shot out over the countryside as I leave. Oh how I love this state I live in!

All material © 2009-2015 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

31 comments:

  1. Dancing Oaks is a wonderful place! Just the drive out there is such a treat. For some reason we've always gone out there in September. Need to make it earlier this year.

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    1. My previous visits were in June and late July ("ish" for both). The June visit really stands out in my mind because of the huge quantity of eremurus in bloom. They were simply amazing.

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  2. Your posts really confirm that we need to visit. I just wish it wasn't such a long trip from Seattle area. Your mystery plant is a species gladiolus. I think it is Gladiolus tristis.

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    1. Seconded on genus and species.

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    2. Yes Marta, you do! Perhaps make a long weekend of it. Thanks for the ID, both of you.

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  3. Some day I hope to make it out there. It looks like such an interesting nursery. Those moss-covered trees are cool! Those big leaves massed under the magnolia tree -- are those Veratrum?

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    1. I see a nice road trip for you and Nigel sometime soon. Or you and Peter (your "other" man). Yes, veratrum, pretty fabulous right?

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  4. It's a very beautiful state ;) and that moss tree is so cool! Hopefully you'll get hold of that yellow variegated aralia soon, it's a beauty and even here it's not easy to source (we lost ours in the fire).

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    1. Once I started to look for it (the aralia) on the internet I wasn't as in love. The variegation here was subtle, almost that "green on green" that I love so much. Online it looked almost white, like that darn variegated dogwood that world seems to adore but I do not. What was your experience? (that damn fire!!!)

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  5. oh those beautiful mossy trees! Oregon is amazing..such diversity! I love shopping these guys at sales and it's on my must visit list.

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    1. Oh yes Jenni, it would make a great day-trip!

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  6. What a great place! I've bought their plants before at plant sales but have never actually visited. One of these days... The yellow variegated aralia is to die for but whenever I've seen it, it's been as expensive as it is beautiful.

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    1. Yes, funny you sale that as Fred warned me that if they could sell it the price would be high!

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  7. Dancing Oaks is yet another one of those Portland area nurseries I envy you for! Very nice guys too. They were visiting my area last fall and gave a great talk to a local garden club. And a begonia! Now you're just baiting me. It looks like the same clone of B. pedatifida that I have (there are several now in cultivation) which hasn't been terribly vigorous for me, but otherwise not difficult and has been quite hardy through several winters. Tony Avent is growing a couple of different clones at Plant Delights Nursery and his form huge clumps.

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    1. I'm so glad you've gotten to meet them, they are very nice guys. And good to know there are different B. pedatifida out there, I'll keep my eyes open for others to add to the garden.

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  8. I need that aralia! And I really must make the trip down to Dancing Oaks. My Schefflera delavayi looks about the same (actually worse). It was a cutting and probably not very strongly rooted even by the time winter came around, but it is growing. Now I just need to keep the slugs away from the new growth. They've already been after it once.

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    1. If not deer then slugs, what's a gardener to do!?

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  9. OH MY GOD, THAT IS A GUNNERA KILLIPIANA IN THE HOUSE OF DO-NOT-ENTER. At least, I think it is. G. mexicana has been merged into that species, and G. magnifica (the one I really want) probably hasn't made it our of Colombia yet.

    I can't decide whether my day has been ruined or made.

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    1. Wow, I thought it was pretty fabulous but I had no idea it was THAT fabulous. Let's go for made? And perhaps there will be a trip to D.O. in your near future?

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  10. I agree with Gladiola for the mystery flower. Some of the species have very thin long reed like leaves and they bloom early. Looks like I need to take a trip down there sometime as I have never been!

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    1. Never? Oh yes Matthew, you do.

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  11. What a beautiful place! it is beautiful in this time of the year too. The oak is just perfection. And I love the first picture of the post and all those lichens covering the trees. I don´t know there but here in Spain they often mean pure air. And, well...what can I say about the plants for sale and not for sale...they are all beautiful.

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    1. I've heard that as well. Moss and lichen mean healthy air. I live in a very healthy state!

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  12. I've only been there early and late in the season. This year I hope to make the pilgrimage at the peak. It's one of the truly fabulous places any time. Do you suppose they were holding the Aralia for Hortlandia? One can wish.

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    1. No, it was in an off-limits collection and propagation area. Plus judging from the "specialness" factor it's probably something us mere mortals wouldn't be able to afford anyway.

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  13. Looks like a cool place. I like those moss "Christmas trees" you showed at the top.

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    1. Oh now you've got me dreaming, wouldn't they make just the best Christmas tree?!

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  14. I'm a Dancing Oaks virgin, but it's on my must visit list for next month. That mossy tree photo is AMAZING.

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  15. That's so funny, Loree. My gal pal Vicky and I went to DO this past Sunday but I was so busy buying plants I only took a few photos. I completely missed that lichen tree. Wow! Yes, the mystery flower is a Gladiolus species. I heard it right from the Source--Fred, who went out of his way to find one for me even though I wasn't interested, bless his heart. :) The nursery was busier than I've ever seen it last Sunday, thanks to the nice weather. There were only one or two of those cool Frits left. We were so tempted to get one. And also tempted by the begonia but decided I already have too many tenders. I'm glad Andrew enjoyed the bookstores. They really are fun. Not quite as fun as DO, but close. :)

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    1. Sometimes you've just got to put the camera away, well done Grace. Good to hear they were busy, it must be a challenge being a destination not a drop-by.

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