-

-
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 20, 2018

Portland Nursery Hopping #1 Marbott's Nursery

Not far from Portland's Expo Center, where Hortlandia took place last weekend, is Marbott's Greenhouse and Nursery, growing plants for homes and gardens since 1930.  Mr. Marbott, better known as Ernie, is 89 years old and still a fixture here.  It was a delight to once again discuss tuberous begonias with Ernie and to hear how excited he is with the beauties he starts from seed in November.  By now they're full grown and starting to bloom.  After all these years, starting seeds and watching plants grow still holds his heart.  Tuberous begonias are exactly what I'd come here to find. 

While I always have surviving tubers from last year starting inside, it's always nice to add one or two already in full bloom.

While 'Nonstop' tuberous begonias are widely available as plants, few greenhouses (I'm only aware of Marbott's and Wells Medina who grow their own plants)  bother with the large. old-fashioned kind.  Perhaps because their stems are fairly brittle and might not be the most sturdy things to transport to stores.  Fortunately, tubers are widely available.  Some of my favorites are those that I ordered from Blackmore and Langdon a few years ago. 

These are not the trendiest plants but the big bright blooms remind me of how beautifully they grew in the Alaska gardens of my youth. 

Another plant that I've only seen at Marbott's is Kalanchoe uniflora 'Coral Bells.'  It's a great, easy-care succulent that flowers over a long period and the dried blooms make a delightful tinkling noise in the breeze.

Another favorite that bloomed most of the summer in Alaska is fragrant stock.  Here it stops blooming  in the heat of summer. There's nothing quite like that scent. 

Shady characters. 



Coffee anyone? 

Spring color!

Heuchera 'Red Lightening' looks good all year long.  



Marbott's grows most of what they sell.  The promise of lots of gorgeous annual blooms.

thes little demonstration gardens are looking sweet. 


More annuals!

For those who enjoy blue flowers, there's nothing quite like a carpet of gentian.

The geranium (Pelargonium) houses are full.  


I usually don't notice the rock garden in the front as it's on a busy street and the parking lot is closer to the retail areas.  However, Ernie called his son over to take me out front to a locked greenhouse to see some special begonia hanging baskets they'd put together.

It would have been rude not to get one or two, right?  After all Mr. Marbott Jr. went out of his way and all.

One last look before moving on to a few more nurseries. 

Happy weekend all!

22 comments:

  1. Very happy weekend indeed. I returned stateside last weekend after being away for 3 weeks. The torrents kept me away from the garden. Believe me when I say I'll be looking at plants ALL weekend long to make up for lost time. My only tuber begonia is the one you kindly gave me. It got huge while I was gone, but I'm not putting it outside quite yet. You didn't show which new begonias you added to your vast collection.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I brought home five begonias one of each color they had, and a couple of hanging baskets. My English tuberous begonias all made it through the winter but many of the others didn't for some reason. It's just as well, though as there were too many of them anyway.

      Delete
  2. I love Marbott's, the physical layout of the place, the surliness of Mr. Marbott and of course it's proximity to my house. It's a flashback and I'm glad it's still around.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Flashback is a good descriptor and it is a pleasure to experience such a place!

      Delete
  3. This is one place in Portland I've never been to, I really should check it out next time I'm down there. There's always so many nurseries to go to and not enough time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Seems like it would take about a week, maybe two, of nonstop nursery hopping to visit most of PDX's great nurseries.

      Delete
  4. The mother of a friend grew those gorgeous Begonias and there was always at least one hanging by the front door. They were one of my early introductions to flowering houseplants. I've never seen that kalanchoe which is totally cool and I've never seen coffee on the plant either. Is that Gentian really a ground cover type or is that just the photo angle? A post full of surprises for this Midwesterner.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That gentian is a mat-forming variety. Looks like they were recently planted pretty close together but would have spread a bit over time by themselves.

      Delete
    2. Just checked the tag and Gentiana acaulis - Hybr. 'Holzmann' is hardy to zone 3! https://www.edelweissperennials.com/

      Delete
  5. Oh, my goodness! What a luscious nursery! And one I don't know about. Maybe another trip to Portland and the valley is needed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh yes, definitely another visit to Portland and the Valley. Rare Plant Research in Oregon City is holding their Open House on May 19. The gardens, buildings, and winery are really interesting places to explore to say nothing of seeing all the weird and wonderful plants.

      Delete
  6. Thank you Peter for sharing another fantastic nursery. You are blessed to have so many in your area.

    Have a great weekend ~ FlowerLady

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We are, indeed, blessed with many fantastic independent nurseries in our area.

      Delete
  7. If you had your own coffee tree that would certainly be local sourcing. I have never fallen out of love with begonias. They were one of the first plants I ever had. That kalancho looks brilliant. Those shady plants are so colorful. Gosh I wouldn't have gotten out of there without several purchases.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Can you imagine the great smell if you roasted your own coffee beans at home? Nice to know that we share a love of begonias!

      Delete
  8. Those greenhouses are impressive! I'm attempting to reestablish my relationship with tuberous begonias with the assistance of my lath house. Three tubers have obliged me by blooming but 2 others are stubbornly refusing to show a single leaf.

    I hope you have a warm, sunny weekend, Peter!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's so nice to visit a retail nursery that grows much of it's own stock. Like Loree said, it's a wonderful throwback to the way most nurseries used to be, and a delightful one at that.

      Delete
  9. What a beautiful place, and it is a true nursery instead of a mere "garden center". Long may it thrive.

    Tuberous begonias are a dream that will never happen here, so I will just have to envy and admire yours.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was such a joy to know that Ernie's Son is working there and hopefully will continue this wonderful family business. There's a totally different vibe at a place that actually grows their stock. Ernie Marbott glowed with pride about his many years of success growing tuberous begonias from seed. This sort of pride in product is quite different from the big "garden centers" and box stores who bring everything in.

      Wouldn't begonias grow in deep shade there or does it simply get too hot?

      Delete
  10. Wish we had garden centers like this out here. Ours don't even come close. (sigh)

    ReplyDelete
  11. What 'Coral bells' Peter! I'd love to. Is it easy to grow? Begonias are pretty as well, mine are not in bloom yet, but tall.
    Happy Sunday!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Love those Gentians. And I didn't realize tuberous begonias came in orange.

    ReplyDelete

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