Friday, July 31, 2020

Nursery visit: Hughes Water Gardens

Each year I pay at least one visit to Hughes Water Gardens in Tualatin, OR—about 20 miles south of my home. This is where I first saw Euphorbia griffithii ‘fireglow’...

As you would expect, their display garden is basically a huge pond. This is the entrance...

Things aren't looking so good for that ram...

This! Ha. If I had all afternoon I would have stood right here and recorded it all playing out. I first encountered the slug as he was motoring along minding his own business. I had to run back to the car to grab my mask (it should be second nature by now, right?) and saw that he'd reversed his course in order to take a closer look at that, what ever it is. Another slug? A dried fish out of water? I'm not sure.

Moving along I admired the pond...

And then headed over to the greenhouses, which have huge ponds inside for water plants.

My focus on this visit was the tropical house...

Because exciting things were happening in there.

But first we pause to pay our respects to the orange bougainvillea just inside the door...

And gosh, seeing those body-less legs out of the corner of my eye was a little disturbing!

But we're here to ogle the tropical water-lily pads and the other blooming lilies, so let's get to it...

Equal time to the lotus...

Just a few more lilies before we step back outside.

That was pretty fabulous, right? Okay...let's go see what else they have for sale...

You'd think a fountain like this wouldn't fit my style, but I love them and would be happy to incorporate one into the garden if it showed up.


One of these variegated umbrella palms came home with me, Cyperus albostriatus 'Variegatus'.

Normally I'm not a fan of muddy variegation, but something about this one really called out to me.

The colors in this planting were pretty darn fabulous too.

And finally, if you're in the Portland area and you've been looking for a Ensete ventricosum 'Maurelii', this is where they are!

Weather Diary, July 30: Hi 95, Low 65/ Precip 0

All material © 2009-2020 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.


  1. This was almost as good as visiting a conservatory full of tropicals. Lotus grow wild around here but they are probably the straight species with white flowers not these pretty pink ones.

  2. Fabulous indeed. The lotus are breathtaking and love those flat Amazon waterlily pads.

    1. I once attended a talk where the owner of this nursery said people have put their kids on those pads to take photos of them (with permission of course).

  3. I nearly swooned over the Lotus flowers. If I visited a place like that I'd come home to beg the spouse to dig a pond. I doubt he's be enthusiastic given our existing problem with raccoons, the hassles we already have just maintaining our fountain, and general concerns with water usage but, hey, I can be relentless sometimes...

  4. I was chuckling when I read about the slug "motoring along". I can picture Andrew's art on the theme.
    Euphorbia griffithii ‘fire glow’ has been a favorite although sadly, it didn't survive in my garden. I haven't seen Lotus seed pods in their "green" stage before: very pretty and somehow a little comical too. The water-lily pad are jaw dropping. I wonder if they can be dried while preserving their shape.

    1. That's an interesting question (dried lily-pads)...

  5. Were those poly houses kept pretty warm? The plants looked great.

    Fun--thanks for taking us along. Lots of us don't get out much these days.

    1. Yes it was plenty warm. There's another greenhouse (or several) where the tropical plants are kept in the cooler months. They're moved in to this house in the summertime.

  6. Gorgeous. The photo of the variegated water lily leaf with it's purple bloom is stunning. Would love to have a pond but you never know if it will be a wet or dry year here. Rain would be the only way to keep it full. Thanks for the great tour.

  7. Hughes is one of my favorite nurseries. My entire property is in Oregon Natives but Hughes also carries Spatterdock, the northern tier native. They aren't cheap but I've been wanting some for years and this year I broke down and bought five. I will go back in mid-May to pick up some Pacific tree frog pollywogs and after the waterlilies get mature enough spread out over the surface of about half my pond to provide cover, some black comet goldfish. But those will have to wait. Dad-blamed herons!


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