Thursday, April 2, 2015

Nursery Nostalgia

Headed home from running an errand I realized it's been forever since I stopped in Marbott's Nursery. Well there's no time like the present!

This nursery is a throwback, it reminds me of a couple old family-run nurseries in Spokane, where I grew up and discovered the magic of a nursery. It's the kind with old greenhouses painted white, lots of movable metal tables, and plants tucked in everywhere. They do vegetable starts, hanging baskets, and all the things my grandma would be shopping for. That said they're also the first nursery where I ever saw (and bought) a rodgersia, where I by my annual papyrus, and where I bought my most fabulous loquat. I rarely leave empty handed.

And I have a feeling I won't be leaving empty handed this time either...

Cordyline banksii Electric Star

It's all coming back to me now! I spotted a row of these on the Garden Conservancy Tour last June. I fell in lust with them and asked the owner what they were. He told me he bought all that Marbott's had. Guess he missed one, it's mine now...

I thought maybe this was the hugest Epiphyllum oxypetalum ever.

But no, it's a bunch of smaller pots.

Beautiful foliage.

I think these are their stock plants.

Where as these are meant to be purchased.

Or maybe they're still being grown on? That's the thing about this place, if there's not a price on it chances are they aren't willing to sell it, and on more than one occasion I've been told one price when I ask and then been charged another when I go to pay (and it's always higher!).

I should have asked about this one though, love that old container...

Perhaps I'll return soon and buy one of these papyrus...

One year I showed up too early and was told I couldn't buy one yet. They were worried I would plant it out and a late freeze would get it. I assured them I knew what I was doing and was allowed to take one home.

Acanthus 'Whitewater', it's too busy for me, but probably just the ticket for someone else.

Another reason I love to visit? This row of exotics.

Blooming buganvillea...

Papaya with fruit...

And strelitzia/Bird of Paradise. I hope this nursery sticks around for a long time, it's a little pocket of wonderful.

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

35 comments:

  1. I saw a Strelitzia somewhere recently, I don't remember where, and I almost bought it. But I just don't have room for anything more in the greenhouse at the moment. Maybe next winter I'll do a better job of organizing it before our first freeze, and I'll find room. Big leaves and those gorgeous exotic flowers! Thanks for showing another Portland nursery that I've never heard of.

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    1. I was the lucky recipient of a strelitzia last summer. I tucked it in the basement under lights and it's doing just fine. So if you do get the chance you might think about just bringing it into that bright guest bathroom of yours.

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  2. Those Papyrus are an instant impact isn't it? And that Cordyline is a beauty (and I think it's named 'Eurostar' here funny enough).

    Ever thought of growing Papaya as an annual? They are easy from seed and with your predictably warmer summer it could reach a reasonable size there by mid summer :)

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    1. I hadn't ever thought of growing a papaya from seed, hmmm....

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  3. What's that red thing in photo #2? I want. One by one all the family run nurseries in our area have closed over the years very much restricting plant selection. We are left with one, thank goodness for San Gabriel Nursery, but it has to fight the city's redevelopment schemes to remain open.

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    1. The red is new growth on a cotinus, but I'm not sure which one. I visited San Gabriel last December when we were in the area. I was so impressed, it's huge!

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  4. Have you ever done a count of independent Portland area nurseries? I can't believe how many you have! You're truly blessed.

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    1. Yes indeed we are, a count...perhaps that's a future post!

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  5. I passed by that nursery a hundred times when we moved from St. Johns to Parkrose, but I have never gone in. I'll check it out! I'm also wondering what the red plant is in photo #2.

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    1. Do check it out, it's a gem. The red foliage is the new growth on a cotinus...

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  6. Lots of great plants and color in the cordyline. It's fun to explore all types of nurseries. We have a family run place like this, just celebrated 75 years. Similar story in that customers must assure them they have already dug a planting hole before being allowed to purchase bare root fruit trees in the spring.

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    1. 75 years! I need to ask how long Marbott's has been in business.

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  7. I see why you like this place and why it's been in business for so long. Those glass houses with metal tables are nice reminders of things past.

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    1. Perhaps you'll need to visit the next time you're down this way?

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  8. When I saw the sign at the top of your post, I envisioned a mom-and-pop nursery like the one we have nearby but that place is BIG! Cordylines are appearing in all shades and stripes now - I may have to invest in some myself.

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    1. One day a few years ago when I visited there was an ambulance in the parking lot. I always figured the old guy and his wife lived in the house on site. Sure enough she was being taken away. I wanted to leave, out of respect, thinking they'd be closing, but no. They stayed open, her husband and the guy who've I've always figured is there son, running the place like normal. I bought a couple of things, the old guy rang me up and mentioned they'd just taken his wife away in an ambulance. I asked "why don't you close for the day?" he looked at me like that wasn't even a consideration. Such dedication to what they do.

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  9. I see a trip to Wonderland in my future. Love the leaves of the papaya.

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    1. Oh rickii go! It's kind of magical.

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  10. I need to check this place out! It looks great! That cordyline is fabulous. I was surprised seeing the Siderasis fuscata in the photo with the blue ferns. It's not a very common plant, despite being so easy to grow. I also need one of those blue phlebodium!

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    1. You'd really like it Evan, well, I hope so! (I don't want to know if you don't).

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  11. That marbled pot you're holding... that reminds me of something from my grandparents' house, but I can't quite remember what.

    Looks like a great place with the huge greenhouses. Love it! Weird that they wouldn't sell you something because it was "too early" -- there's a place near us that is seasonal and there are signs everywhere around the checkout area saying "IT'S TOO EARLY TO PLANT!" that they take down in early May (our last frost date).

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    1. My great-grandma had tiny glass pots that were marbled like that. I wanted them so bad, and my mom finally let me have them (this, of course, was after my great-grandma had died). Thing is I have no idea where they are now. I wish I did.

      I saw tomatoes at our "everything" store (groceries, clothes, plants, electronics) yesterday. It is TOO EARLY for tomatoes. Why do they do that?

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  12. sooziehommachkerApril 02, 2015

    I stop at Marbott's about 5-6 times per year. I was there once when the granddaughter was leaving and she gave her grandpa a big kiss and told him she loved him, so sweet. I nearly always find a treasure to take home with me and I love to be able to buy things from a "family" place. PS, you can sign up to get emails from them.

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    1. Thanks for the email tip, I just signed up!

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  13. I bought that cordyline unnamed and after searching around decided it was 'Electric Star.' I haven't been to a nursery in a couple weeks and I swear I'm starting to get withdrawal twitchy.

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    1. I hope you take care of that issue right away, it's spring for goodness sake!

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  14. Ye gods, I'd be there for hours. The cordyline is gorgeous -- wonder how it would do next to my frying pan of a patio...

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  15. It looks like a charming little nursery :)The close up of the leave of the Cordyline...wow!!

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  16. Probably Cotinus coggygria 'Royal Purple' or similar.

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  17. we live in Iowa & my husband that's a trucker stopped @ marbott's & brought 2 perennials back with him....hope when I go with with him for a couple weeks this summer I can see it for myself...he just sighs now when I tell him I bought a plant... it is spring after all!!

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  18. Haha, very protective of their papyrus. I love those, but they like more water than I'm willing to give. My mum has one, and she dug a tub into the ground and filled it with dirt, so the water doesn't drain away, which I thought was a good solution.

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  19. Before we tore up the yard for our addition 2 summers ago, I made a pilgrimage to Marbott's every year. Haven't been back for 2 years and I have to say, I never once saw a tender succulent there, ever! They always had a good selection of hardy sempervivums/ groundcovers, but never an aeonium nor an echeveria. I'll have to go back!

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  20. I really like Marbotts. They are my closest nursery, and even though their selection isn't huge, they always have something interesting. Nice catch on that Cordyline - it is gorgeous! I'm really intrigued by those blue ferns...

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