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, May 22, 2018

Rare Plant Research Annual Open House

Rare Plant Research is a wholesale grower of unusual plants that opens it's doors to the public one weekend a year.  I'd purchased their plants from local nurseries for years before visiting myself and now try to make it to the open every spring.   To see many previous posts from RPR, look here.  You can also search my blog by typing Rare Plant Research (or any other term you might be interested in) in the white box with the magnifying glass in the upper left hand corner of the screen.   Once again this year, I met my pal Loree (yes, THE Loree Bohl of Sunset Magazine Fame.) in her equally famous garden from which we set out to Rare Plant Research together.   Loree warned me that the garden was a mess so I didn't ask about taking pictures but his lady doesn't know from mess - her garden looked fabulous as always.  Here's a bit of what we saw.

Lots of tiny agaves.

Some more stressed than others. 

Only in the Pacific Northwest...Our native sword fern finding its way into potted agaves. 

Trachycarpus wagnerianus for a ridiculously low price had me wondering where I could squeeze in another 

This NFS variegated pineapple made me glad that I purchased one here several years ago. 

Speaking of bromeliads...

The hot and bright conditions in these greenhouses really bring out the vibrant colors of these beauties. 

I would want more bromeliads if I didn't already have so many from a number of years of attending this sale.

Citrus trees are lots of fun to see but My garden is out of space. 

 Cussonia looking quite happy.  I wonder if they'll have these for sale in the future?

Fucrea gigantia is such a stunning thing.  Mine is struggling along in the greenhouse.  Wouldn't it be divine to live in a climate where these could happily grow in the ground?

Musa zebrina 

Look at the size of those velvety leaves .  That's the head of a shopper included for scale. 

Agave geminiflora.

Colorful succulents. 

Aloe dorotheae

Carnivorous and colorful Sarracenias aka  Pitcher Plants.

NoID NFS coolness. 

 Well, isn't that different?   

Now for some of what my pal, Alison, calls  fat bottomed girls (Caudiciform plants) 

Calabanus hookeri looked so fabulous  at RPR.  

It jumped into Loree's new plantmobile along with a few other things.  To be fair, some of these are Loree's.  (well, one box)  Someone has no control.
We opted not to visit the house, gardens, and vineyard this year.  It's beautiful but another nursery and lunch were calling.


  1. Oh, the foliage plants you all can grow. So fine textured, so fat, so fabulous.

  2. Some day I'll join you. I'd gladly take any of your plant purchases home, esp. since I'm in a bromeliad phase myself.

    1. The flat on the left, with lots of Bromeliads, is mine!

  3. Furcraea gigantea is quite a stunner. In a the different climate I'd definitely plant a few. I hope you'll enjoy your new Calabanus hookeri; its such a peculiar thing.

  4. That Bilbergia 'Hallelujah' is such a good multiplier. Nothing like entering a hoop house for plant shopping!

  5. *Sigh* Just another wonderful plant sale in the PNW...Of course you couldn't leave empty-handed.

  6. Crazy plant people - the best of company! ;)

  7. What a fun day! And I did manage to get things a little cleaned up before you visited... but it's a mess again, really...

  8. Oh, I really wish I could have gone this year. I've been saying that for the last three years, I think. This year it coincided with my trip back East to visit my son. I told Nigel next year there is absolutely no traveling allowed. I love those fat-bottomed girls! Calabanus hookeri is a great name for an ugly plant with a set of pony tails all over her head.

  9. I would have gotten one of those Sarracinias too.


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