Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Visiting Joy Creek Nursery

Alliums 4
Alliums, Helichrysum and more at Joy Creek Nursery
This past Memorial Day weekend, I decided to pay a visit to Joy Creek Nursery in Scapoose, OR. It was pleasantly cool and cloudy (a perfect day for photos), and besides, I hadn't been there since March...far too long without visiting my favorite nursery!

Joy Creek Meadow 3
Meadow Grasses
Normally, we've been able to park right next to the retail section of the nursery, but there was apparently a presentation of sorts going on and we had to park a little past the main drive. It turned out to be fortuitous, however, as we got to see the lovely meadow adjacent to the nursery itself. I have no idea what these grasses are, but was in love with their subtle red-tinted flowers.

Joy Creek Gate
Entry Gate
There is a small farmhouse on the property, which is the perfect, idyllic structure for the surrounding gardens.

Yowler - Joy Creek Cat2
Yowler, the resident feline, gave us his usual warm welcome.

joy creek path 1
Garden Path
Here is one of the many gravel paths that snake their way throughout the garden, making for some lovely vignettes.

Dark Purple Geranium
Geranium phaeum 'Lily Lovell'
One of the first plants that caught my eye was this deep purple Geranium (I'm guessing at the might be wrong). Love this deep, bruise-purple color...almost black, and so velvety. I wish I had remembered to look for this one later in the nursery...drat...oh well...another reason to go back!

Deep Burgundy Geranium
Next to the previous Geranium was this slightly lighter one...still, what a nice, deep burgundy.

hydra-like lily
Not sure what variety of Lily this was...but love its crazy, medusa-esque foliage!

Purple Columbine over pink
I love these rich, purple Columbines...they combine so well with practically every other color.

Persicaria bistorta superba
Persicaria bistorta 'Superba'
I have yet to find a Persicaria I don't love...and have been wanting one of these during my last few trips to Joy those big, pink, bottlebrush bright and airy...they look like they are glowing. It doesn't hurt that they also bloom all summer. Yup...bought one of these.

Amsonia clump
Amsonia hubrichtii
This is the first Amsonia I ever saw in real life...a few years ago, in it's autumn glory. It stopped me in my tracks and I asked them to call me in the spring when they had some available to purchase. Here it is just about to bloom...and while the blooms are nice, they are really not the main attraction, it's all about the foliage. I love that ferny, billowy effect...and wait until it reaches its full size later in the season and the stems start to arch out and down, billowing all over.

Centaurea Sedum 1

Sedum 2
Joy Creek has quite a few different Sedums around on display and for how the blooms on this variety form little stars.

Flushed Shrub
Mystery shrub
Sorry...I'm so bad with shrubs...maybe a type of St. John's Wort???

I used to hate the bigger Alliums, thinking them big and gaudy. Well, times have changed and I love them all...but I will always have a special place for common garden Chives...they have the loveliest silver-mauve flowers.

White Allium
White Allium
Who can keep track of all the different varieties...not let's just enjoy!

mystery shrub 2
Mystery Shrub #2
Hmmmm...another shrub to make me perplexed...any idea, anyone?

Gunnera Foliage
How can you not be impressed by the foliage of the Gunnera...the only thing more striking would be...

Gunnera Bloom
...The blooms!

Euphorbia Dixter
Euphorbia 'Dixter'
Every time I see a mature clump of this beautiful Euphorbia, it gives me hope for my tiny little plant! Seriously...what amazing color.

oxalis oregana
Oxalis oregana
You know I love me some Oxalis.

anthriscus ravenswing
Anthriscus 'Ravenswing'
I kept meaning to get some of this all spring, as it was for sale at every plant sale I attended. Now that I see it in flower, I'm in love all over again. I added this to my cart as well!

Bush Clematis
One of the bush-type Clematis about to bloom

Rodgersia sambucifolia
Rodgersia sambucifolia
I could be wrong about the type of Rodgersia this's so hard to tell them apart! This large clump was up near the house...what amazing foliage!

Rodgersia and Astrantia
Rodgersia and Astrantia
I was so agog at the Rodgersia that I didn't realize at first that right across the path was an enormous Astrania! Wow...if this is how big they really get, I definitely will have some moving around to do in the next few years!

Alliums 1
Ahh...remember how I didn't like Alliums until a few years ago...yeah, me either!

allium 5
Seriously, if I learned anything from this trip, it was that you can't have too many Alliums.

Allium 6

iris 2
Even though I have so many Iris I couldn't possibly add more, I still have to stop and admire lovely, those wonderful, rich jewel-tones and delicate bloom structure.

iris 3
More Iris

Imperata (Japanese Blood Grass)
I would plant some of this in a heartbeat...but it just never gets tall enough :-(

What is it about Delphinium that instantly makes me think of English cottage gardens...I would grow these if not for the requirement that each stem be staked.

Viburnum trilobum
I believe this is a Viburnum...could be wrong.

hosta variegation
I'm not usually fond of variegated foliage...I don't know why...sometimes it just seems too busy. Hostas, fortunately, seem to usually get it right (although I've seen a few jump from hot to hot mess). This one balances the variegation nicely...just a nice splash of contrast...and how can you not love those giant, seer-sucker leaves!

Astrantia major
Astrantia major
Not sure of the it anyway!

Another one that I didn't catch the name the duality of the leaf color...really striking, very graphic.

Joy Creek Path 2
Another path leading us to more goodies!

rodgersia podophylla Brunnera

Rodgersia at end of path
Rodgersia podophylla
This path leads up to a mature clump of Rodgersia podophylla...I think I've seen it called Duck Foot Rodgersia...easy to see why.

If you ever are in the Portland area, do visit Joy's absolutely wonderful, both the nursery and the garden...well worth the short drive outside of town.

So, did I get anything...well...yes! I hadn't planned on actually getting anything, but it's too hard to resist, especially after being tempted by mature specimens in the display garden. I got one each of:

Anthriscus 'Ravenswing'
I had wanted one earlier this spring for the foliage, and after seeing how glorious they are in bloom, I knew I would find room for them in the garden!

Pimpinella major 'Rosea'
Another umbellifer...can't help myself, I just keep adding more and more of these beauties. I just love how wild and simple they are.

Parthenocissus henryi (Silver Vein Virginia Creeper)
I had been thinking of getting one of these for the new fence out back...but had been foiled by every nursery in town carrying only the solid green variety...found it here, folks!

Calamagrostis brachytricha (Korean Feather Reed Grass)
Yes, another grass...and even a grass I already have...but I just fell in love with these last year and decided to have several scattered in the back yard garden as a unifying presence.

Persicaria bistorta 'Superba'
The promise of those never-ending wands of flowers was too much to resist any longer ;-)


  1. Hi Scott~~ Your trip to Joy Creek sounds like it was fun. Love your plant selections although my Persicaria b. 'Superba' never blooms more than a few weeks in spring. Maybe you've got an improved variety? Love the looks of the Amsonia. I hope someday mine is that big. Great tour.

  2. I just got a chance to see some of these same plants in an established garden and they all looked as great in person as they do in your photos. That Lily really looks like one I bought at the Beaverton Farmer's Market last year as just "Tree Lily", I think it's some kind of trumpet lily.

    I think that's definitely a Hypericum, possibly 'Albery Purple'? I bought one from Joy Creek at the plant sale.

    Great catch on the Anthriscus 'Ravenswing'. It was all over in the garden I visited and looked awesome. It had seeded itself around over the years. I was told an occasional green shoot will come up, you just have to yank them out.

    I love that white Allium! The Euphorbia 'Dixter' looks great! I bet you are patting yourself on the back for picking that one up at the Garden Show.

    I saw one white Astrantia at the garden show, it had 'Diamond' in the name and I regretted not getting it.

  3. Mystery shrub #2 looks suspiciously like my hydrangea aspera. They have unique kind of fuzzy two-tone leaves like the one in your photo. Awesome garden tour. And I now have some deep maroon astrantia in my garden this spring and some jupiter's beard thanks to you.

  4. I wish I had a wonderful nursery like that tour! You bought some great plants. Everytime I see Amsonia and Gunnera, I want some. I don't think I have ever seen either for sale in my area. If I ever do, you can be sure they will jump into my cart!

  5. Hi Scott,
    You are very lucky to have Joy Creek at your fingertips. I have always wanted to go. Great pictures. I have Euphorbia griffithii "Dixter' here in NH. It was supposed to be marginally hardy but is doing great. In fact, it is a bit of a mover and shaker, so watch out.

  6. Nice photos. Striking plants. Would love to have them all in my garden!

  7. Not alot of nurseries I know of have gardens of consequence, and if they do, they're rarely as tranquil and natural as Joy Creek, Scott. Thanks for the well-shot pictures!

  8. What a nice visit to the Nursery, I had never seen a Gunnera in bloom, thanks for sharing that! Lots of goodies to be had on this visit. I too like the Euphorbia, orange flowers, really neat.

  9. There is no garden center with that large of a grounds around here. Well, Omaha has Lauretzen (sp?) Gardens. One of these days, I hope to visit there. I don't know if they sell plants, though.

    You sure took some awesome photos, as always! I'm not good at knowing the names of bushes or trees.

    I don't know the names of all of my geraniums, either, but the one you asked about is 'Samobor'. The ones you showed in this post are similar. I love the purple and burgundy ones.

  10. Just the plants I'd grow with your rainfall! Well, except for the delphs, but yes to the astrantia, alliums, amsonia, that persicaria -- and I'm surprised to hear it's more than a spring bloomer too. What an incredible nursery and garden.

  11. Beautiful images of so much lush, green foliage. I'm just sighing over every picture. Like you, I love alliums and would love to grow them here in Austin, but they don't love us. Garlic chives are the best we can do. Sigh.

  12. Hi Scott,
    I enjoy reading PDX blogs as a way to connect with my previous life there and the mecca for plants and gardening that it is! Thank you for a wonderful visual tour of Joy Creek. Your photos are outstanding - what kind of camera do you use? I'm in the market for an upgrade from my trusty Nikon coolpix but love the portability of a point & shoot.
    Thanks for a great tour, glad I found your blog! Lucinda

  13. Hi Scott, such an incredible post on Joy Creek. I'm so embarrassed that I have not been there and they are not too far down the road from me. shameful. You are inspiring me to head that way! Just a side note, I have delphinium and I do not stake it and have not had difficulty with it, but maybe I'm lucky? Cheers, Jenni

  14. I visited Joy Creek and Cistus on the same day last summer,my 1st time at Joy Creek--I would have bought that Persicaria too, had I seen it. Thanks for the tour !

  15. Isn't it amazing how things have filled in since March? 'Dixter' caught my eye too, but then failed to hop into my cart. Now I am reminded to go get one. 'Seersucker leaves' captures the look perfectly.

  16. We've been wanting tow make the trip own to Portland .... Now that has moved to the top of the list of things to do! This garden is amazing. I was scrolling through photo after photo, each one a gem in it's own right, and the. I got to the delphiniums and remembered why I dropped by :)

    You had asked me about the need to stake the delphs. We use tomato hoops and that works quite well. They come back year after year (10 yrs now) and are always stunning. Some of the plants are so well established they are over five feet tall this year. I highly recommend them!

    Thanks for stopping by!

  17. What an inspiring trip, thanks for taking us along. I love, love that grouping of Alliums and the Japanese Bloodgrass. :)

  18. Wonderful post Scott, really enjoyed it! Beautiful plants and photos and you got to love nurseries with resident cats :)

    I too am a fan of Persicarias, I love the variety of foliage from the same Genus. Beautiful garden too, my sort of planting!

  19. It's nice to see Joy Creek Nursery. I've ordered from them, but never visited. They are great for Clematis. I also got some wonderful PNW native sedums.

  20. The viburnum that you mention looks exactly like my highbush cranberry that is just starting to bloom for the first time this year. I will post pics of it when the blooms develop a bit more.

  21. I am going to have to get a Dixter Euphorbia.

  22. wow so many of my favourites on in this blog post. I've the perfect spot for that eupborbia dixter and I badly need that persicaria for my problem corner but am finding it hard to find locally.

  23. I forgot to say thankyou for giving me the insight to your GBBD lens. I'm about to order my first prime - f2.8 100mm canon macro IS. I'll make sure I have a pic of the astrantia for the 15th this month :)

  24. I'm not surprised you were tempted, Scott.I find it is always more tempting when there is a garden showing off the sale plants to best effect. The photo of the blood grass just jumps out of the screen.
    And often I go "just to have a look" and come away with a box of plants!

  25. That blood grass is very cool looking. I love alliums, I've tried to grow them a couple of times, but haven't had any luck.