I am very lucky to know so many crazy plant-loving people here in Portland and across the country (via blogging and Facebook). While nurseries and plant sales are always good solid sources for fabulous plants, many of my most treasured finds have come from random places like this, a private collection in someone's backyard. Yes, this is a private greenhouse...
This visit came about because a plant hunter, collector and propagator named Dick is downsizing. He needs to empty his 30-year old greenhouse in anticipation of moving. My friend Ann (the Amateur Bot-ann-ist) got to know Dick through the local chapter of the Gesneriad Society (she's now president). Last week she organized a little field trip to his greenhouse. I tried not to break down in tears over all the beautiful plants...
There were so many Bromeliads, you know I love Bromeliads...
Vriesea ospinae (one of the few labels I found on a Bromeliad)
But there were also orchids, gesneriads, ferns, tillandsia, and a million things that I could not have identified if my life depended on it.
Many of the plants were mounted on pieces of tree fern trunks and hung from lattice.
There was a pond built into the back of the greenhouse.
I was lusting after this Bromeliad (Vriesea ospinae, yes same name as the one I shared up towards the top of this post) but thankfully Evan (The Practical Plant Geek) reminded me I already have one.
I didn't even ask about this tree fern, afraid I might have made an expensive decision to take it home.
There's Dick himself, chatting with Patricia.
Those fern fronds were sculpture.
They'd grown out and around the pot they're in. Oh and yes, those pots are also made my Dick. Rumor is Ann is going to be selling some for him on Etsy.
That mass of spotty Bromeliad was hanging at the top of the greenhouse, maybe a foot from the ceiling. I asked about it and the next thing I knew Dick was up on a (12ft?) ladder getting it down and telling me about how hot it gets up there in the summertime.
There were staghorns.
And yes, so many Bromeliads!
And orchids. I lust after these but have no idea how one might do in my care.
Finally, we handed over our cash and loaded up the car, here's Patricia and my haul (make sure you look at that passenger in the back seat)...
So, could you make out that huge passenger in the back seat of my car? Or maybe you saw this photo on Facebook or Instagram (thanks Ann!). Yes, I adopted a monster. It barely fit through the greenhouse door...
Here it is in the basement. It's got a wingspan of over 5-feet...
Here's the Bromeliad mass that was hanging from the ceiling. It's made up of two large plants and a tiny pup, plus several Tillandsia.
My final plant purchase is mounted on a slice of tree-fern trunk.
It's almost back on the underside of the leaves.
I also bought a hanging "container" but that's going to be part of a second post from this visit. There was so much inspiration all around and I'm trying to slowly absorb it and not lose any.
*if you're in the Portland area and would like a chance to visit and purchase some of these beauties get in touch with Ann on Instagram @amateurbot.ann.ist*
Weather Diary, Jan 27: Hi 42, Low 36/ Precip 0
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