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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

HPSO Winter Program - Annies Hayes!

AnnieHayesBanner
I was lucky enough this weekend to be able to attend the Winter Program featuring guest speaker Annie Hayes (of Annie's Annuals)! The program is sponsored by the Hardy Plant Society of Oregon..and was sold out (I believe it amounted to about 300 people). I went with Ryan (of gnomiscience) and got to chat in plant-geek-ese with him and Loree (of danger garden)! Good peeps! I even finally got to me Mr. danger garden himself (props to spouses who indulge us, the garden-crazed)!

Book Sale
The program was held at one of the auditoriums at PSU's downtown campus. Beforehand, attendees got a chance to peruse books for sale. There were even some old copies of Fine Gardening for sale (wish I'd had a chance to really look through them). If they'd been Gardens Illustrated, I'd have grabbed them to add to my collection ;-)

Raffle ItemsSeed Pods
Items up for RaffleSeed pod on display
In addition to door prizes, there were several items up for raffle. I'm notoriously un-lucky, so decided to cut my losses at one ticket. I selected the $100 Gift Certificate for the HPSO Spring Sale. Fingers were crossed, Incantations muttered. There were also several plants (mostly winter-blooming plants) on display in the front lobby. I'm not sure what these seed pods are from (should have asked). I'm guessing either a Peony or Iris???

Witch Hazel
Hamamelis
One plant I needed no help identifying...Hamamelis! I wish I had room for one of these beauties in my garden...their winter flowers and stunning fall colors are extraordinary. Maybe I'll find room for the related Fotergilla...there are some small-ish varieties available.

Annie in Portland
Anyway...after few announcements and the distribution of the door prizes (Ryan Miller got a Hellebore and Mr. Danger got a T-Shirt!), Annie took the stage before the rapt audience.

Annie Herself
For the next 2 hours, Annie regaled us with the story of how she got her start (generously crediting some divine feline intervention) and her philosophy. "I'm just a flower floozy," she said once or twice...and I knew I loved her. I have to admit, she's pretty much exactly what I imagined her to be like. If you've ever read through the Annie's catalog, you know what I mean. She has a passionate, but quirky and irreverent attitude towards plants, which is quite charming.

Anni J and Peter - our seedling crewAmong other things, Annie showed us several photos of the seed collecting and starting process at the nursery. Amazingly, they grow around 90% of their plants from seed! Also, most of that seed is collected from their own plants...amazing!

Most of the lecture was spent going through slides of some of Annie's favorite plants...some of them teasingly not hardy in Portland! I saw people feverishly circling plants on the lists we were given, and jotting down notes in the margins. Below are a few I was especially tempted by...click on the names to link to their entry on Annie's website.

Lupinus 'Thomas Church' in the garden
Lupinus 'Thomas Church'
I've always loved Lupines, both the flowers and their lovely foliage. Their one downside, however, is their tendency to develop Powdery Mildew…often right as they flower or soon thereafter. My little ears perked up the moment Annie mentioned that this variety has proven to be pretty much completely mildew resistant…oh yeah! I'm SO getting one of these!

Scabiosa ochroleucaSilene asterias
Scabiosa ochroleucaSilene asterias
I spent all last year waxing poetic about Knautia, so it only seems right that I branch out into more "scabious" flowers. This one sounds like a winner, 3' x 3' and long-blooming. Plus, I love those soft yellow flowers…and it has the familiar seed heads that I find so appealing. I remember thinking the Silene looked interesting the last time I looked through the catalog…but for some reason, seeing it this time, it really popped…like a very tall and vibrantly-colored Allium…must have!

Aristea inaequalis  in february
Aristea inaequalis
I've wanted this one for the past few years…but just never quite hit the "Purchase" button. Hearing Annie talk about how easy-going and hardy it was, however, really won me over. She says it is really tough…practically impossible to kill. Even better…it blooms for a LONG time…and in blue…how can you say "no". I can't!

Asclepias speciosa 'Davis'
Asclepias speciosa
I love that this particular Milkweed reminds me so much of the ones I grew up seeing in ditches and fields back home in Nebraska. Those silver, felted leaves and those gorgeous soft mauve blooms...wonderful!

Dalea purpureaAngelica stricta purpurea
Dalea purpureaAngelica stricta purpurea
Dalea purpurea is another plant I've wanted for a while...just love its humble beauty...plus, it should be tough and hardy! The Angelica is as overwhelmingly grand as the Dalea is subtle...I just have to get over the fact that it will die after blooming and leave a gaping hole in the border. There will be lots of seedlings...right?!?

Mystery Dierama
Dierama 'Miranda'
I've been wanting to try a Dierama for the past few years...but just can't decide which one to try...perhaps this one? I just love its graceful, arching form...so lovely.

Phylica pubescensteucrium, close
Phylica pubescensTeucrium betonicum
Not being crazy over tropicals, I rarely lust after a plant that isn't hardy here in PDX…but this Phylica caught my eye…and has haunted me ever since…WANT! I became interested in Teucriums last year after Nan Ondra did a post on Teucrium hircanicum on her blog Hayefield. I finally found some at Far Reaches booth at the HPSO plant sale last fall...LOVE THEM! This Teucrium takes things to another level...growing into a 3'x3' shrub. Techincally, neither of these are totally hardy here (even with my new, supposed Zone 9 rating), but might be worth a try...especially in my sheltered backyard.

Clarkia 'Shamini'
Clarkia rubicunda ‘Shamini’
I had never heard of these...but Annie kept showing picture after picture of them...and they just looked so beautiful...not that I really need MORE pink in the garden...sigh.

So...if you ever have a chance to meet or hear Annie Hayes speak...go for it! Oh, and of course, if you're ever in the Bay area...go to the nursery :-)




69 comments:

  1. Hi Scott,

    Lovely photos I especially love the Lupin and of course the Dierama! I can't wait to see its graceful blooms in your garden!
    (I bought myself a few more this summer, I think it was three or four from Beth Chato... Hrm, maybe it was more??!! Lol. imo a garden can never have too many, they're just so magical - sadly my mature Dierama didn't bloom this year after the heavy snow, it spent the year recovering

    I look forward to seeing some of these blooms in your garden next year!
    Oh and I would dearly love a witchhazel too, but just don't have the space. I've been day dreaming of buying one for my mum instead :D

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    1. Hi Liz...don't you love that Lupine! I'm so jealous of your Dierama...I really do want some next year...just have to find some room to squeeze them in ;-)

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  2. I have so many of the same plants earmarked! I think I saw you there but I didn't want to go all blog-stalker on you :)

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    1. OMG...I wish you had introduced yourself! I've done that before with nursery owners...I could swear I recognize them from some blog or their website...but couldn't bring myself to actually say "Hi"...I was afraid they'd just see a big ol' restraining order instead of me ;-)

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  3. I want them all but I really want the Lupine! I will start my hunt soon.

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    1. Me too...it would mean I could actually ENJOY the Lupine...not just dread the arrival of the Powdery Mildew!

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  4. Amazing attendance - and even Mr Danger? Such events sound so good, and need to be done in other places, even though in this region, it is hard to draw many. Not many garden "societies" here in the wild west!!

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    1. I know...got to finally meet the man behind the woman! The HPSO has a fair amount of classes and lectures...although I admit I rarely get to attend...wish there were more organizations like it, for sure!

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  5. thank you for the commentary about Annie's visit, Scott. It clearly makes me lust after some of those beautiful plants. We have banned Lupine in our garden here in the valley, but this sounds as though it might be worth another try. The Dierama is to "die" for. ;)

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    1. I'm with you...I almost ripped all my Lupine out last year...luckily, the Geraniums just sort of swallowed them up for me! I'm definitely tempted by that one...for sure!

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  6. I know I can't grow most of these plants but they are just gorgeous! We are getting a little warmer in my zone but not quite up to these beauties.

    Eileen

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    1. I know that feeling...we are uber-lucky here in the PNW...I remember being in Zone 3 (4) and gritting my teeth looking at catalogues!

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  7. I feel awful I missed this since I'm such a huge fan but I visited her nursery three times last year and cannot wait to do so again this year. I love that their plants are grown from seed and her business was one of the reasons I decided to sell my own seeds.

    Bummer too I missed hanging out more with PDX bloggers but I'll be there next time—that is if I'm not back in the Bay Area shopping at Annie's. (They offer a discount when you shop at the nursery so even though I drive them back, I'm driving home anyway, so...)

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    1. Oh man...I wish you had been there...would love to have met you...then again...maybe we will soon :-) Then again...I think getting to actually GO TO Annie's is probably even better! I think we may do a road trip to San Fran this autumn...and if so, will of course stop by the nursery!

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  8. Sounds like it was a great program! I don't think I've ever seen Lupines that tall and healthy. And the Milkweed must be a variety I'm not familiar with either. Thanks for the links to Annie's flckr album!

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    1. I know...I was like "WTF...I want THOSE Lupines!" in my garden!

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  9. I'm curious why the Lupines were named Thomas Church. He is one of the great Landscape Architects(see the book Gardens are for People) of our time. I think they reference him as "Tommy" in California. Nice review btw.

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    1. Well...as luck would have it, Greggo, I just got Annie's new catalog this morning and it tells why in the description. Apparently, the house where Annie found it was the former residence of Church himself!

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  10. Visiting Annie's Annuals in person will make you feel like the proverbial kid in a candy store. It is just mind-boggling impressive and you'll "want it all!" I haven't been there in a couple of years but a couple of our local (Sacramento)nurseries carry her plants so.......... Do go if you get the chance!

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    1. I bet...I hope to go someday! That's the danger, isn't it...the wanting it all part!

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  11. Swoon. I have had many garden celebrity heroes over the years but Annie is my number one favorite. I don't think anyone has done as much for the style of gardening that I love as she has. I got to meet her in back in 2003 and she was just as cool in person as I imagined that she would be.

    The Phylica isn't tropical at all. It is from the western Cape of South Africa so very much a mediterranean climate plant. I'm not sure that helps you in Oregon though.

    You should try the Angelica. Just get one. That is really all you need for a nice show and then you won't have a huge gap to replace. And the ones in Mendocino when I was an intern (and I believe that is where Annie got her seed unless she found another source later) really bloomed and lasted for quite a long time.

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    1. So cool you got to actually meet her! I wasn't brave enough to try to elbow my way over to her! Good to know about the Phylica...I've got it on my "Wish List", so if it ever become available...I'm snapping it up! I really might just go for an Angelica this year...I've wanted one for ages :-)

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  12. My thumbs are green with envy! Annie is awesome. My only interaction with her was when she e-mailed me with the answer to a question I once posted on the Garden Web forums years ago. At the time, I didn't know who she was but once I found out, I was even more impressed that she would take the time to help me just because.

    You must grow a Dierama! I want one so bad but my zone 6 just won't work! There is a gorgeous specimen at McMenamins in Troutdale- took a photo of it last time we were up that way with my 6 foot spouse next to it- the plant was taller. Lots of gorgeous photos here. Thanks for sharing. Makes me miss living in Portland even more. Sigh.

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    1. How very cool...yeah...she seems like a genuinely nice person! I must go check out the Dierama at McMenamins this summer...I think that's the only thing keeping me from trying it...I just haven't seen one in person before...thanks for the tip! Oh...and 6' tall...swoon!

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  13. I'm drooling at all the plants that won't grow in my garden.

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    1. She had slides of LOTS of plants that wouldn't grow in my garden as well!

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  14. Hi again! I am so loving your blog! LIke Cynthia said, I am so missing living in PDX when I read some of these posts. I used to be a member of HPSO and would attend the programs. I got to see Christopher Lloyd and Fergus Garrett a few years ago. I would have loved to see Annie as I placed my first order from her nursery last year and the plants were fabulous. I live in zone 6 and it is pretty dry here but most of the plants did well and I can't wait to see if some of the annuals reseed. I am getting so pchyed about this growing season after looking at the beautiful pics and plant selections you've mentioned. I'm going to look into several of them further to see if they will live here. Are you going to NWFG show? I have never gone 'blogger-stalker' before (as the other gal mentioned) :) since I'm pretty new to blogging but I'm attending the show and it might be fun to meet a few bloggers in person...Thanks again for the great post!

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    1. Thanks, Andrea! OMG...I bet it was AMAZING seeing those guys speak...sad to think now I'll never get to hear Lloyd :-( OMG...I think I just might be going to the NWFG show tomorrow (Sunday)! Email me if you get a chance...would love to say 'Hi'!

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  15. Every time I scrolled down the page it was an heart attack! Scabiosa: oh my god! Silene: I must have it! Aristea: look at that! Asclepia: I definitely have to have it! Dalea: where may I find one of these? Dierama...
    I know very well Annie's Annuals website because I use to linger there sometimes, shame we can't buy almost anything from US and it's rather difficult to find the same plants around here (maybe they have others). From your words I sensed your excitement about this meeting and I enjoyed the post. BTW I'm pretty sure those seed pots are iris foetidissima. A compact species with pale creamy greenish flowers that people keep for its beautiful seed heads. Very easy from seed and prolific.

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    1. Hahaha....I think your reaction was similar to A LOT of the attendees...there were actually people who would gasp at certain slides...it was pretty funny! So sad they don't ship internationally...I had the same feeling last year when I found a certain grass on a British nursery's website...but they didn't ship to the U.S. I was a VERY sad panda :-(

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  16. Scott, you need a bigger garden without a doubt. I've put the Aristea on my wish list. You see I'm very restrained. It's a different matter when the plants are actually in front of me. I think the Angelica (or its smaller cousin Anthricus sylvestris “Ravenswing”) are well worth growing. We have several Dierama but they are taking a while to bulk up. I was told they don't really like competition so I may have to clear a space round them.

    Is "Gardens Illustrated" the same magazine as here but an American version?
    I also think that is Iris foetidissima seed heads.

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    1. OMG Janet...from your lips to God's ears! I just got an e-mail the other day saying the Aristea is available...now I just have to figure out where I'm going to put it before I order it! You reminded me...I actually have 'Ravenswing'...and LOVE it...so lovely! That's good to know about the Dierama...I will have to be careful, as I do tend to cram plants together! I believe it is the same magazine...just lOVE it (and the English Garden).

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  17. What splendid photos. And how inspiring to see all these gardeners gathered together. One can feel a certain amount of hope for the world at seeing all these folks determined to shepherd beauty into the world.

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    1. It is pretty amazing to see so many like-minded folks together...love it!

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  18. Is this where I squeal because I'm in a photo on your blog? I was quite excited about the used book area, as can be seen by my arm in green sweater and blond hair with her nose down in the book. That talk did nothing to help control my spring ordering from Annie's Annuals. I'm pretty sure her wonderfully crazy color palettes will be evident in my front garden this year.

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    1. OMG...double squeal! I wish I'd seen you at the time...would love to have met you! I know...I wish I'd spent more time looking through the books and magazine! Hahahaha...can't wait to see what you get from Annie's this year...because sometimes more IS more!

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  19. Mr danger will be so proud to hear he was mentioned and noted for his willingness to submit to hours of plant porn! Fun pictures, and I too was taken by that same seed pod. Did you touch it? So soft! (we probably weren't supposed to touch but I can't help myself)

    That Phylica pubescens is AMAZING! I think I first saw it on Kaveh's blog and have been obsessed ever since. I came home ready to place a huge Annie's order but then discovered I might actually get to visit her nursery in late March...so order on hold...danger ahead!

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    1. Hahahaha...I did touch it...and the guy kinda scowled at me...oops! So jealous you might get to visit the nursery...at least I'll get to experience it vicariously ;-)

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  20. Scott, Thanks so much for posting about this event with links to HPSO as I keep forgetting to look it up myself and get involved! What a wonderful experience to have had! Seeing a shot of PSU makes me a bit homesick for my old stomping grounds.
    If I can encourage you to really consider the Scabiosa ochroleuca and Silene asterias, I will. I think they would make lovely additions to your gardens and the color on that Scabiosa is really fantastic and will contrast nicely with your other hues.
    Very interesting to read that the Lupinus 'Thomas Church' is more mildew resistant, I'll make note of that! Cheers, Jenni

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    1. OMG...you should join! Actually...I need to RE-JOIN as I just let my membership expire...DOH! I totally am getting the Scabiosa (and maybe now the Silene too)! I had been planning on using Knautia in a few places in my parking strip this summer...but upon seeing the Scabiosa, figured I might as well try something similar...but different!

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  21. What a wonderful opportunity to get to attend Scott. I know it had to be just loads of fun and very interesting. I bet you came home with all kinds of ideas. LOL!

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    1. OMG...it was pretty great...and it's just so nice in the middle (well, end) of winter to just sit and look at pictures of beautiful plants for an afternoon!

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  22. How exciting it must have been to get to hear her speak, and to go with other bloggers, too! The pics all look so pretty, and now you've got me drooling over some new plants for my garden (and I promised myself I would try to restrain myself this year).

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    1. Hahahahaha...restraint is hard for us gardeners, isn't it! I'm the same way...I pretty much had my purchases planned out for the coming year...now, I'm rethinking it again!

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  23. Sounds like an awesome conference! A plant geeks dream! I have awarded you the Versatile Blogger award. You can grab your badge from my post. Have a great weekend Scott!

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    1. It was great, for sure! OMG...thanks you for the award...I'll have to look it up!

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  24. Great post, Scott. I would love to hear Annie. I bet she's a hoot. I've grown that last plant the Clarkia sp. I was saddened that it didn't reseed for me. It is a beauty though for sure. Dalea is still on my wish list. I really want that Milkweed... I can feel the rising plant lust...

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  25. Sounds like a great time and it so looks like you are going to add some wonderful new choices this year. Trying to catch up a little. Still behind with all the work here but wanted to drop by.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

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    1. It was great...omg...I feel your pain...had a rough couple weeks at work...which is why I'm just NOW replaying to these comments...like 2 weeks later...I feel like a bad blogger, for real!

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  26. What a fun event -- I've yet to attend a lecture by Annie. I can confirm that angelica does reseed -- I've got three babies growing in pots. And that aristea is everything Annie says about it, very tough. I will say this about dierama; if you're thinking about growing it, do it! Seems to take forever to get established, at least here in zone 10. Those berries remind of arum, wonder what they are.

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    1. So good to know you've had good success with the Aristea...I just got an email saying it was available...will probably order it sometime this weekend...for realz ;-)

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  27. I so love events like this. What fun. Communing with like minded folks, feeding that plant need.
    You shared a few that I don't know, will have to see if they are good for my neck of the woods.

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    1. So much fun...always good to spend an afternoon with a room of kindred spirits!

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  28. Well, now I'm deeply regretting that I didn't attend the Annie's event. I thought to myself, "I don't grow a lot of flowery annuals, so I better save my weekend garden credits for something more in my line of interest." It was Annie Hayes: I should have known it would be so much more than just annuals. That Phylica pubescens is a gorgeous thing and I do like the look of the Asclepias speciosa. Thanks for filling in those of us unable (or too short-sighted!) to attend!

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    1. Oh yeah...I wish you'd gone! I think I kind of ignored her website for years thinking the same thing. "Annuals...I really don't grow those.". When I finally checked it out, however, I realized she had tons of interesting perennials as well!

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  29. You don't have Dalea, purple prairie clover? Come on man! Get with the program! Those biennial angelicas are so freaking cool in year 2, I had a huge 8 footer one year, can't remember the exact name, but you must have some growing at all time, rotating.

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    1. Mea culpa, mea culpa! I'm definitely going to find room for the Dalea this year...I've really wanted some for the longest time...the Angelica will be trickier...oh, for a bigger garden!

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  30. In an example of worlds colliding, last week I got to hear Amy Stewart describe a trip to Annie's where Annie dressed up like a disco queen, complete with male entourage, and this was for a gardening event! How fortunate you got to hear her in person, and it looks like the talk would have caused a serious case of plant lust. I have admired Lupines ever since a trip to Maine and Canada years ago. I saw them again in Colorado a few summers back. They are so cool looking, but our climate is death to them. I may have to look into that Phylica though.

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    1. Totally! I'm really keen to try out that Lupine...they do well here until the heat of summer hits...then they just look like crap! Who knows...it may be THE Lupine if it's true!

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  31. Isn't Annie just the best!
    Well, I've always imagined living in your area so I could be involved in the HPSO.
    Y'all have so much fun!!
    Stay warm,
    Alice

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    1. Maybe you could be an honorary member ;-)

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  32. Dierama is one of my favorite perennials but one I find difficult to grow, though others wax on about its effortless growing habit and nature. I think I pamper it too much.

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    1. That's what I've heard...and what kind of keeps me away...I'm not always the most patient person in the world...and I do tend to dote on my plants :-)

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  33. I recently moved my dalea to my front garden and am really looking froward to seeing it bloom next between orange milkweed and a pinkish dwarf spirea. Many of those plants aren't hardy here. I'm still a zone 7A. It looks like a wonderful presentation. I wish I'd been there!

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    1. Oh, that sounds like a beautiful (and fitting) combination! I hope you post some pics of it when it blooms! Honestly, even though I'm in zone 9A, I mostly grown things that are 7a and lower :-)

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  34. I often wish there was a woman and nursery like Annie's on the east coast. I am in awe of her selection, and she looks like a cool gal to boot.

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  35. Informative post and gorgeous photos as always--thanks. I have a couple of Teucriums, and they are very nice indeed, and easy, easy.

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  36. Reading your post was a little overwhelming, with my novice/amateur experience but I am captivated non-the-less. (I'd be the kid standing back, just listening and trying to absorb it all.) You post really draws in all skill level of gardener - very eloquent.

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