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, April 10, 2018

A Wet Walk Through Portland Avenue Nursery

Last week I had the pleasure of visiting a coworker's new home, meeting his wife, delightful children and holding the newest member of the family, a recently-born adorable baby girl.  What a special treat.  An added bonus is that their house is very close to Portland Avenue Nursery.   It was raining outside but who would let a little thing like precipitation keep him from plant shopping? 

Rusty vehicles, old gas pumps and topiary let us know that we're definitely at PAN.  The sign above was also a dead giveaway.

 Annuals, veggie starts, and potted bulbs fill the shelves.

I love the foliage of Alstroemeria 'Rock n Roll' but in my garden, it doesn't  come back in subsequent years with as much vigor as it displays the first year it's planted.

The flowers are nice too but it's really the foliage that excites me.  

What a difference a few months make.  Here is a November view. 

Now, perennials and potted rose bushes fill the space!

 Again, a view from a November visit.

Now the tables are once again present and filled. 

Love this color combination. 

A formerly vacant area is once again full of azaleas waiting to burst into brilliant bloom. 

There were some fun unusual surprises like Trillium sessile

Shrubby goodness showing great twig color for winter interest. 

Superb collection of  evergreens. 

Camellia 'Carter's Sunburst' has huge blooms and was tempting.

So was C. 'April Remembered'

The soft pink color and heart-shaped leaves of 'Taylor's Perfection'  are fabulous.  As the petals fall, they litter the ground with pink hearts.  I lingered for quite a while trying to decide where this could possibly fit in my garden.  I'd probably have to get rid of one of my white camellias to grow this one and that would place this one within eyeshot of a more orange-pink  camellia with which it would clash horribly so that one would have to move but then this one could go in that spot as it would look really sweet with the white one.  Too much thinking, too much work, enough camellias in my garden already.  Although these are such sweet late winter through spring bloomers.   Maybe I'll go back sometime and see if it's still there. 

It's reassuring to know that all the rusty old vehicles have a fuel source. 

Oh deer.

And as Loree says, "There's always an agave."

While passiflora in our gardens won't be blooming for a while yet, these greenhouse sweeties (or maybe brought up from California) are  popping now. 
Nothing made it into the plant mobile this time.  There's still a pot ghetto at home filled with plants waiting to find a home.   


  1. Don't know which I like best: the rusty big truck or the topiary creatures. I wonder if that Trillium is a special or named variety. The pale center in the speckling is unlike any of my straight T. sessile plants.

    1. I went back and looked at my picture of the tag and there was no varietal name only Trillium sessile. They were grown by Sundquist so maybe it's a strain that appeared there.

  2. It's good to see that Blooming Junction is pushing out lots of gallon size Agaves! I do love the layout of this nursery, it's so fun to walk through.

  3. I haven't been to Portland Avenue Nursery in years. I have more than enough plants in my own pot ghetto too.

  4. I complain about the lightly stocked shelves in some garden centers in January here but the shelves are never as empty as those in your November shots! I guess SoCal offers a few advantages...

    1. Most of the nurseries in our area remain fully stocked during the winter but some, like this one, cut way back on plant offerings. When the earlier pictures were taken they'd cleared a lot of space for Christmas trees.

  5. You were such a good boy not purchasing any more plants until the ghetto is emptied. Good luck with that lasting with all these goodies available. I don't think I would like to invite deer into my garden in any form. I am afraid the real thing would think it was an open invitation.

  6. Peter, I love the nurseries in your city! the variety of plants is amazing but those Camellias steal the show!

  7. Going to a nursery is a good substitute when it's too rainy to work in the garden.

  8. What a lot of work to do, and I think my garden takes a lot. The Camellias are delightful, my spring bloomer has started, plus one I got as a tiny plant finally bloomed this year, and even the reluctant Yuletide finally bloomed. But I find variegation hard to resist.


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