Friday, September 28, 2018

Joy Creek Nursery wears Autumn well...

Last Sunday Joy Creek Nursery held a workshop with Judith Jones, owner of Fancy Fronds Fern Nursery in Gold Bar, WA. As Joy Creek Co-owner Maurice Horn introduced Judith his respect and admiration for what she does was obvious. This is a lady who has spent her life studying ferns and advancing their use in our gardens.

Here's Judith describing a fern, she was this animated throughout the entire 2 hour talk, listening to her was very educational and entertaining.

Judith brought an assortment of ferns for sale, and for visual aids during her talk. There's nothing like seeing the actual plant as it's being talked about!

Many of the larger specimens were not for sale however, they were part of her personal collection or ones she's already sold to Maurice. I learned a lot, for example Pyrrosia (P. lingua 'Obake' shown below) like to stay dry when the weather is cool, and they would actually prefer a great deal more sun than I've given any of mine.

And the fronds of Polystichum setiferum (P. setiferum divisilobum shown below) are great for cutting and using in a vase arrangement. They don't wilt like many other ferns do.

After Judith's fabulous talk I then walked the display garden. It's been awhile since I've been out to see it in the fall and everything was looking wonderful.

Of course I had to visit the Agaves...

They're A. neomexicana

At first glance I was shocked to see an old man cactus (Cephalocereus senilis) in the ground, on the left. Then I realized that's actually the trunk of a dead something...

I wish I knew which Dasylirion this is, perhaps D. wheeleri with a really thick trunk.

It's magical.

As was this combo of Musa basjoo, Trachycarpus, and a dead tree screen. The vignette looses something in translation to photo though.

I finally made my way to the nursery proper.

Which had so many interesting displays and special touches, I was very impressed.

Perhaps pups from the ones in the display garden?

Who knew dead bamboo culms make great tree skeletons?
Antennaria microphylla, love that foliage! One of these came home with me.

Hi Anna!

Anna pointed out this dark leaved beauty, Aster lateriflorus 'Prince'
And this Limonium gmelinii ssp. hungaricum, which I fell for. I later realized what I loved (the curls to the foliage) was probably due to the way it's growing in the container. I wonder if I can force it to continue to curl with a few well placed rocks?

See what I mean about the nursery wearing Autumn well?

Loved this Sedum rupifragum, should have bought one.

But I became so thrilled when I laid eyes on Sedum ternatum 'Larinem Park' that I forgot all about the S. rupifragum. I've been wanting to add another 'Larinem Park' to the front garden and now I can.

I stood and stared at this glowing Persicaria for awhile.

Oh the Saxifraga! Joy Creek has so many good ones...

Saxifraga cochlearis major

Saxifraga cotyledon 'Caterhamensis'

Saxifraga 'Primuloides'

Saxifraga paniculata f. rosea

And of course the fern tables...

So much to love...

But time to leave...

Weather Diary, Sept 27: Hi 84, Low 52/ Precip 0

All material © 2009-2018 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.


  1. Thanks for this great look at Joy Creek and the glimpse of Anna and her infectious smile! I'm always so busy shopping when I'm there, I never get good pictures. I adore Judith Jones, she's such a character and so knowledgeable about ferns.

    1. A character indeed, and very knowledgeable. I am so glad I went!

  2. Always fun to see and hear "The Fern Madam." Great shots of Joy Creek which looks great this time of year. I've never been there in the fall but might need to change that.

    1. Too bad you didn't have time to stop in last Saturday.

  3. Good to see Monica's deft touch with displays being appreciated.

    1. She was hustling around while I was there, I asked if she did the displays and so got to tell her how much I enjoyed them.

  4. Judith Jones is so fabulous! How lovely to hear her and have a great nursery visit as well.

  5. A real charge to see Aster lateriflorus 'Prince' again. It was one of my early loves here, echoing a smokebush. Although the Prince himself didn't live more than a few seasons, the many calico asters here are his descendants. Every so often one of them has good dark color, especially at this time of year. Their stiff uprightness and persistence in winter make them valuable three-season plants, visually and for birds.

    1. Now I'm wishing I would have bought one...

    2. Spring is the ideal planting time in this z6b climate, gives it time to establish before flowering. Roots aren't super deep so fall plantings can too easily heave here, where freeze-thaw is a regular thing and snow cover isn't often in place.

  6. You have such a wealth of fabulous nurseries. I love that Aster - and that Limonium, which is new to me.

  7. That fern table is a beauty. Hadn't been won over to the idea until that picture. An ideal thing for shady urban gardens -- so much interest in a small space.

  8. I had a nice time taking photos there on my way out to the coast after I left Portland. I've never visited this late in the year and it's definitely worth it.

  9. Saxifraga! I love them all.
    I'll have to find Aster lateriflorus 'Prince'. It doesn't look like any aster I've laid eyes on before and the burgundy color is striking.


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