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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.

Monday, March 10, 2014

An Outlaw in Danger Country

I've read about Portland Nursery (not to be confused with Tacoma's Portland Avenue Nursery)  on Danger Garden, most recently here, for several years now.  On March First, we drove to Portland to attend the Yard, Garden, and Patio Show.  Having a little time left before we had to head home, we decided to pay a visit.  The GPS is my best friend in unfamiliar territory! Here's a little of what we saw:

I get excited about pots like these streaky glazed ones but am not sure if they would add to or detract from their contents. 

You simply can't go wrong with blue and gold!

Loree had mentioned bonsai but there were many of them both outside

and inside!  Table after table of them.  I admire these but don't think that I'd take the time to take good care of one.  They also require some blank space around them to look their best and I have a dearth of that!

Hosta leaf fountain.
 
The sign of any superior establishment is the presence of my girlfriend, Monrovia!
The day was fairly cold with a brisk wind but Monrovia didn't seem to mind even though her outfit doesn't seem very substantial.  For some reason, my coat was back at home so my outside exploration needed to come to an end.  Not, however, before a reasonably-priced Aspidistra elatior, a very inexpensive Helleborus 'Onyx Odyssey', and a few Acorus gramineus 'minimus aureus' found their way into a wagon.  

Tom saw this Cryptanthus and said, "That's crazy!"  Into the cart it went.  I keep hoping that if I get plants that he enjoys,  he'll be converted to a life of gardening.  It hasn't worked so far but it's a good justification for buying a plant.

Bromeliad-adorned tree.

 I wonder what happened to this poor bromeliad and his two siblings?  They were in the deeply discounted  area and it was tempting to bring one home but they all stayed.


 
 Someone said, "If it's weird-looking, it's probably a euphorbia."

A small one of these rode around in my cart for some time but finally went back to the table.  There is simply no space with bright light in our house that isn't already full of plants! 
 Euphorbia suzannae

These plants are toxic if eaten.  Thank goodness for the signage!  Would you think of putting one of these in your mouth?


Euphorbia stenocalata that I saw on Loree's blog and fell hard.  So beautiful, so spiky, so silvery and also so big, wanting bright light, and fairly expensive.  This love will remain unrequited.
 
Epiphyllum 'Curly' caught my eye. 

Hoya kerrii, the heart leafed hoya, in a little pink pot.  What a cute valentine this would be!

Sansevieria 'Kristi'  has sexy heavily-variegated foliage.  One like this said that she wanted to live at our place.  She'll be happy in a window with little direct sunlight and will be happy if she gets watered a few times a year.

These glass cloches present small bits of moss as works of art. 

The idea of a hose pot is great.  Simply coil your ugly hose inside this decorative pot with a handy hole on the side near the bottom for hose entry, and hose storage becomes something of beauty.  Really?  I use my hose to water pots every other day when the weather is very warm.  Even though there is a cool crank device on our hose caddy thingy, the hose doesn't get reeled in all that often.  Would you take the time to gently coil your hose inside one of these pots frequently?   This one, reminiscent of a poppy seed pod,  was quite handsome...

Table full of fun!

Very handy for holding up a cookbook while your extremities are busy chopping, stirring, etc.

Pink/red and green foliage makes me swoon!  Aglaonema 'Red Valentine'

Unknown part of the permanent collection.

Nice-looking green wall on a green wall. 

Monstera deliciosa variegate

After adding to the treasure in the car from the YGP show,  there wasn't a lot of time to visit other nurseries so we decided to have dinner in Portland before heading home.  There were a number of interesting-looking eateries near the nursery...
With the help of cell phone/interweb technology (am still amazed by it all.) we found several recommendations in another area of town. 

What's your favorite part of a plant centered road trip?  Is it the discovery of new plants/artwork/pots/ideas,  the drive home with your purchase(s), unloading the treasure, or planting/placing while remembering the day?

25 comments:

  1. Oh, I'm glad you went to Portland Nursery before you headed home! I loved it there, and you noticed way more than I did. Wasn't that just the biggest, greatest houseplant department? I almost bought one of those sun-burned Bromeliads too. I love Cryptanthus, Tom has good taste.

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    1. I'm so glad you made the recommendation. That houseplant department was way cool!

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  2. Good thing you visited the Division St Portland Nursery, because the Stark St location has a very tiny indoor plant section. I like your choice of Sanseveria 'Kristi' - must be my mid-mod genes talking. Call me OCD, but I almost always coil my hoses up in their hose pots (luckily I must have fewer pots and usually don't have to get them out every day.)

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    1. Division was recommended by several people; it's nice to have gardening friends. I'm really impressed with your hose coiling! When I'm feeling especially festive, mine gets rolled in.

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  3. I'm so glad you enjoyed Portland Nursery! We went on a little nursery (and bookstore) adventure this last weekend. My favorite part (thus far, as planing is a ways away) was driving home with my new treasure in the back seat.

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    1. The joy of bringing home a new plant is pretty awsome.

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  4. (p.s. loved the title of this post)

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  5. A road trip is always fun (and rare in my case), regardless of the destination. If it happens to be a nursery then it's truly a blessed day. Not all Euphorbias are prickly, but all have toxic sap that will severely irritation the eyes (I don't handle them without garden gloves). I'm willing to give away moss that "artfully" grows in my garden. Any takers?

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    1. Euphorbias are so numerous and varied and you're right about the sap. I also glove up when playing with them in my garden but I thought that the sign was funny because it was in the middle of a sea of the most dangerous looking of the clan. Oh what a generous offer but with the rain we've been having this year, it seems like there's even more moss than usual. If you find any takers, let me know, my garage roof is covered in the stuff!

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  6. All of the above! Nice haul and your comment about Euphorbias made me laugh!

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    1. You're right, the whole experience is some kind of wonderful!

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  7. But where did you eat? Our restaurants are at least as famous as our nurseries.

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    1. Dwaraka Indian Cuisine on Hawthorne. It's kind of small but we both enjoyed our meals & service very much. Presentation was unusual and fun. I'd go back!

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  8. No, I would never roll my hose up into one of those pots but I might use it for something else. What is blank space?

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    1. I've heard that Blank space is something that people who aren't plant collectors have on their shelves, tables placed near windows, and countertops- A surface not crammed with plants. This may be some sort of myth or urban legend as I've never actually experienced it myself.

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  9. Fun trip to Danger Country! It is fun to visit nurseries in different places. I enjoy pretty much everything about a plant road trip.

    My hose pot now holds an agave. It wasn't the coiling part which is pretty easy compared to the crank models but the hose gets slimy in there and had to be washed off or it made a mess.

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    1. You and me both, sister!
      A slimy hose does not sound like fun!

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  10. I just love the discovery element of finding new places. Thanks again for another fun find.

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  11. Bromeliads generally look like those you cleverly passed up because they bloomed, produced offspring and are dying. You might get another baby before it totally croaked but not likely. I could send you one of mine. I do not let them go gently into a good compost but save them to the bitter end because they've been so prolific.

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    1. I love bromeliads but would only buy one in decline home if it had visible pups and was really cheap.

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  12. Hmmm, I should definitely avoid the Division St. Portland Nursery then, to ward off the temptation of more houseplants. Ha! Like that will happen! Division St. here I come!

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    1. Who did you think you'd fool with that first sentence? We know you too well, fellow plant addict!

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  13. Interesting name for a restaurant.

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Thanks so much for taking the time to comment! I love to hear your thoughts.