Monday, May 23, 2022

Two wineries, no wine

I recently traveled about 35 miles south of Portland (just over an hour in driving time) to Durant at Red Ridge Farms.

The reason for the drive was a book signing (this book) at their gift shop. But my visit was oh so much more than just a trip to the gift shop! There is a nursery at Red Ridge Farms, in fact it predates the olive grove (which produces the olive oil—they sent me home with a bottle!) and the winery (those are their vines with a view shown above). 

Here's my walk into the nursery upon my arrival...

Of course this sign got my interest up, who doesn't want to go where they are told they can't?

I later learned these are cuttings of olives at the farm—ones with extraordinary hardiness and other desirable qualities—that are being grown on to offer for sale to home gardeners. Quite the program!

Agave lophantha 'Splendida'—which I guess is now called Agave univittata 'Splendida'. Whatever it wants to call itself one of them came home with me.

The gift shop was pretty fabulous.

Of course the fact they stock my book means they have great taste, right?

I was so tempted by that black pot on the right. So tempted.

The garden at Durant Farms was lovely.

There were tables underneath a large tent where you could eat, drink, and socialize. This long narrow table ran the length of the space and was nicely decked out.

Elsewhere on the grounds...

I had to walk through the nursery again after the signing event, here's one of my favorite agaves!

And a favorite rodgersia, R. 'Bronze Peacock' 

One last photo at Durant...

Now we've zipped on over to Argyle Winery, a nearby favorite that I've visited before (here and here). The parking lot was pretty full, but I tucked into this spot that was overtaken by a blooming ceanothus. I'm never bothered by plants accosting me and I did love how the blooms were reflected on the side of my car, as though I had one of those bizarre advertising wraps.

I would describe these blooms as being luxurious. 

I just love this space, and it's plants. It's the work of Sean Hogan (Cistus Nursery), who I discovered also had a hand in the garden design at my first stop, Red Ridge Farms

Rhodocoma capensis

This sunny sit-spot is new snice my last visit. I like it.

Seems like they should have culled those tawny grasses by now. Then again what do I know about grasses? Not much.

The Yucca rostrata line-up.

I do love seeing how they've grown.

Libertia peregrinans, I wish this plant liked my garden.

Oh and yes, if you're wondering. That's two wineries visited and no wine drank. What was I thinking!?

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All material © 2009-2022 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.


  1. This is a part of Oregon I'm not very familar with. I have to rectify that at some point. Argyle Winery has been on my list of places to visit because of Sean's design. Maybe a road trip to Portland is in order, with a stop at these wineries?

    To clarify the Agave univittata vs. lophantha situation once and for all: The name Agave lophantha was published first (1829 vs. 1831) and hence has precedence over the (awful!) univittata. Greg Starr et al. put this to rest in an article published in 2021:

    1. Well a road trip certainly has the benefit of making it easier to get plants home, but this area is an easy (and scenic) drive from Portland too.

  2. Both settings look peaceful and bucolic, especially when accompanied by bright blue skies and puffy white clouds. I hope you had as much fun at the book signing as you did stalking the local agave selection. I'm pleased to see Gerhard's comment on the name of Agave lopantha as constant name changes are starting to make me crazy. Keep an eye on that Agave, though - in my garden it's a heavy (and somewhat sneaky) pupper.

    1. I got so lucky with the weather! Rain had been predicted, but instead it was a beautiful day. The signing was fun, especially because Denise visited!

  3. Laurie GrierMay 23, 2022

    We visit Argyle often. They have wonderful arrangements inside their tasting room featuring succulents & tillandsia.

    1. I stepped inside but the sheer quantity of people had me hurrying right back out.

  4. Not how I think of wineries. Pretty fabulous places. But that gift shop looks wonderful. Too bad it's an hour drive. I have that Rodgersia 'Bronze Peacock' and I finally seem to have found a place where it's happy. But it lost some of the tree canopy so we'll see it it continues to be happy.

    1. My 'Bronze Peacock' is just finally starting to emerge. They are so late!

  5. AnonymousMay 24, 2022

    It sounds like a fun day trip. Durant seem to be very tastefully done, both inside and out. Totally fell for their shade lath structure. My Rodgersia starts out bronze too but sadly 'fades' to green.
    Where you parked your car at Argyle Winery was scary: I'd expect the Ceanothus to be swarming with happy bees... three years and one pandemic later, Argyle is still wonderful to visit.


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