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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.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Portland Nursery Deux: Stark Street

You may remember this post about visiting Portland Nursery on Division Street (website here) after attending the Portland Yard, Garden, and Patio Show on the first of March.  Today, we visit the nursery's other location on Stark Street. It's interesting that they are two locations of the same nursery as they are very different from each other and both need to be visited!  Loree and Hoover Boo posted about Alstroemeria 'Rock 'n' Roll' and both Alison and I loved the way the foliage looked.  When Loree told us that she saw it at a nursery in Portland that wasn't too far from where we were going next (Cistus) we jumped at the chance to make a side trip.  So, while Loree, Scott, and Heather enjoyed lunch together, we hopped into the plant mobile and headed out to Portland Nursery on Stark Street.


The first big surprise was that there was stop and go traffic on the street as cars waited in line to get into the parking lot.  It was a warmish and sunny day but I was impressed.  These Portlanders take gardening seriously!  By the way, for any of you wondering if Portland is anything like the television show "Portlandia,"  it behooves me to say, "No, not at all!"  Although, stereotypes come from somewhere... The triumph of gardening  over the city painting on this van made me smile and start humming "If You're Going to San Francisco (Tell her to wear a flower in her hair)"
 I  love Portland and the people I've met there!   Who could not love a city with people this interested in gardening?

 I love the color combinations of the displays!

Chartreuse, yellow and orange are enough to brighten the rainiest day the PNW has to offer. 

Unless you enjoy feeling a little blue.
 Notice how the teal/aqua pot brings out those tones in the tulip foliage. 


Camellia japonica 'Bob Hope' caught my eye - so red and cheerful!

Lots of fun statuary.

We started by thinking that we'd just go in, inquire about the plant, get a couple and then take off but then there were all of these cool things to admire.  Soon enough, we were coming closer to our prize.  Do you see it there in the orange pots?


The foliage is spectacular and Hoover Boo is using it in her California garden as a substitute for hostas which don't like the summer heat in her area.  Serious crush on the foliage but the blooms are pretty wonderful too! For those of you with refined taste who are fond of understated pastel flowers, please avert your eyes lest you be offended by the brashness of this foliage/flower combination.

I'm crazy about the thing which Loree says is all over the place in Portland right now but I haven't seen in my area at all. Sources say it's hardy to zone 8, 8b, or 9.  Alison and I think that we'll keep ours in pots and drag them in during the coldest part of the winter just to be on the safe side.


It was with a slight twinge of guilt for my premeditated murder of a couple of lilacs in my own garden that I bent to inhale the heavenly fragrance of this beauty.

Doghouse with a green roof - cute!

These brightly colored pots were tempting as they were in the sale area and the colors are so vibrant.  

We could have gotten lost in this huge rose area so decided not to start looking after all there were more places to go and people to meet (Heather, Loree, Scott.)

Like the Division Street location, there are a lot of beautiful bonsai trees and stock to make new ones.  Oh to have the talent, time, and patience.

Acer palmatum 'Mikazuki' has gorgeous leaves and almost jumped into my cart. 

One of my favorites, Rhododendron sinogrande, looking especially nice.

And then this happened - 

I'd read about Acer palmatum 'Purple Ghost' and admired pictures on the internet but this was my first live encounter.  I tried to remind myself that I don't need another maple in a pot but that color was too seductive.  It's just as lovely out of the sun by the way.
 Wheeling our carts inside to pay  we noticed this nice assortment of tillandsias.
 The Division location has a huge houseplant section that even a non houseplant person can spend quite a while exploring.  The Stark location has far fewer houseplants but a more expansive outdoor area.
I'm in love with Portland Nursery, both locations and have a bit of a crush on the city itself. Anyway, we added our newfound treasures to those already in the plant mobile and raced off to nearby Sauvie Island to continue our adventure. 

28 comments:

  1. Hehehe, I'm so tickled that you've really started calling your car the plant mobile! That really is a bright Japanese maple, it would almost make me want one.

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    1. Your name for my car was too cute! Japanese maples are so wonderful and varied. Your garden looks stunning without them though. If you ever want to start another plant addiction, Acers are a fun group!

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  2. Those huge Rhododendron sinogrande have been grabbing me and pulling me toward them for months now. I wish someone would buy them so they stop talking to me! Glad you found your 'rock and roll' prize...I even saw them at Garden Fever earlier in the week. Can't believe they haven't saturated the Seattle area yet.

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    1. It's a good thing that your nurseries are a few hours from me! I kept reminding myself while drooling over the Rhododendron sinograndes that I already have a beautiful one at home. On the other hand, groups of three are a good thing, right? I'm surprised that Rock and Roll hasn't appeared here as well but maybe the nursery folks here are trying to be a little more conservative hardiness-wise after last winter. More research is called for so I'll have to drag myself to a couple of Seattle nurseries one of these days!

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  3. Thanks for stopping in, and for writing this lovely article about us! It's rare we get to see our store from our customers' point of view, glad to hear you had a good time :) It truly doesn't get better than the NW, come back and see us anytime.

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    1. I greatly admired the care that went into your displays and the wide variety of offerings. As a plant addict, I seldom find a nursery that doesn't thrill me in some way! Thanks for all the work you do to keep your your places so cool!

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  4. What a gorgeous Rhododendron, and that dog house with a green roof is so funny, a great idea, hehehe.

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  5. I love that place too, and even R has started saying "let's go to Portland Nursery" whenever we find ourselves in town with a little extra time. If only our R. sinogrande were looking that good: it suffers from the cold each year, no matter how much we coddle it.

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    1. It's high praise that R likes the place! Division has such a great houseplant selection and Stark is amazing. Love them both.

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  6. Beautiful plants but for me those brightly coloured pots stole the limelight! I could have easily night them all if I was there!

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    1. They are way cool and would look spectacular in large numbers.

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    1. The Portland area has its share of great nurseries!

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  8. Sky Nursery in North Seattle had that Alstromeria last time I was there. That Mikazuki would have tempted me.
    Deirdre

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    1. Thanks Deirdre! It's good to know that there's a source a little closer to home. Haven't been to Sky in a while and should probably remedy that soon!

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    2. I had just had a conversation with a friend who dislikes variegation and orange when I saw this, so it stuck in my mind.

      Deirdre

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  9. Backed up traffic just to get into the parking lot doesn't sound like much fun. I'd need a fellow plant addict or two with me to pass the time. But a Rhododendron sinogrande might be worth it!

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    1. It wasn't backed up that far and you're right; with a fellow plant addict in the car it was actually enjoyable to wait. The R. sinograndes came from chimacum woods I think. They're at a lot of plant sales and if you wanted them to bring one to a sale near you, they'd probably be happy to do so. The nursery at the Rhododendron Species Garden on the Weyerhauser campus in Federal Way usually has quite a few of them as well. Sorry I'm not more familliar with nurseries closer to you.

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  10. The 2 Portland Nurseries are my go-to places when I can't find things in Vancouver. Incidentally, maybe people are aware of the comedy show about the Portland lifestyle, but there's a spoof about life in Vancouver- search vancouvria- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nMwCkZiEQ7A
    I love both nurseries but still can't find some things I want there. I like Stark St.'s display street strip, they have so many cool plants that give me ideas of combinations.

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    1. I loved visiting both and look forward to returning sometime. Can't wait to go over to youtube and see Vancouvria! P.S. Just watched several episodes. Very funny!

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  11. Oh and such an adventure, so many plants. How do you choose. The Maples are wonderful I love their colourful foliage.

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    1. Very difficult to choose plants when given so very many choices!

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  12. How funny that I have not been to the Stark street location yet! I always zip down the freeway to hit Division. The color on that Acer is splendid! Wow and I thought my 'Fireglow' was bright in the sunlight. Ya know, Portland could always use more plant loving people....just saying that I hear it's a pretty nice place to move too :)

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    1. Also have spent a little time in Oregon City which we very much enjoyed. Truth be told, I'm far too lazy to do more than think about moving to a different town but it's a lot of fun to be able to hop into the car, drive for a couple of hours and enjoy your neck of the woods.

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  13. "Who could not love a city with people this interested in gardening?" Exactly! That's one of the reasons I love Austin too. Thanks for sharing this cool nursery outing with us.

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