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.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

With A Sign Like That, What's a Gardener To Do? Visiting Marbott's Nursery.

Last month, the Danger Garden Blog held an Aeonium Challenge.  If you missed the details, look here.  Surprisingly, my entry won.  To see all of the entries, look here.

Lust - the eyes of the skull are Aeonium 'Zwartkop' and the potted plant, pruned by Morticia Addams, is Aeonium 'Kiwi.' One thing about plant nerds is that sometimes they see things in a plant that may or may not be there.  Maybe it's about humankind's lust to own or control natural beauty and in the possessing, they rob the original object of it's beauty and end up looking a bit silly themselves.  Maybe one thinks the other has a great body but is a bit lacking in the brain department.  On the other hand, maybe the guy's a boob man and after a few drinks, he's seeing more on top than what really exists.

Sean Hogan of Cistus Nursery fame donated an Aeonium collection as the prize for this challenge and since I love visiting that nursery, picking up the winnings was a great excuse to do some plant shopping and Danger herself was available to play on that day.  So, I loaded up the car with snacks for the road and the Strobilanthes gossypinus I'd picked up for her in a much smaller pot at an early spring plant sale, (I'd forgotten to bring the plant to her on at least a couple of occasions and each time, disgusted with myself, I potted it in a larger container.) and headed south.

On the way to Loree's place (post on the Danger Garden to come) the plant mobile saw this sign and couldn't resist stopping at Marbott's.  Surely Loree would understand if I were a few minutes late, right?  

I remember chatting with someone at Marbott's last year about when they started their tuberous begonias and was surprised to learn that they start them from seed in November and my late summer they look like this.  (FROM SEED!)  

Even the concrete kitty is impressed.

Houseplants anyone?

Fibrous, and tuberous and riegers, oh my!

Of course these huge hanging baskets weren't on sale for a couple of bucks but aren't they beautiful?


A pretty variegated impatiens. 

From seed to two gallon pots in eight or nine months.  So cool!  

Seriously tempting, and the price was certainly right but I already have a lot of tuberous begonias to store for the winter so these beauties are still at Marbott's if you need a quick splash of summer color.

Marbott's is an old-fashioned greenhouse and nursery that starts a large percentage of the plants they carry on site.

Strelitzia reginae in bloom. 

Aeonium mingling with commoners. 

These "buds" are for you!

The geranium house in all it's glory.  

The further back you go, the more you see of the propagation areas full of interesting plants like this Echeveria 'Topsy Turvy'

The infamous older guy who's been dubbed Mr. Marbott, wasn't present doling out advise.  Worrying about his health, I inquired and found out that he was simply running an errand and would be back. Hooray for two Portland institutions!  It was a fun quick run through of the nursery.  Back to the plant mobile friends, Danger awaits!


  1. This reminds me, I should pop into Marbott's. It's not more than a mile or so from my house. Usually when I'm cruising Columbia Blvd. I'm on my way to Oregon Decorative Rock and/or the Oregon Humane Society. Marbott's is such a funky interesting nursery--one of those places like Bovees Nursery where you're just as apt to hear, "Oh, that's not for sale." They love their plants. Cheers, Peter.

  2. I thought I remembered you saying you'd potted up the Strobilanthes gossypinus. But when I went to plant it (in a nice big pot) the roots were so substantial, and grown all the way to the bottom of the pot, that I thought I must be wrong. Then again the green "monrovia" container didn't seem right knowing where you bought it. Anyway, thank you!!! You are a very good plant dad.

  3. I'm like Patricia, I tend to hit Marbott's when looking at decorator rock around the corner. I'm generally not out that direction in town, so I don't think of Marbott's often. I always find something to buy there and I appreciate that they grow many of their plants on site.

  4. I love that huge greenhouse every time you show it!

  5. Ah, the things that can be accomplished in a greenhouse.

  6. Those begonias are jaw dropping, and from seed, truly amazing. Congrats on your well-deserved Aeonium victory!

  7. I'm so glad you won! I love how clever your entry is. I wish I'd been there with you both. :o)

  8. That's a lotta begonias! All so healthy, too--as are the Bougainvillea. One of these years, I'm going to try it (and overwinter it in the sunroom). Bird of Paradise is always an exciting find. :)

  9. Begonias from seed to flower in less than a year - I'm amazed!

  10. My kind of greenhouse. It looks like they grow a big part of what they sell, and i always find that those plants do the best since they're not all 'juiced up' like you sometimes find elsewhere.
    That Strobilanthes is pretty cool. I laughed when I saw your picture and then of course had to look it up and wish there as one coming my way as well!


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