Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Spring 2011 HPSO Plant Sale!

oxalis garnet  162
Oxalis 'Garnet'
Well, once again the HPSO Spring Plant Sale has come and's hard to believe it when something you've been anticipating for so long is finally over. Due to some earlier purchases this spring (and the growing awareness I just don't have a lot of room left), I was a bit conservative with plant purchases this year (not that I've ever been exactly extravagant). My first purchase was a few of the above Oxalis 'Garnet' from Siskyou Rare Plant Nursery, a small specialty nursery in Talent, OR. It's no secret I love Oxalis, and it's even less of a secret that I love red/purple foliage, so this one was a no-brainer. I've purchased the purplish Oxalis with triangular leaves, but I've never cared for them...I much prefer the rounded leaves which are more typical of the species. This is one of the smaller ones, getting about 4" tall with a spread of about 1'.

Calamagrostis brachytricha  160 Calamagrostis brachytricha
Although I generally buy more grasses at the Fall Plant sale (cool-season grasses aren't much to see in April) I did pick up a pot of the above grass. While related to the more upright, earlier-flowering variety 'Karl Foerster', this Calamagrostis is more open and fontain-like. Also, it blooms in later summer/autumn which panicles that remain open and fluffy, looking amazing in back and sidelighting.

I got this one from the Wind Dancer Garden table, another nursery I'd love to visit someday, especially to see their display I need another excuse to buy more grasses! I do find that whenever I find something lacking in my garden, my instinct nowadays is to put a grass there...much to the dismay of my partner.

I was hoping to see some Andropogon or Sorghastrum for sale, but they don't seem to be offered anywhere (other than through mail-order), I checked out the Wind Dancer website, however, and they DO have Miscanthus purpurescens, so I may pick up a few more of those if I ever make it down there.

Vernonia missurica  158
Vernonia missurica
The next plants I snagged were a trio of the above. I've been wanting a Vernonia for the past few years, but they don't seem to EVER be available locally, for some strange reason. Don't let little shoots look tiny and delicate...well, don't be fooled! These puppies should get 6'+, maybe not this year, but hopefully soon thereafter! I missed out getting some of these at the HPSO fall sale (from Dancing Oaks), so wasn't about the let these slip through my fingers. I got these at the table from Sweet Nectar Nursery.

Astrantia major  161
Astrantia major
I certainly hope the Astrantias in my garden stay happy, because I just keep adding more and more. I'm hoping they can cope with the weird lighting and heavy soil that has claimed many other plants (not enough sun for Echinacea, too much for Rodgersia). This one should get fairly beefy...about 2-3' tall and wide. I got this from Green Gate Nursery.

pheasant tail grass  164
Anemanthele lessoniana (Pheasant's Tail Grass)
Although I didn't buy anything from them at their annual open house last year, I got this grass from Rare Plant Research. Supposedly evergreen here, it gets this wonderful autumnal color that lasts throughout the winter, and greens up with the return of warmer weather.

Salvia purple majesty  165
Salvia 'Purple Majesty'
I also picked up one of these beauties from the Salvia Garden, LLC I was walking by and mentioned to the friend I was with how much I had loved my Salvias last year, but was a little worried that they hadn't shown up yet this year. The gentleman at the booth asked how I had prepared them for the winter and I learned I may have planted them wrong AND not protected them during the winter correctly...ooops. So, this one went in my tray, as insurance ;-)

lilium ariadne  164
Lilium 'Ariadne'
Last, but not least, I got some of these lovely ladies from The Lily Garden. I felt a little sad after the Yard Garden & Patio show that I didn't get any lilies, and well, they were just sitting there, begging me to take them home! These should get 4-6' tall and be covered with little white, flushed with pink, turks-caps flowers.

So there you have it, my haul from the sale. I can't say I found anything that I wanted to do a backflip over, but I was really happy with what I got. I always seem to get better stuff at the Fall Sale, for some reason (again, I think because there are more grasses), but it's so much easier to be motivated to plant things now!

How about all of you...did any of you make it to the sale...if not, do you have a regional sale like it that you've gone too recently?


  1. Love the color and leaf shape on that Oxalis. And need to read up more on that Calamagrostis - I love 'Karl Foerster' and 'El Dorado' but this looks a bit more unique. OK, also need to research the Anemanthele. Grasses = more please.

  2. I must be an idiot or something. I never seem to know when our area has neat plant sales....maybe they don't. I love that Pheasant Grass!

  3. It really is a good thing you didn't have the need for a back-flip, it was too crowded in there and someone would have gotten hurt!

    Love your choices, they are very "Scott"...and that Lilium bulb is so perfect just like that. Aren't we lucky to have so many fabulous nurseries here in Oregon?

  4. Love everything you bought, but I especially like that Pheasant's Tail Grass. I'm going to have to look that one up, love the color! I've been tempted many times by purple Oxalis, but I've never much liked the weird triangular leaves either.

  5. I miss the HPSO! Little of what I grew in our NW Oregon garden "translates" to Colorado, but I'll always have memories ;)

  6. Nice buys, hope to go to a garden club sale i May in Wichita, ks. Interested in the pheasants tail also.

  7. What a great plants you have! Some of those same nurseries -yay!-will be up in the Seattle area for Florabundance! The color of the Oxalis 'garnet' is amazing. Love all your pix and info on the plants!

  8. That oxalis is gorgeous! I have always loved oxalis and as our place gains more shade, I think we can begin to add them. We had a beautiful patch at the last place: cats would sleep in it!

    I like all your selections, even though they probably wouldn't have registered on my radar if I had seen them at the plant sale. That's what's so interesting about reading posts like yours: I get a completely different appreciation for more cool plants!

  9. I had 'Purple Majesty' but lost it after last year's freeze. It is such a stately, lovely plant. The purple oxalis is very cool.

  10. Great stuff Scott. I need more grasses but I know so little about them, will you be my Personal Grass Shopper?

  11. I love Calamagrostis brachytricha - here it flowers in August and I've had good luck growing it in fairly heavy shade as well which is nice because not many tall grasses can handle that too well (and if it's in shade with filtered sun you can get some really stunning lighting effects on it).

  12. Hi Scott,
    I do love the color of the Oxalis 'Garnet'
    and I think it would look great next to the chartreuse green of the Calamagrostis brachytricha. You made some great purchases!

  13. ONG: Totally…can never have too many grasses! I saw the Calamagrostis at the Montreal Botanical Garden last fall and was smitten…wow, just wow!

    Darla: You never know, we didn't really have any thing quite like it (to my knowledge) back when I lived in Omaha…then again, I wasn't as active in the gardening community…so many just not have known about it :-(

    DangerGarden: Indeed…personal injury lawyers must camp out there, there have to be some accidents with that many people jostling about! OMG…so lucky, sometimes I can hardly believe it…so many options!

    Alison: The grass is so lovely (but only hardy to zone 8, so we'll see how it fares for me). Totally agree about the Triangular Oxalis…always seemed odd to me :-)

    Patricia: I bet! Those are two very different climates! Right now, however, I'd certainly love some dry weather so we can get our gravel path put in…

    Greggo: Have fun…I'd love to see the variety of plants they offer there…hopefully lots of prairie species!

    Aerie-el: Very cool…I hope you post on what you get at Florabundance! I do love the Oxalis…sadly, as I was researching it more, looks like it goes!

    MulchMaid: Yay for another Oxalis fan! I do love them, there form such a nice matt of foliage. I agree…the variety of our tastes is what really makes it fun and interesting…love that!

    Grace: I had 'Purple Majesty' last year too, but it isn't up yet this year, so I'm thinking it may be toast :-( I know it's late to come up, but come on!

    Ryan Miller: Grasses are where it's at…I'd love another excuse to shop for grasses! This past winter, especially, I realized that with a lack of evergreens and other shrubs, I REALLY rely on my grasses for winter interest, so I'm continuing to add them to future plans and re-working my existing beds to incorporate more of them.

    AndrewsPlants: So good to know it does well for you in shade…that's exactly where I'm hoping to plant mine! Can't wait for it to bulk up and get beautiful!

    Zoey: Great idea! I'll try to post a follow-up to show everything in their new homes :-)

  14. Nice plants Scott! I will be watching the progress (if you share!) on the grasses. Love the way they sway in the wind.