Two years ago I was part of a group of garden bloggers invited to visit Little Prince of Oregon Nursery. I wrote a lengthy post about that visit (here) with a lot of photos. I missed the repeat in 2016, due to illness, but last Saturday I had the pleasure of visiting again.
Hopefully most of you have seen their plants in your local nurseries, they ship all over the country. Here in the PNW we're spoiled, we can find them almost everywhere — even Fred Meyer — I regularly tuck a couple of Sempervivum or Sedum in with my grocery shopping.
Before we get started I'm including a screen shot of their website as well as a link. It's a great website for learning even if you can't shop it.
Now to visit! This tall structure is new and houses their offices. We were treated to lunch on the second floor, and no, I didn't sneak up to the top floor to walk out on that balcony. But I wish I had.
After an informational talk with Mark Leichty, our host for the day, we were set free to wander through the greenhouses and shop. The nursery is wholesale so not normally open to the public...we had to make the most of this opportunity!
Naturally one of the first greenhouses I need to visit was the Agave house. Even tiny Agave Ferdinand-regis have a great look.
Ditto for A. 'Blue Glow'
Curly filaments...love them! Agave x leopoldii, should have gotten one...
This was a mash-up of oddities in the corner. I love the geometric patterns multiple pots of the same plant create (see above), but I'm drawn to this kind of thing for the chance of discovering some cool one-off. Like this crazy variegated number...
I think these are the left-overs.
Moving on...(leaving you to wonder if I bought any Agaves???), Delosperma 'Jewel of Desert Garnet'
Delosperma 'Jewel of Desert Topaz'
Sedum 'Lime Zinger'
Jovibarba sobolifera, which look a lot like Sempervivum but are not. Some people call them "rollers"...because the babies detach from the mother plant and roll off to root elsewhere. Seriously.
Mixed Sedum squares, great for covering big areas when you want a ready-made mix.
Thalictrum ichangense 'Evening Star'
We had 70 greenhouses to wander in and out of, that's a lot of plants! Most of them are unheated, Mark had told us that LPO is a "cold grower" meaning they don't heat their greenhouses much, some not at all, and some to 34 degrees. This produces plants that are fully hardened off, and ready to plant out.
I could have easily made one pass just for photography an then another for shopping. As it was we were there over 3 hours, so I did my best to squeeze them both together. I'm afraid shopping took precedence.
Finally the Sempervivum, how about a couple close-ups?
I didn't get names, not out of any disrespect for these fabulous plants, but because I just can't manage to remember them, so I give myself a pass.
Not sure if this fluffy creature is a Euphorbia or a Sedum.
The weather that day was predicted intermittent showers and sun. I hadn't read anything about hail, yet here it was, insane, violent hail. Most of our group was done shopping and back inside the offices. Heather, Amy and I were the stragglers, trapped in a greenhouse until this stopped. You can not imagine how loud it was.
Amy making the most of it...
Just moments later the sun was back out as I loaded up my car.
My haul, plus Alison's (she rode down with me)...note the hail in the empty spots.
Now to share what I bought. Here's a mixed tray of Sempervivum, Sedum and a couple pots of Nassella tenuissima, Mexican Feather Grass, because even though others experience this plant seeding around I do not.
This tray has several 4" pots and other larger plants from their "FIT FOR A KING" line: "Rare and unusual plants for the intrepid gardener..." The big one on the upper left is Corokia virgata 'Sunsplash', a plant I've always thought a little jarring until I saw it in a friend's garden (online), I think it was Kris who's growing it so well. I am thrilled to make it mine.
Next up, the Agaves. This beauty was not labeled and there were only a couple of them. I consulted my Agave guru (Gerhard) and while acknowledging that small Agaves are difficult to ID, he then said he thought it might be "some form of A. titanota — not the “real” titanota as defined by Howard Gentry — but the ‘Felipe Otero’ variation"...whatever it is, it's gorgeous.
Another from the "grab-bag" corner. I thought it might be Agave americana var. protoamericana 'Silver Surfer' but comparing it to the one I have in the ground I am not so sure. I am going to bet on it being hardy here though.
On the left, Agave parryi 'J.C. Raulston', on the right, another mystery...
Agave 'Blue Glow'
Dyckia 'Burgundy Ice' being caressed by Woodwardia unigemmata (I got a pair)
For good measure a Woodwardia orientalis, and the green carpet is Scleranthus uniflorus, which I am trying again (code for...killed it already).
These two ferns I managed to pick up without a label and without taking a photo of their sign. Duh. Bad form. I think they're Athyrium filix-femina 'some something'...but don't bank on it.
I grabbed a Thalictrum ichangense 'Evening Star' — because that foliage! (never mind that I've also killed it before).
A Grevillea 'Ivanhoe' (lost a couple last winter...love that foliage!)...
Abutilon hybrid 'Nuabyell' — a dwarf and fairly hardy Abutilon, yellow blooming. I am still (barely) holding out hope the one I've grown for a couple of years now is gonna come back, but if not, this one is insurance.
Finally I did pick up a couple of the Delosperma 'Jewel of Desert Topaz'. I don't have a single ice plant in my garden and with those happy orange flowers it just seamed like I should take the plunge. Of course they've been closed in protest ever since.
If you're reading this and wish you too could visit LPO — and you happen to be in the Portland area — I've got good news! There's an upcoming Hardy Plant Society of Oregon "After Hours" event at Little Prince on Thursday, June 15. It's open to any HPSO member, or anyone looking to join. Details to come at on the HPSO website and Instagram.
Weather Diary, April 10: Hi 55, Low 41/ Precip .19"
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