Monday, September 20, 2021

My plant haul from a long weekend up north...

It's time to start posting about my recent trip up to the Tacoma/Seattle area, and what better way to start than with plant shopping and what I brought home?! I drove up the afternoon of Thursday, September 9th. Andrew and I had dinner plans with Peter, the Outlaw Gardener but I arrived early enough to visit a couple of area nurseries, Watson's and Windmill. No photos and only one plant purchase to show for that. However, the next morning I paid a visit to the Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden (RSBG) where they were all set-up for a members event that weekend. Lucky me, that meant LOTS of plants out for sale...


... including Sinopanax formosanus, for $175 (!!!). I DID NOT pay that much for my plant.

Dryopteris sieboldii, referred to on the tag as a "palm fern", I'm going to try to remember that, I like it.

Saxifraga cuneifolia, I do love saxifrage but this one didn't seem different enough from what I have to rationalize the purchase.

This beautify on the other hand, it's a new to me pyrrosia and rest assured we'll be revisiting it again...

Petrocosmea cryptica, I so wanted to bring this home.

They were $49, it stayed behind.

As a consolation I almost let myself buy this Briggsia speciosa (I think it was $32) but then I realized that was crazy. It wasn't nearly as cool as the Petrocosmea cryptica and my $ would be better spent on something that wasn't a runner-up.

They did have a Strobilanthes gossypinus ($26) but since I have one already and I didn't realize my friend Ann wanted one, it stayed behind.

There were a few rhododendrons I was enamored with, but I didn't buy any. This one is Rhododendron falconeri ssp. eximium...

This one was hard to leave behind, because I've admired those small leaves a lot over the years, Rhododendron williamsianum.

And this one! I wanted it simply because it was so un-rhododendron like. Meet, R. spinuliferum. I didn't buy it. It can get quite large. I probably should have bought it. 

One more photo of the possibilities, these are Curculigo sp (the long pleated leaves). I bought one years ago at Far Reaches Farm and it did quite well for years. I didn't miss is however until I saw these plants so that probably meant I didn't need it.

Here's what did eventually come home with me—after a 5 day adventure that took me to several private gardens, a handful of nurseries, the RSBG, Hersonswood and the Miller Garden.... 

First, I hear you! A palm? Was that in the plan? No. I didn't know I needed another palm, but when Maggie (a Facebook friend whose garden I got to visit) offered me one of these Trachycarpus Fortunei var Nainital—that she grew from seed!—well of course I said yes. I'd already swooned over a few she'd planted out in her garden (there will be photos) when she made the offer. I thought I was getting a small, start, maybe a foot high at the most. Then she brought out this!

According to online talk 'Nainital' differs from my other trachycarpus in that it has "much thicker trunks and extremely stiff fronds that feel like heavy cardboard kind of like a waggie.  They also have a whorled petiole, so they have an asymmetrical appearance"... 

Maggie was also the gifter of this Sinningia tubiflora (aka Hardy White Gloxinia). A drought-tolerant perennial with very fragrant white tubular flowers. It's the kind of thing I'd never go hunting for but I'm excited to see what it does in my garden. Also seed-grown by her, I got to see it blooming in her garden.

But wait, there's more! She also gave me a seed-grown (yes, by her) Agave montanta...

And another (yes, seed grown by her... can you tell I am impressed?) Agave, this A. ovatifolia 'Giant Form'. Online sources say: "a huge strain of Agave ovatifolia hybrids that grow near Mexico's famed Huasteca Canyon. We're now convinced that these are crosses of Agave ovatifolia and Agave gentryi, with possibly some Agave montana blood. Some clones are solitary, while others offset occasionally, but all have green foliage when young, that ages to blue-green" and "This rare form from a high altitude canyon in northeastern Mexico is distinctly larger than the regular Agave ovatifolia and has much more attractive, larger black spines. It also is even hardier to cold"...I am going to have to find a great spot for this one!

Another Facebook friend, Cotts, picked up this charming bromeliad for me at Christianson's Nursery. Don't you love it when friends know you well enough to buy you plants?

This was the one plant I picked up on my first afternoon's nursery stops, it's a Doryopteris cordata, or antenna fern. I'd never seen it before, but now that I look it up online I see Little Prince of Oregon and many other nurseries have it. It's a crazy little thing... 

The lower, lobbed fronds...

And the taller, fertile fronds. I'll be growing this one as a houseplant as it's only Zone 10 hardy.

So that hot pyrrosia a saw at the Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden? I bought two.

The tag reads: Pyrrosia sp. SEH#12547. SEH is Steve Hootman, the Executive Director and Curator at the Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden. I have not met him but hope to someday, I've heard many fabulous things about him.

I picked up this oddity at Heronswood. It's Lepisorus bicolor/hardy ribbon fern. I've seen it here in Oregon at Secret Garden Growers and been tempted, but there is always so much more to chose from there. At Heronswood the offerings were slim and so this stood out as a must have.

The new fronds curl ever so fetchingly.

Just two more plants! From the Miller Garden in Seattle, these are both Mahonia x sevillana; a rare hybrid between M. eurybracteata and M. gracilipes. As you can see (if you grow these mahonia) the one on the left favors eurybracteata and the one on the right favors gracilipes.

I'm excited to plant them both and see what they become!

Oh wait, look at that... another image of those fabulous pyrrosia leaves, how did that get in here?!... ;)

Here's one more of the whole haul—which checks all the boxes: agaves, ferns, bromeliad, mahonia, a palm, it was a good trip! So many photos to come of all the places I visited!

All material © 2009-2021 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

Friday, September 17, 2021

I went for a walk...

Today we're flashing back to Sept 2nd, when I decided it was time to go for a walk. I remember thinking when I could finally walk to McMenamins Kennedy School then I'd know life was returning to normal. It's just under a mile round trip, or about a mile when I weave my way up and down a few blocks. It felt mighty good to get out and walk just because I could...

Dried artichokes in a neighbor's side garden.

I remember when this Yucca rostrata at the entrance to the Kennedy School parking lot was just a wee thing. Now look at it, it's got a decent trunk.

Their Agave ovatifolia has recovered from it's ugly tween years.

Looking down the sidewalk towards 33rd Ave, I love the wild overgrown look of it all.


Yikes! A beheaded Schefflera taiwaniana. Me thinks it must have been burned badly during the June "heat dome".

The nearby tetrapanax don't seem to have suffered.

Who says you can't grow a large Yucca rostrata in a pot?

COVID-safe dining on the front lawn seems to have necessitated extra protection for the planting beds...

Oh! Amaryllis belladonna...


And sexy arctostaphylos legs.

This is the first place I ever saw the red fruit of the Cornus kousa and I remember being so amazed and curious. Thankfully I knew the gardener at Kennedy School, Erich Petschke, and he was always willing to answer my random plant questions. That's a nice Poncirus trifoliata growing underneath it.

A solid green Fatshedera? I might need this.

Somehow I've missed that there's a Pseudopanax x 'Sabre' growing near the back entrance to the building. How have I not seen this before?

Since this plant isn't known to be completely hardy here in my NE Portland area (and I planted mine out last year) I will keep an eye on this nice specimen.

Fern at the backdoor...

Cyrtomium falcatum (Japanese holly fern) I believe.

I drool over this one everytime I visit. Tucked in all nonchalantly when really it's a fabulous and hard to find beauty, Pyrrosia sheareri.

I've taken this photo a few times... this combo just keeps looking fabulous (mangave and arctostaphylos)...

Back over in the spiky corner things are looking grand.

So many agaves!



Almost done with the McMenamins property I stopped to admire the small veggie garden.


Tis the season...

Moving on towards home I was terrified to discover there are scorpions in NE Portland!

And what looks like maybe an alternative classroom?

I've seen rhododendrons eat houses but here's proof that bananas can do it too.

Security dog? I dunno, he's kind of flat. 

In case you're wondering he's guarding these opuntia.

California's Governor isn't the only elected official facing a recall. I'm not a fan of recall efforts but Ted definitely isn't acting in the city's best interest.

And just like that, I'm back at this garden which looks really familiar. Thanks for walking with me!

All material © 2009-2021 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.