Last weekend was the annual Open House at Rare Plant Research, a nursery in Oregon City, OR. It wasn't until emailing with a friend that I realized this was my 10th year to attend. 10 years of being in the same place, on the same weekend. What are the chances?! I have so many fond memories of this place, both people and plants. This year I wasn't able to be there when they opened at 11 am, I didn't show up until after 2 pm. It was a welcome change. The crowd had thinned a bit. And for the first time in years I was on my own. You've got a lot more time to think, and eavesdrop, when you're solo.
Dyckia marnier lapostollei, I told myself no more Dyckia...they aren't terribly happy in a container.
Three happy Agave attenuata growing from chopped trunk. If I were brave I'd try this on a couple of mine that have started to trunk and look a little despondent.
Aloe dorotheae. You know I wanted one, they're so beautiful! But since I already have three I managed to not pick one up.
This one was hard to walk away from. HUGE (5 gallon) Dasylirion wheeleri for $75. Wanted...so much...
These were labeled as Agave utahensis, which they're not. I hope nobody unsuspecting bought one thinking that's what they were getting.
These are the real Agave utahensis v. kaibabensis.
Lots of fabulus Cannas...
I included this image so that I would remember to tell you about a couple that were very intently studying it. Trying to figure out which one of the plants was actually forming the trunk. "He" was sure that he'd figured it out, and was showing "her" which one it was. What could I possibly have achieved by pointing out it was "none of them"...
Break that pot! Set them free!
These pots (there were several available for sale) reminded me of the burlap balls around the roots of plants sold "balled and burlapped"...
Oh those Furcraea...I love them so! There were others available for sale (these were not). I looked, I longed. I just said no.
I also wanted one of these Dudleya brittonii, they were huge! ($19.50) But I've learned that my Dudleya tend to go dormant in mid-summer, just when whatever container they're in would be predominantly featured on the patio. I passed them by...
This called out to me too, Aloe striata. Since I've already loved and lost I chose to just leave it behind as well.
Rare Plant Research is a wholesale and mail-order nursery, not normally open to the public. Signage is put up in advance of the open house but not always reliable. These Agave 'octopus' are actually Agave bracteosa, the squid agave. There is another agave who's common name is octopus, A. vilmoriniana. Still, people were scooping them up, which was nice to see. It's one of the reliably hardy Agaves around these parts.
There's something irresistible about plants seen en masse.
I didn't get a name on this one.
There are many Eucomis at RPR, both grown on in the ground and potted up for sale. These were in the ground.
These were ready to go home with you.
I was fascinated with this bloom long before I saw it's name, Watsonia.
I was just lusting after a Watsonia in a post on A Growing Obsession. The foliage on her plant is much more interesting though.
Oh you sexy Aeoniums!
Should have got this one.
I stood there for awhile admiring the Aralia spinosa (as I've done several other years). Where to put a plant that grows to 15ft tall with leaves 6ft long? (and when have I ever let concern that stop me?)
Melocactus acipinosus, *swoon*
I'd finally started to gather plants (having made at least one pass through all the greenhouses) and went to get a cardboard flat. That's when I noticed these planters...want!!!
Plants selected and stowed away (more on my haul at the end) it was time to walk up to the house, which now goes by the name Villa Catalana. When I first ventured here back in 2006 I believe the house was still under construction. I could be wrong, those were pre-blog days. The first documented images I have are from 2009. These shells got me wondering what Burl (owner, laborer, visionary, dreamer behind Rare Plant Research and Villa Catalana) had in mind when he gathered them. This is a man who is constantly creating.
Walking up the drive one can't help but admire the Golden Chain Tree.
And these Kniphofia grown so well they look like Aloes.
I believe the wall and spiky plantings are new this year.
The planted up rock outcropping is not new, but still makes one stop and stare.
A new cover over the drive. I anticipate it will be covered with vines next year.
The home's atrium is now a tasting room for their Villa Catalana Cellars wine label. As you can see lots of people were willing to wait in line for a taste, or perhaps a bottle.
Back outside I couldn't help but admire what Burl has created. In past years I've been a little skeptical, but darn it he's gone and built a paradise here, and invites everyone to enjoy it.
Schefflera delavayi, with jagged edges.
Looking back down towards the greenhouses and the masses attending the day's events.
There were more plants worked into the rock crevices than I've ever noticed before.
Not a great photo, my camera wanted to focus on the people, but this beautiful Feijoa sellowiana is a specimen. Twisty and old.
And covered with buds!
Just a few more glances at the house.
Before I go down to pay for my plants and be on my way.
Look at that sky!
My haul! On the far left a couple of bromeliads, bound for my chartreuse Circle Pot. A Melocactus acipinosus, because how could I say no to that orange cap? An Agave utahensis (I'm going to try it in the ground) and a Dyckia marnier lapostollei, just because it's so beautiful. And with that, I start dreaming of next year...
All material © 2009-2015 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.