Wednesday, August 6, 2014

A Summer Visit To Joy Creek!

Pink Clematis h
This past weekend, in spite of the blazing temps, I decided to head out to Scappoose to visit Joy Creek Nursery. Even though I was there a few weeks ago for the Fling, it felt like it had been AGES since I'd last visited!

Molinia Skyracer v
As we entered, the first thing to catch my eye was this amazing Molinia 'Skyracer'. It's hard to tell in this photo, but it's ENORMOUS...I kind of hope mine never get this big, or I'll have to remove them...or dedicate my garden to them!

Molinia Skyracer h
I can't describe exactly what it is I love about these grasses, they are so graceful, so wonderful!

Pink Clematis v
As I wandered around the retail area looking for a particular vine, Maurice excitedly asked if I'd seen a certain Clematis that was looking especially good this year. I headed down to where he had indicated and was enchanted to see it. I do adore these "sugar bowl" type Clematis...there is something wonderfully charming about them.

Heading back up the path, I came upon this large stand of Bronze Fennel. I really love this plant, and had it in my garden for years, but it always flops over for me...not enough sun, I suppose.

Further down the path, I found these wonderful Asclepias...of course, the bees had discovered it even earlier and were positively swarming it!

Aconitum closer
As I mentioned, it was terribly hot that day (what's up with this stupid summer heat this year?), so I ducked into shady spot for a moment, lest I overheat, and spotted this amazing (and TALL) Aconitum...I've always wanted to plant some of this and never have, for some reason.

Blue Salvia
Another blue flower just a short way from the Aconitum, this sky-blue Salvia caught my eye.

Bees on Eryngium
If you find and Eryngium in a garden, chances are you're going to also find a veritable swarm of pollinators...and this was no exception!

I'm always so jealous of the Actaea I see in other gardens...mine just never seem happy.

Cotinus fluff
When will they breed a dwarf Cotinus for those of us with tiny gardens...WHEN?!?

silphium h
My biggest surprise for the day was stumbling upon a plant I've never seen here in the PNW...Silphium lanciniatum.

Silphium lanciniatum
A midwest native of prairies, this imposing plant can get 8-10' tall. The flowers are fairly small, yellow daisies, but the leaves are something else. Oddly irregular, almost finger-like and highlighted by that central rib. It would definitely need to be staked in my garden...but how wonderful would they look, rising up out of a sea of grasses, like sentinels.

Panicum Heavy Metal
Another denizen of the prairies, Panicum...I believe this is 'Heavy Metal', still one of the best Panicums around.

At this time of year, you can hardly miss the paper maché blooms of Romneya.

Vitis vinifera purpurea
After some socializing (and looking around for Yowler, who was apparently hiding somewhere, napping), I grabbed the plant I had come for...a purple-leaved Grape (Vitis vinifera 'Purpurea'). This is going on a new arbor I put up last weekend and I can't wait for it to establish and put on a show.

Coming up soon...a post on the new arbor and what I had to remove to install it :-)


  1. I might just take a trip out their today , looks to be a bit COOLER . Lovely photos Scott !

  2. You're so lucky to go today, Linda...I could have lingered there for hours this weekend...but I thought I might melt! Hope you find some goodies :-)

  3. Oh, Scott you make me NEED to go out there again. Sadly I did not take one photo while there for the Fling. What's wrong with me? :) I had my arms full of plants, not a camera, that's what's wrong. D'OH!

  4. I'm not surprised that you felt like it had been ages since you'd been, when you went for the Fling you might have been stressed out and not paying the closest attention to the plants. Aren't there smoke bushes that stay smallish? At least as small as your sumac? I've had mine for four years, and it always leafs out, but never blooms, and isn't getting any bigger. I've been meaning to plant Aconitum for years too. I just love those hooded blooms.

  5. I'm taking note of your vine choice as yesterday I questioned how long I'll be willing to put up with the VERY enthusiastic Clematis tibetana. Can't wait to see the big reveal...

  6. Hahaha...well, buying plants is a good excuse ;-)

  7. Maybe there are, Alison, I guess I always see them getting so big and lanky...hmmm

  8. Hahahahaha...the Clematis is definitely due a post soon...although this vine is going where the Privet was :-)

  9. Thank you, thank you for descriptions and names. A very novice gardener here. Love your photographs!

  10. Absolutely, Peggy, glad you liked the post :-)

  11. Your post brings back lovely memories of Joy Creek! Looking forward to the big reveal of the new arbour and fine choice with the purple leafed grape vine.

  12. Hi Scott, I thought I'd wait until September to go out to Joy Creek--partly because I'm nuts about various hydrangea hybrids and you can really see the colors they will become in the move towards Autumn. Loved your photos. I finally got a couple of large Actacea and am watching them like a hawk...they appear to have put out new shoots and are blooming, albeit slowly. I'm 100% with you on the heat thing--it's just a little too much, isn't it?

  13. So glad I got to see Joy Creek for myself. Very bummed, though, that I can't grow Romneya. You should check out Silphium terebinthinaceum - a tall naked stalk topped with yellow flowers emerges from a basal cluster of HUGE leaves - kind of like banana leaves. Some think it is the most garden-worthy Silphium.

  14. Hey Scott, have you come across Cotinus 'Young Lady' yet? I think she's a lot smaller than most.

  15. My cotinus 'Purple Robe' is VERY slow growing. There are several suckers at the base, so just say the word if you want one. They can also be pruned to keep them small. The background of the dark beech really sets off the molina. Was that Silphium only in the display garden, or also for sale? I'm pretty sure we could visit Joy Creek every day and still see something new.

  16. Great photos of the Silphium (and the grasses, of course)! Both, as you say, are quite common around here, and so enjoyable to see in a remnant or restored prairie--or a garden like this. That Clematis is really pretty, too--I think I've seen it on other blogs, but not in gardens much around here. I like it! Do you know what type of Asclepias that is? It looks somewhat like A. incarnata, but I'm thinking it's a different PNW native? Lovely!

  17. Love Joy Creek ! I coppice my Cotinus but always end up with a twisty Zuess-like speciman. I can't not have one though know how it is. I think that sky blue Salvia must be 'Argentinian Skies' ..I had to 'unplant' mine..It has tuberous roots like 'Black and Blue' and was headed for world domination. Maybe not as much of an issue in your climate..

  18. Ciao! I'm writing from Italy and this is not a spam mesage! Your garden is a source of information and delight for me. I'm not good with English, so I will close here to avoid blunders.
    Hai una gran mano, e i tuoi accostamenti non sono affatto scontati. La scelta delle piante è stata intelligente e originale, rispettosa del genius loci. Al contempo sei riuscito a dare un aspetto selvatico, senza però invadere gli spazi comuni. Mi piace molto il tuo modo di aver fatto giardino in uno spazio a cui -perlomeno per come ci raccontano i film- in America viene richiesto di essere ordinato e anonimo.

    Mi piacerebbe sapere come la pensavano i tuoi vicini all'inizio!
    Un saluto dall'Italia! Lidia (giardinaggio irregolare).

  19. OOH! I loved that clematis when we were there and will be watching in January when Joy Creek releases their list! Silphium lanciniatum is very cool! I've seen it at Far Reaches and been tempted! Thanks for the follow up visit to Joy Creek!

  20. Donna@Gardens Eye ViewAugust 7, 2014 at 3:22 PM

    I have always loved this nursery and was sad I could not attend the Fling as I would have loved to have visited Joy Creek...I can see why you needed to visit again.

  21. That Clematis glaucophylla is always so dainty and cute, I'm getting sorely tempted... I'm not tempted by the Silphium laciniatum because it is so intimidating in size. But it would be interesting in someone else's garden.

  22. It seems to have been a very pleasant visit. The photo of the cotinus is very good. It brings out the delicate pink "smoke".

  23. As always, gorgeous photography. I love bronze fennel and it seems to love me too. It's seeding around a bit indiscriminately here so I have to edit it from time to time. That P. 'Heavy Metal' is wonderful, so beautifully graceful.