Thursday, April 12, 2012

2012 nursery and plant field-trip, part 1

Prior to the big plant sale last week I met up with a few plant-crazy friends and we made a day of it. For our little group (Portlanders and a couple Californians), this outing has become a tradition, one I look forward to as much as the sale itself.
As with last Spring we started our day at Xera Plants (which I should mention is a wholesale nursery, not open to the public, see where you can buy their plants here), and in their sunny dry greenhouse.
Since I’ve got a crazy idea for another Agave planting I was eager to see what they had available.
Here the master of sexy plant photos, Scott, sizes up his shot.
Maihuenia poeppigii, set off perfectly against the white grit mulch.
Aloe striatula forest!
The Grevillea corner…
Featuring the humungous blooms of Grevillea victoriae 'Murray Queen.'

It seems every nursery has it’s off limits section of “plant pets”…I’m only guessing that’s what this group is…
It’s a fine collection!

I wish I could remember what Greg (one of the owners) told me this one is called. I do remember they had none for sale and it’s not hardy here in Portland.
Here’s the gang listening to Greg (center, in the khacki jacket).
And my haul…
No not the entire cart! Just the plants below the large pot with the dark mulch…what that’s only 12!! Top row…2 Dyckia platyphylla, Muehlenbeckia astonii, Maihuenia poeppigii. Middle row… Astelia nivicola ‘Red Gem,’ Aucuba japonica ‘longifolia,’ Agave gentryi 'Jaws,' Grevillea victoriae 'Murray Queen.' Last row Eryngium venustum, Fremontodendron x 'California Glory,’ Agave bracteosa and a second Eryngium venustum.

After Xera we headed to the Kennedy School and a guided plant tour by the McMenamins gardenering professionals Erich and Ryan. Since I’ve walked the school gardens and pestered Erich with questions many before this was a fun opportunity to see the garden through others eyes.
I asked Erich how old he thought this Nolina 'La Siberica' was, if I remember right he guessed it to be about 6 years old. Whatever his answer it gave me hope that mine would look substantial in my lifetime.

Ah three new Agave ovatifolia 'Frosty Blue'… they look especially ghostly against the red Heseraloe.
I forgot to ask how old the Dasylirion is.

Since we were with Erich and Ryan, and the weather was not conducive to the courtyard being open for dining, we got to head inside and look at those plants too. In the past I’ve only been able to investigate this area when I’m there for lunch, and other diners don’t always appreciate your stepping behind their table to look at the plants! Erich said he’d left the Sago Palm (and the Agaves) outside all winter…

I’m slightly obsessed with Magnolia laevifolia these days, don’t you just love the rusty soft fur on the buds?
Hard to see but it’s the tree/shrub in the whiskey barrel.

Stachyurus salicifolia about to bloom (so is mine!)
Can you spot the Schefflera delavayi in the back corner (want!)…
Scott spent awhile photographing these beautiful unfurling fronds, I bet some excellent photos will be showing up soon over on Rhone Street Gardens.
Yes this is the second gratuitous blooms and sky photo in this post. Sue me! Spring demands it…
About to be blooming Genista Lydia.
And finally check out the color and texture on this little succulent! Erich didn’t remember the name…might you know?
Tomorrow we wrap up the fun with the visit to Cistus Nursery

22 comments:

  1. Great pictures!!! I loved the last plant too and can't wait to see if someone recognizes it. It is so reptilian...

    (The group shot is great too!)

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    1. I looked at several Delosperma yesterday which came close but none were quite right...

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  2. Wow, this is a post I have to read two or three times to take it all in. So many plants I've never seen. Thanks to your influence, I'm even beginning to take an interest in shrubs!

    Xera Plants looks like a great destination. I always fall for baby plants in 4" containers. It's easy to forget they will grow up some day, LOL.

    Good to see another Maihuenia poeppigii. I had never heard of it until I found one at Annie's Annuals last year.

    Can't wait for your post on Cistus!

    Gerhard

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    1. Yay for the shrubs! I know you say you're running out of room Gerhard but surely you can fit in a couple?

      Now I'm wondering why I only got one more Maihuenia poeppigii...

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  3. Wow. that is really great! I keep asking myself of recent, why do I not have any Nolina La Siberica? Whenever I see them in your photos my heart skips a beat. And don't worry about the gratuitous bloom and sky photos... Its very truffula tree esque! As for that succulent, no idea, but if I ever see one its mine!! Actually, in two weeks I am going to the Van Dusen Botanical Garden plant sale and there is a huge succulent booth where I might find the answer.

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    1. And now I'm asking why you don't have any Nolina La Siberica? I bought my first in the winter of 2010 and it went in the ground right about a year ago. It has already put on a lot of growth.

      I look forward to reading about your trip to the VanDusen sale!

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  4. Lovely! I'm eying that fat opuntia (in the photo under the words "It’s a fine collection!"). The sky shot with the loquat (guessing) is very nice!

    I once got in trouble for calling top dressing "rock mulch" at a cactus and succulent society meeting - they were all like "It's not mulch - it's top dressing."

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    1. Oh yes that is a fine one (the Opunita)...and funny as I typed mulch I thought about changing it to "top dressing" but that sounded far to fancy, after all this is a nursery not a show. Hopefully you gave the person who "corrected" you the stink-eye.

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    2. I would have, but she's a botanist and very vocal about it - I don't particularly like talking to her about stuff because she overrules everyone even though I've heard other botanists say the opposite... Ugh, she once got all up in my grill about putting a Haworthia coarctata v. tenuis in a standard pot rather than an azalea pot, and she did it in this "Ugh, people like you make my life intolerable with your stupidity" sort of way. She probably would have freaked if she saw how my neighbor grows it - my neighbor grows it in a standard pot with dirt from her yard and begonias and stuff. lol

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  5. Xera Plants looks like a great to get a special tour of. Don't you love tours of places you are not normally allowed around.

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    1. Oh yes indeed, those are the best kind!

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  6. I enjoyed the plant groups you showed from Kennedy School. I've only been there after dark, clearly I need to take a daytime visit. The Sago Palm is something I've been admiring at nursery's for quite some time. Great post! Cheers, Jenni

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    1. You clearly do need to take a daytime visit and allow plenty of time to wander the gardens.

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  7. Some great looking plants there! Looking at the photos, it feels just as exciting as if we were there ourselves, minus the privilege of being able to buy plants!

    The unnamed plant is Pachystegia insignis. It's been hardy for us, down to -10C as long as it's in full sun with good drainage.

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    1. The privilege and the expense!

      You might be right about the plant id but when I look up that name the leaves appear much smaller than they were on this plant...

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  8. It was a great time, wasn't it! I always end up kicking myself for not buying more at Xera…I think I've spent so much, then they ring it up and I suddenly remember "ah yes, wholesale"! I would love them to transplant that Nolina to my house…it was spectacular, wasn't it! I honestly probably have 100 photos of it and keep looking through them, trying to find one that REALLY does it justice.

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    1. Oh gosh...that Nolina in my garden would make me very happy! Wait, you can have this one and I'll take the ones at The Whole 9 Yards on Burnside. Can't wait to see your photos...hope you don't mind my building up your reputation!

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  9. Fun plant nerd outing. Not sure I could keep up with you all at such things, but looks worthwhile! Those nursery "pet plants" always freak me out in a way, especially when not marked or kept from view, which is often the case...seems people want those the most.

    That sago / threadgrass / agave display is KILLER...I must do that, except with sideoats or purple threeawn instead of threadgrass.

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    1. Of course you could! You would be a fun addition I'm sure, maybe you should plan to come up for the HPSO sale next year.

      Really the "pet plants" freak you out? I love looking at what nursery folks find inspiring!

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  10. I saw this yesterday and was so overwhelmed I didn't know where to start commenting. Suffice to say on second review it's an amazingly impressive and drool-worthy bunch of plants! That Grevillea corner especially set my heart going, but the Sago Palm is a close second!

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  11. Oh, I'm so envious of your fun day out with fellow bloggers! I always have such fun with Austin bloggers, and just know your group would be a hoot to hang out with and talk plants with too. I'm off to Rhone Street now to look for his pics.

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  12. How can Scott maintain a serious face? I would have been grinning from ear to ear looking at all of that.

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