Tuesday, May 3, 2011

What the What! ANOTHER plant sale?

canby plant sale 1
Clackamas County Master Gardeners Spring Garden Fair

Ok, I know I've talked about a few plant sales on this blog so far...but this one was a total surprise to me, the Clackamas County Master Gardeners Spring Garden Fair. Late last week, a friend emailed me about this plant sale and wondered if I was interested in going. Of course, being me, I couldn't turn down a plant sale. I figured it would be a smallish affair (I'd NEVER heard of it before, so it had to be rinky-dink...right?).

Saturday morning, we headed off to Canby. We pulled up to the FAIRGROUNDS (yes, I should have suspected its scale when the directions mentioned it were at the fairgrounds) and saw row after row after row of vendors. O M G. After a snafu regarding entrance to the show (they only took cash and the only ATM was INSIDE the fairgrounds...really?!?) we got inside and stood in awe...so much stuff! I could not believe I'd never heard of this event...it was enormous...easily the biggest such sale I'd seen. We started at one end of the vendors and slowly made our way to the end. It took us about 3 hours...and I'm pretty sure we missed a few.

canby plant sale 2
So many plants, so little time!

Even though I was more than aware of my rapidly dwindling amount of space...I couldn't help pick up a few things I'd been wanting anyway.

polygonatum variegatum 2  218
Polygonatum odoratum variegatum (Variegated Solomon's Seal)
I had been wanting some of these for a while now, and when I saw one just sitting there, I could resist no longer...plus, it was pretty cheap in comparison to ones I've seen in local nurseries. I love the graceful, arching stems and the tiny dangling flowers. A bonus, they sometimes turns a lovely, rich gold in autumn...and you know I'm a sucker for Autumn color.

Astrantia Ruby wedding
Astrantia 'Ruby Wedding'
I love me some Astrantia...and just keep adding more and more!

Astrantia maxima
Astrantia maxima
Slightly different than the other Astrantia I have in that the flowers are not as deeply colored as many of the newer hybrids, but the blooms are larger...which I thought would be an interesting contrast to most of the others.

Acnatherum calamagrostis
Acnatherum calamagrostis (Silver Spear Grass)
What do I love even more than Astrantias...grasses! I actually bought one of these from High Country Gardens this spring, but instantly wished I'd gotten a few more...so here it is. I got this one from Wind Dancer Garden, near Salem. I talked briefly to the owner and she encouraged me to come visit the nursery and garden in September, when it will be at it's full glory...and don't think I won't go! She was also very helpful in giving a recommendation between several species of Panicum I had been debating getting.

Calamagrostis El Dorado

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Calamagrostis 'El Dorado' Rodgersia 'Chocolate Wings'
Although I already have 2 different varieties of Calamagrostis ('Karl Foerster' and 'Overdam') I was struck by the golden variegation of 'El Dorado'. Although I'm not always a big fan of variegated foliage (sometimes it looks busy, diseased, or just plain odd), I love this one. The fine texture of the foliage results in it looking like the whole plant is glowing from withing...love it. I got the Rodgersia because it's a variety I'd wanted since I first discovered the genus, but could never find it! It will make a nice addition to the growing Rodgersia patch in the back yard. Now I don't have to be insanely envious of Loree's 'Chocolate Wings' over at Danger Garden anymore! ;-)

Amazingly, since we're finally reaching the almost end point of the back yard overhaul, I actually got all these plants in the ground this weekend...that is crazy.


  1. Yay for your Rodgersia! I first heard of this sale when I was in the Master Gardener training, but I've never gone. The stories of the massive crowds kind of scared me away...plus the fact that it comes later in the season than the others. I had sort of thought about going this year but then decided against it (garden destruction taking place 'round here...more on that later), sounds like you would recommend it? Guess I'll try and remember to check it out next year!

  2. There are always events down here where I live on this day so I never travel up I-5 to this sale. I'll have to take it in one of these years. You got some great deals and from your photos it looks like the crowds weren't too bad.

  3. You found some great plants! I considered going to the Master Gardener's sale here this past weekend, but ended up going to the Arboretum sale in Seattle instead. I could have gone to one on Saturday and the other on Sunday, but..that would have been too much.

    Love that Calamagrostis! Did you decide on a Panicum? I have a couple of little clumps of Rohstrahlbusch, but I'm not sure it's red enough for me.

    So, have you actually started redoing your back garden? I didn't realize.

  4. Plan on going to a master gardeners plant sale this weekend. Maybe. I think I've already blown my wad of money that l don't have already.

  5. How silly! The only ATM inside. I'm a CC Master Gardener, so I will have to ask what's up with that. You're right, it is a huge fair, but there's so many vendors spread out that the crowds aren't bad. Another gem of the fair is having so many Master Gardeners at the info booth. Write down all your gardening questions and we'll help you out! :)

  6. I've been to this county fair! And, many others in your beautiful state. It was the Oregon master gardeners (Tillamook) who talked me into becoming an MG.

  7. One can never have too many plant sales Scott. LOL! It is amazing how we can find s hole in the garden when we want another plant. LOL! I have been known to move ten to get in the one.

  8. I like the "POTTING STATION" sign :)

  9. Danger: Total yay! The stories about the crowds are all true...it was crazy, plus everyone seems to bring a wagon or cart, so it's very congested. I would recommend it, at first I thought it was mostly veggies and bedding plants, but there were quite a few interesting nurseries as well - and I talked the friend I went with into getting a Tetrapanax ;-)

    Grace: You should definitely give it a go...although those photos are a bit deceiving...the crowd is pretty massive...but the vendors are spread out enough that it's not too bad.

    Alison: I agree...2 sales per weekend may be too much of a good thing ;-) I did decide on a Panicum, Northwind (needed something very tall and upright for a narrow space). I have Shenandoah, which was nicely red last year...hoping for a better show this year. Yes...the backyard is a work in progress (was just a big mud pit until this spring), I'll do a post when it's closer to being done!

    greggo: I know the feeling! I've been very good this year...budgeting a certain amount for each sale (and so far, I've always spent LESS than I budgeted) so I can have a little for any other sale that comes up ;-)

    Vegetable Garden Cook: I hope they do have an ATM outside next year...it would really help...not that it really made a negative impact overall...the sale was still great (and great fun!)

    Kate: How cool! I've always thought it would be cool to be a Master Gardener.

    Lona: So very true...we can move mountains for certain plants, can't we ;-)

    Patricia Tryon: hahahahaha...I know, me too!

  10. This looks sorta fun. Sorta. :) I'm heading to a sale tomorrow--native great plains plants. Fun fun! Send me something?

  11. I think that you and I would be fighting for the same plants Scott if we went to a plant sale together :) I think that you will be quite taken with astrantia maxima ~ it's a most soft colour.