Friday, March 24, 2023

The garden at the O'Byrne's Northwest Garden Nursery

We're back in Eugene, OR, at Northwest Garden Nursery—Marietta and Ernie O'Byrne's place. Wednesday I shared some hellebore photos (here) from the greenhouses, today we wander the garden...

This is my second visit to the O'Byrne's, the first was way back in 2014. That was also an early March visit—blog post here—back then I made the trek during their Hellebore Open Garden Days, this year I visited after the hellebore madness. 

I can't remember if it was Marietta or Ernie that pointed out they'd let the opuntia lounge out across the pathway (rather than cutting it back) knowing I was going to be visiting—spiky plants and "danger" of course.

The foliage on that Helleborus foetidus is pretty fabulous...

My photos are all kind of jumbled, I snapped as I wandered...

The sun came and went as the clouds passed overhead. 

It really was a delightful day to be outside walking garden paths, especially contrasted against the day before when it rained hard during my visit to Gossler Farms Nursery (photos from that visit coming up for Monday's post).

There were even fancy creatures milling about, peafowl. Both the traditional blue/green coloration and one that was all white. Sadly I didn't get a photo of the white bird.

On Monday I shared photos of two other gardens I visited in Eugene, both with pebble mosaic designs. There were more elaborate versions here at the O'Byrne's garden, these built by Oregon craftsman Jeffrey Bale.

I was glad to see the elevated container with bronze grass was still a garden feature. I loved it when I saw it on my previous visit.

Close up...

I suddenly need to plant yellow/green hellebores mixed with black mondo grass!

Can you make out the elevated platform on the left? It's built on the stump of a tree that was removed and provides a great place to sleep on a summer's night.

Another angle...


Schefflera delavayi

Looking towards the backside of the O'Byrne's home, with a guest house on the right.

Quercus alnifolia, planted in 2017 and now at a height where the tawny undersides of the leaves can be appreciated from the pathway.

That's a wrap! Since both of my visits to this garden have been in the very early spring I do hope to return in the summer. Fingers crossed!

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Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Hellebores at the O'Byrne's Northwest Garden Nursery

For those who love hellebores, Ernie and Marietta O'Byrne—and their Northwest Garden Nursery—are legends. They are the plant breeders behind the Winter Jewels collection (read about their plants and process here). On March 11th I visited their nursery and garden (they live on site) and even was allowed to walk through the breeding program greenhouses—plants not for sale. Today I'm sharing some of the hellebore photos I took, Friday I'll share pictures of the garden.

This combination really spoke to me...

Onyx Odyssey

Golden Lotus
This is Jade Tiger—which looks very different from my Jade Tiger purchased in 2014. Mine is similar to the original shown on their "about our hellebores page", and this is the improved.

Apricot Blush

Cherry Blossom

Sun Flare

Picotee Pearl

Golden Sunrise

Another Cherry Blossom

There's Pam, my partner in crime for the day (and chauffeur)...

A few NOIDS that were too lovely not to share (meaning I didn't catch the ID, the O'Byrnes definitely know what they are). I think this one might be Peppermint Ice...

Here's what I went home with. First up this hellebore seedling dug right from the garden by Marietta, a selection of Helleborus foetidus with nice dark foliage and stems.

And Peppermint Ice, one of their Winter Jewels—if this looks familiar it's because I shared it in my Bloomday post on the 15th. If you look to the left of the big bright bloom you can see the backside of the petals are dark, the white only showing up on the front of the flower. 

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