Although this could very well be a picture of me finding a new treasure at a favorite nursery, it's actually an illustration by David Catrow for a children's book called Plantzilla.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Visiting Marbott's Nursery

Loree at Danger Garden has been posting about visiting Marbott's Nursery for years now.  See her posts here and here.  Imagine my surprise and delight when, on the way to the Portland area garden blogger's plant exchange I drove by Marbotts!  You know that after the exchange, the plant mobile magically found it's way into the nursery's parking lot. It has a tendency automatically find Dairy Queens as well.  Ice cream is a food group, right?  Oh please, this body doesn't just build itself, I have to work at it!  I digress.  Marbott's has been in business since 1930 and they still grow much of their own stock.

This place is all about beautifully grown plants so it's no wonder that the parking lot was full when I stopped by.  The sight and smell of deciduous azaleas greeted me at the entrance.

 Citrus plants seem to be everywhere these days, even in my own greenhouse.  What up with that?  This one looks especially sweet covered with tiny oranges.

Cryptanthus 'Pink Star' (I think) looked especially bright!

Birdbath with a grass fountain.  

Gorgeous Azalea in a corner by the wagons.  Poor thing needs to be the spring star of someone's garden!
 If I hadn't already felt silly for growing tomatoes from seed myself this year, the following would certainly convince me!

What, there are more?

and more...

And more yet.  Did they plant all of the seeds in their packets as well? 
Truth be told, it's been very gratifying to watch those little seedlings continue to grow into plants and it may just happen again next year.

Purple and gold.  Are you folks in Portland fans of the University of Washington Huskies? 

 Glorious tuberous begonias which were started from seed in November to get them to this size by April. There's no rest for folks in the nursery business!  Notice the papyrus on the left.  One of them came home with me.

While the foliage usually isn't anything to write home about, who could resist those big beautiful blooms?

More things growing  in a back greenhouse.

Kalanchoe uniflora 'Coral Bells'  somehow jumped into my cart.  The spent flowers dry and remain on the plant for a while and make a sweet sound when they collide with each other in the breeze on the car ride home.

Interesting area where they heve set up tiny garden vignettes.

Pretty pastels!

Walking into a huge greenhouse full of geraniums (Pelargonium) is quite an experience.  Looking one way.

and the other way.  These popular stalwarts of many gardens provide interesting foliage and mostly hot colored blooms all season long.  They always remind me of a sweet elderly couple in my home town who year after year kept  several  pots of red geraniums on their glassed-in front porch.

Not for sale plants always seem more tempting than those that are available for some reason.

Double Delights Freedom Hydrangea seems like a long name for this innocent looking thing. 

While Marbott's has been in business for years, has some cool old greenhouses and an old time nursery feel, they also carry enough interesting and unusual plants to keep lovers of the same intrigued.

Echium wildpretii  was very tempting but there's simply not room inside the fence for a huge tower of a bloom stalk and I'd worry about planting in one of the hell strips.  Oh well, one can't grow everything, can one?

Aeonium tabuliforme(dinner plat aeonium); a second sighting.  The first time I saw one in person this far north was at Hortlandia this year and now here at Marbott's.  Hope that means that this sweet thing will become more widely offered here. Isn't it interesting looking?
There was also a small selection of eucalyptus - hooray!

This fixture of Northeast Portland  is definitely worth a visit!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Portland Area Garden Bloggers' Plant Exchange Spring 2015

Twice a year, spring and fall, Portland area bloggers have a plant exchange hosted by a different blogger each time.  I don't remember how long they've been doing this but about three years ago, my pal Alison (Bonny Lassie) and I were made honorary members.  It's always worth the trip to see all of these wonderful people whose blogs we read and admire.  Throw in free plants, food, wine, and the chance to see in person a fabulous garden and it's a slam dunk.

This year Patricia (Plant Lust) hosted the party.  I parked down the hill a bit from her lovely new home and Ann (Amateur Bot-Ann-Ist)  met me with a cart to help haul Alison and my plants. Thoughtful!   Alison couldn't attend this time but sent a lot of plants to the exchange.

Here's Rickii (Sprig To Twig) arriving.

Linda (Whatsit Garden)  in ultra cute shoes.  Notice the plants, just a fraction of what was there. 

 Out in back the party had already started (check out the mimosas) Amy (The World's Best Garden Blog) is cleverly hiding hers behind Beth (Goodnight Gleanings) In the middle, is Jenni (The Rainy Day Gardener) and behind her is Heather (Just a Girl With A Hammer) talking with someone whose name has slipped my mind.  Can you help me with her name?  With the fabulous blonde hair on the move is Laura along with her Pirate Charlie (Gravy Lessons)

I love this picture of these two beautiful women who look like they're not at all pleased by what they're hearing.  That's Heather on the left and our wonderful host, Patricia.

Another sight to behold were these HUGE peonies brought by Derek (Plantgasm) They came with his new home in Portland and he's no idea what variety they are.  Do you know?  They sure are gorgeous!

Here's Derek holding them so that you can see how large they are.
The farmer in the dell, the farmer in the dell, high ho the derry-o, the farmer in the dell.  These folks know to have a good time at a party! Left to right:  Amy, Paul, someone I don't recognize from the back (do you remember?) Heather, and Loree (Danger Garden)

 The plant shopping begins. 

Cardoons and lilies and peonies, oh my!

A lovely floral arrangement brought by Mindy (Rindy Mae)

Patricia has only been in this garden for a year but she's already done a great deal with it!
 Newly planted part of her front garden. 

Ensete maurelii leaf waking from a long winter's nap 

An all- grass back yard is transforming into a garden!

This sempervivum caught everyone's attention.  Although you can't tell in the picture, it was exceptionally lage and looked very happy.

Purty peonies!

Soft grey mullein starting to bloom. 

Patricia does the empty pot as focal point thing very well!  Isn't the contrast in foliage of the Rhodocoma capensis and Fatsia japonica delicious?

A very handsome gentleman enjoying the shade. 

I'm sure I missed photographing (Scott) and mentioning several people who participated in this fun event for which I'm truly sorry.  This event is always a blast!  Thank you Patricia for hosting in your beautiful garden!

Happy new week.  If you live in the U.S. I hope you're thinking of and are grateful for those who died in service to our country and for our many freedoms. (Like three day weekends)  No, like life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness and the freedom of speech and the press.  Extra points if you can name the documents from which those came without the help of the internet. 

Friday, May 22, 2015

Wandering Around Watson's

Gardeners who work during the day are grateful as the daylight lengthens and we have time to squeeze in some gardening tasks after work.  Many nurseries have longer hours in the spring and it's possible to shop after work as well.  Who wouldn't be happy about that?   One day after work, I stopped by Watson's. See many previous posts here.  We've been here together frequently you and I.

If memory serves, the grafted tomato potato plant has been around for a long time.  Gurney's Seed and Nursery used to carry them in the 70's.  However, someone's marketing department decided that this was the year to push this plant and give it a fun name, "Ketchup 'n' Fries by Tomtato."  Kind of cute.

However, at this price, one could grow a lot of tomatoes and potatoes separately or make their own grafted plants to maximize limited garden space. See how to do it yourself here

Digiplexis 'Illumination Flame' which didn't return in my garden this spring, is now joined by Digiplexis 'Raspberry.'  Pretty for sure but I'm equally fond of Digitalis which is quite reliable!

This year I will rip out the cursed inherited vinca on a sunny slope and replace it with iris! (I just got an Iris catalog in the mail and want them all.)   Here's 'That's All Folks' looking as sunny as Doris Day.

'Edith Wolford' is very popular.

This time of year when nurseries are full to the gills is so much fun!

 Peony 'Bartzlla'  a true yellow herbaceous peony is quite unusual.

When I was doing my student teaching a billion years ago, I bought my first Washington fuchsia basket at Watson's.  They'd opened that spring and the fuchsias were on sale in September.  Coming from an area with a three-month growing season, I was delighted that the plant would bloom for at least that long.  Who could have known then how large and popular the nursery was to become?

This gorgeous hibiscus was tempting but I already have one like it that sailed through the winter in the greenhouse.  

Interesting idea!  You can purchase kits for these raised beds, assemble  and fill them with soil and voila a garden!

Watson's grows most of their own annuals. 

Meanwhile in the "stuff" area.  Isn't the ginkgo leaf vase cool? 

And  the sea urchin vase.

The peach colored foliage of Acer pseudoplatanus 'Esk Sunset' purple leaved beach and sky blue hydrangeas make a very nice combination.

So much more to explore but that'll have to wait for another day!
Happy weekend and happy gardening!