When friend and fellow garden blogger Ryan Miller (gnomiscience) invited me on a bit of a nursery-touring, plant-shopping expedition this month, of course I didn't hesitate to accept! We met early in the morning at the house of Cistus owner Sean Hogan. My partners in crime: Ryan, Loree (Danger Garden), and Derick (Mr Impatiens). After a quick tour by Sean of his own yard, we were off on our adventure.
Our first stop was Xera Plants, which, if you blink, you miss it. No signage, no fanfare...just greenhouse after greenhouse of AMAZING plants. I was overwhelmed by everything, just when I thought we must be at the end, I'd realize there were half a dozen more greenhouses to explore.
From left to right, Ryan, Derick, and Loree
Greg, the co-owner was kind enough to take a moment to talk to us (and even kinder later to ring up our purchases). The employees were busy potting up plants and getting ready for the upcoming HPSO sale. I immediately spotted a 'Purple Smoke' Baptisia I'd been wanting for the back yard and made a mental note to grab one later.
|Greg, Co-Owner||Loree & Ryan on the hunt|
I wish I knew which Manzanita this was...Xera offers several. While some infatuations fizzle out after a while, my love of these plants continues to grow. I'm determined to plant one in our front parking strip next year...I just HAVE to have one...or two...maybe 5 ;-)
NOt sure what cultivar this is...and honestly, if Loree hadn't told me it was a Berberus, I would never have guessed. Apparently she saw one at the Chapel of the Chimes in N. Portland and inquired about it.
I'd never been too impressed with these before, but seeing them here made quite an impact...just lovely, lovely plants. It doesn't hurt that the new growth is as soft as a kittens ear.
O, Smoke Tree, how do I love thee... I really wish I had room for one of these...that foliage is just amazing. Perhaps I'll find a spot yet...maybe if the horrible Laurel in the front yard dies by "accident".
|Does anyone know what this is?||Epimedium foliage|
A Gladioulus to make me rethink how I feel about them. Dainty, elegant and oh-so-lovely. I think Ryan has some of these (and maybe grabbed a few here as well).
How can anyone not think these are cool!?!
In case you didn't know already, 2011 seems to be the year of the Epimedium.
I actually kind of liked this Epimedium the best...love the subtle, sort of sombre two-tone white and dusky purple flowers.
So what did I get? Well...I wanted the Manzanita...but realizing it would likely sit on my porch all summer while I tried to figure out what to do with it, I settled on the Baptisia I mentioned earlier ('Purple Smoke') and a Ferula, a large, fennel-like plant that gets about 10' tall...rock on!
After paying for our purchases, we headed off to Bovees...a small specialty nursery that specializes in Vireya (tropical rhododendrons), something I had never really heard of. Nevertheless, it was a charming little nursery which felt more like a personal collector's garden that just happened to also sell plants.
Derick and Owner
I was amazed at how eager the owners were to chat with us, they followed us around and urged us to check out the different areas and the greenhouse.
To say the Vireya greenhouse was toasty would be an understatement! The structure was crammed full of plants I have never seen before...some had started to bloom and were quite lovely...really reminding me of a trip to Hawaii a few years ago, with their large, almost waxy blooms.
While the flowers were lovely, the foliage of some of the Vireyas was even better...covered with this strange, almost rusty-looking powder. I could swear once upon a time I knew what that was called...but it escapes me.
|"Rusty" Vireya Foliage||Vireya Foliage|
Wandering around the property, there were many charming vignettes all around, the entire place feels like a somewhat idealized woodland, with Maidenhair Ferns, Anemones and Cyclamen popping up at random places.
Pink Rhody (or Azalea...I never can tell) :-p
Love that typical Primrose yellow color...subtle and cool.
I am terrible at ID'ing trees (amazingly, even worse than ID'ing shrubs) so can't remember what this was...but who cares...love the bark!
As the first leg of our trip draws to a close, I leave you with a parting shot of the Vireya greenhouse.