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, June 6, 2017

A Mini-Vacation in Portland Part 1 (Of Many) Tsugawa Nursery

Visiting the Rare Plant Research annual plant sale and garden open has become a bit of a tradition.  Since I had to use some personal days at work or loose them, I decide to drive down on the Friday before the sale on May 20, take in some nurseries, spend the night and have a plant play date with Danger.  What a grand time it was.  The first stop on the way was Tsugawa Nursery in Woodland, Washington,  very close to the Oregon border.  Come with me and enjoy the explosion of color!

Petunias and geraniums - reliable season-long color.   

I'm fond of dahlias with dark foliage.  If only I had more space...

Polygonatum odoratum 'Variegatum'   is a lovely thing.   Thoughts of ripping out my big patch of the non-variegated form and replacing it ran through my mind briefly.

More petunias.

Schizanthus have a special place in my heart although I've not grown them in years.  The lady who owned the tourist shop in Alaska where I worked for 16 summers planted these out front and so many tourists inquired about this easy-to-grow annual that we finally put a sign in the flower bed.  Maybe next year these will get a spot in my garden, perhaps if the pot ghetto gets emptied.  (Who am I trying to kid here, that'll never happen.)

Rhododendrons and azaleas are ubiquitous in gardens in this region because they grow and bloom with little care.

Another plant that has my heart is tuberous begonias.  Those I started myself are looking good except for the pendulous ones planted in pots hanging from the greenhouse eaves.  I hope they get over the shock of being transplanted and thrown into the sunnier location soon and start growing again.

This one almost made it into the plantmobile but it wouldn't be happy being jostled around for a couple of days so it stayed.

Love the use of Spectrum's "Baroque" glass in the fins and tail of this koi stepping stone.

One of the larger ponds looking lovely.

So peaceful.  It's difficult in looking at these scenes to know that this nursery is very close to Interstate 5, an always-busy, major highway.

Bonsai are attractive but beyond my level of dedication. 

Hoop house after hoop house of great perennials.

Glass/ceramic flowers.  These were made using the drilling method rather than the Reeder/gluing method which makes much more sense.  (I drilled for years before Linda taught me an easier way.) I'm always torn when I see a great old hand-painted porcelain piece used.  Once it's drilled, it's ruined but if nobody wants to use things like this anymore, perhaps it's better that the work is enjoyed in some way.

Tsugawa has large collections of conifers, Japanese Maples, plants and other supplies for water gardens but the nurseries of Portland were calling.  The discount center always has great buys.  Not usually anything unusual but good healthy garden backbone plants.

The garden of my dreams has acreage enough for a grove of these. 

Why would they put these on sale when they're looking so gloriously gold?  Tempting but there are many in my garden already.

Time to go  back to the plant mobile and head off to more nurseries! (Cistus, Joy Creek, Means, Portland Nursery.) 

 Isn't spring grand? 


  1. Love that glass Koi - it looks like it is ready to dart away to the safety of the water lily leaves in a second. I didn't know that Tsugawa's has that many bonsai... that's a useful bit of info, so thank you for that!

  2. After seeing your beautiful pictures, it cements in my mind the reason why my trip to Wells-Medina wasn't as satisfying as I had hoped (and it's not because I got lost on the way). I was missing the garden vignettes, the potted arrangements, the display ponds, the garden art... (and shamefully, the coffee stand). I wish Tsugawa wasn't so far away.
    The wall in the back of the pond is slick, modern and interesting. It surprises me that I like it as much as I do.

  3. Love the pond and the wall behind it. As a dish collector, I understand your feelingd about using them in glass art. But I love the sense of a former life they bring to the flower art.

  4. Spring is grand, especially in your part of the country! After a slow start, I'm glad you're finally able to make the most of the season. Schizanthus were one of the joys of spring in my former garden but, unfortunately, they're not nearly as happy in this one (and they're harder to find in the garden centers here too).

  5. It's been ages since I've stopped in at Tsugawa, in fact that shiny metal wall is new since my last visit.

  6. I almost bought Schizanthus seeds to try and start some this year, but I was already starting too many plants, so I decided maybe next year. I'm often tempted to stop at Tsugawa on the way down or back, but I seldom do, so eager to either get to where I'm headed, or just to get home with treasures I've already bought.

  7. I wouldn't mind that koi stepping stone for myself!

  8. WOW! Spring? It is summer here with it's heat, humidity, and we're getting some much needed rain easing our drought conditions.

    Have a great week and thanks again for sharing yet another wonderful nursery.


  9. So many lovely plants, I could never choose. I was smiling reading about your favorite cheese in your earlier post, we love Vermont Cabot Extra Sharp cheddar, too. It is always on my grocery list. Our first garden walk was today; sixty nice ladies on a bus who kindly overlooked the tools lying in the garden next to the quack grass.

    I can never grow hemlocks, they are not happy here for some reason, but how I love their lovely foliage. The closest I can get is larch and tamarack with their soft, ferny needles. I love the schizanthus, I'll have to give them a try. I used to grow salpiglossis from seed, but somehow forgot about them, too. Maybe next year?

  10. We have passed this nursery so many times on our many trips to Oregon. Thanks for showing me what's there.

  11. Yes, spring is grand indeed! Love that fish decoration.

  12. I like the yellow dahlias and the koi stepping stone.

  13. never have made it to Tsugawa...and it's so close.


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