Thursday, September 24, 2015

Hardy Plant Society of Oregon Fall PlantFest

A wonderful benefit of being a member of a local plant society is the plant sales. The Hardy Plant Society of Oregon recently held Fall PlantFest where over a couple of dozen nurseries were on hand with some fine selections for sale at Portland Community College's Rock Creek campus. Let's have a look around and say hello to some familiar faces.

The one and only Sean Hogan of Cistus Nursery was the first person I encountered. It's amazing to me that this man has time to not only attend these wonderful events for gardeners but that he himself is there selling incredible plants.

If you can't come to this world-class nursery outside of Portland, you can always shop online for some interesting and often unique selections of hardy, spiky, unusual and wonderful plants from around the world.

They always have the best spikes.

And other non-spiky plants -- Pyrrosia lingua 'Variegata' - hardy to zone 7.

 Rhodea japonica 'Mure-suzume Improved', hardy to zone 6.

I can never remember the name of this great herb nursery. I love their calligraphy signs. If anyone can chime in....

Arbutus Garden Arts from southeast Portland. They always have a great selection.

 Metasequoia glyptostroboides 'North Light', or dawn redwood. It's a dwarf dawn redwood known for its bright foliage color. I might need one of these.

Blooming Junction nursery from Cornelius, Oregon.

Good selection of hardy perennials and lots of standard favorites.

Dancing Oaks Nursery, out of Monmouth, Oregon. This is an incredible destination nursery. I blogged about it a couple of years ago, you can link to that post here.

Cornus sanguinea 'Compressa', a dwarf red twig dogwood with puckered and curled rounded leaves, sun to part shade and hardy to -30 degrees. A winner in my book. They also have a mail order nursery if you aren't local.

 Nandina domestica 'Filamentosa', grows to 2 x 2 feet, evergreens shrub.

Mahonia 'Charity'.

 Teucridium parvifolium, to 5 feet, a "deciduous to evergreen shrub" says the tag. I believe it drops its leaves below zone 9.

Here are some selections from Jockey Hill Nursery.

Normally a wholesale grower, we get to shop their selection to our hearts' content.

Echinacea, sedum and Nassella tenuissima or Mexican feather grass.

 Salvia nemorosa 'Bordeau Steel Blue', a definite pollinator magnet.

I do like these hyper tufa sedum containers.

These fabulous containers are by Bob Hyland of Contained Exuberance. He has a shop adjacent to Xera Plants' location in Southeast Portland. Definitely worth a visit for the best in containers. He also has an incredible garden design business, you can visit his website here.

Moving on to I believe Gossler Farms (also with a mail order business), Rhododendron 'Kodiak'

And one of my favorites, Rhododendron pachysanthum. I bought one from Gossler last year and love it.

 Sasifrass albidum

Here's my friend Patricia from Plant Lust (a fabulous online plant database and search engine) with her latest find.

Sebright gardens, known for hostas and shade lovers. They too have a mail-order business.

One of my favorites for alpine plants and other treasures, Wild Ginger Farm from Beavercreek, Oregon.

Just look at all those saxifrages!

Wider shot of a few of the vendors.

A wonderful find, Nowlens Bridge Perennials. Many hardy and unusual species, plus fabulous plant tags.

See what I mean? Laminated!

Dryopteris tokyoensis, wood fern. 

Victoria lady fern.

Secret Garden Growers out of Canby. I have purchased several fine plants from them over the years.

In fact, that Graptoveria 'Fred Ives' on the left came home with me.

Out in the Garden Nursery. Another fine local nursery.

Clematis x cartmanii  'Avalanche', an evergreen clematis. Wow. I THINK this was at Out in the Garden Nursery out of Mollala, Oregon. At this point I was mixing up all the nurseries, getting a little fried from the afternoon sun...walking around mumbling to myself. Please forgive.

Another shot of the fabulous plant vendors.

It's obvious to me that I am spoiled living where I do. All of these nurseries represented here are world-class with incredible evergreen, perennial, annual, grass, shrub, tree and tuberous plant selections. There are things here you can't find anywhere else. All of this was in one place, too.

I walked away with a Cissus incisa 'Guadalupe' from Cistus (propagated by my friend Evan of the garden blog The Practical Plant Geek and propagator at Cistus), the Graptoveria, an Athyrium petersenii fern and Geranium renardii 'Whiteknights' all from Secret Garden Growers.

I hope that all of you have such wonderful local plant societies. They are invaluable for meeting like-minded gardeners, events such as this, lectures, tour opportunities and open gardens throughout the spring and summer, also into fall.

That's it for this week at Chickadee Gardens. As always, thank you for reading and until next time, happy gardening! 

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Bloom Day & New Additions

Garden Blogger's Bloom Day is technically on the 15th of every month so it is a rare occasion that my blog posts are published on that exact day. Bloom Day highlights what is blooming in the garden each month, and since there are a few choice flowers in bloom this week I decided to share some images with you all, as well as a few recent additions to the garden despite the Bloom Day post being two days late.

This colorful flower is Gaillardia x grandiflora 'Fanfare Blaze'. The nursery I work at carries it, and I was so impressed with how many bees it attracts that I decided this relative of our native blanket flower is a worthy addition.

Pelargonium sidoides or African geranium in full bloom. I have featured this plant before, however it's worthy of another photo this week as it has performed so well in our super-hot summer.

Sedum 'Matrona' in full swing. The bees go crazy for this plant, as the flowers are very easy for them to access. I also really like the color and the contrasting dark flower stalks.

Bletilla striata or hardy ground orchid. We saw this shade plant at the garden of Sheila Ford Richmond in her Hood River garden recently. It had such a presence and since it's hardy I had to add it to my shady border, too.

Salvia Suncrest 'Lemon Light', a sweet new addition to the sunny yellow border.

My first go at planting a begonia tuber. I had doubts but this thing is a cascade of reddish-orange and has been blooming consistently since June. I was quite pleased at how easy it was to grow. I literally stuck it in a hanging basket and kept it damp, that's it. I am officially a fan, thanks to the Outlaw Gardener whose begonias inspired me.

Another salvia, the old staple 'Black and Blue' - half hardy and I discovered this summer that it is a bit of a water hog. 

Abutilon 'Lucky Lantern Red', a nice pop of color against a very green backdrop.

My reasoning for placing it here is to pick up on the bench color.

Dicliptera suberecta or Uruguayan firecracker plant. This was a Xera Plants purchase from last year. Totally deciduous, it did come back larger and stronger than last year. It's in full sun---pretty much what it prefers. I have a second plant in a bit more shade and it's healthy, just not blooming.

As seen against a darker background to show off its form and color.

Nicotiana - not sure of the species as they have all seem to cross-pollinated. Whatever it is, the hummingbirds have been quite attracted to this plant all summer long. It just keeps pushing out the flowers, it's a great background plant.

A sweet little Begonia sutherlandii purchased last year. Totally hardy in my zone, it did come back and has spread a bit, much to my delight. No tuber digging required here, it was left in the ground all year.

Since this is all about blooms, why not add one of the vegetable persuasion. A cucumber blossom, one of many. This plant keeps cranking out the cucumbers.

Asclepias tuberosa or butterfly weed. This too has been a favorite of both butterflies and bees this summer and has bloomed continuously since June.

Sweet little native Aster douglasii. It does seed around, oh my, but I don't mind. I hope the neighbors don't either. This is another great pollinator plant and blooms non-stop from about May to first frost.

The waxy blooms of Echeveria nodulosa.

Zauschneria californica 'Bowman', another hummingbird and pollinator favorite.

Our crape myrtle is still blooming its head off.

Sweet little Coreopsis 'Moonbeam', a great clear, lemon-yellow bloom that keeps on going all summer long.

Erodium chrysanthum, a sweet find from Xera Plants. The gray-green foliage is reason enough to grow this tough sun-loving perennial, but then late in the season these sweet pale yellow (nearly white) blooms show up.

Although I've planted Guara in my garden before, it has since died. This is a volunteer (likely a seedling from a neighbor's plant that drifted my way) and I like it so much I let it be. Anyone who has grown this can attest to its versatility in the garden as it hardly takes up any room with its airy wands of butterfly flowers.

Solidago 'Fireworks' or goldenrod is finally in bloom. This mass of flowing flowers starts blooming about now so makes a very valuable plant for late-season color as well as a wonderful pollinator plant.

Knautia macedonia, a plant I cut back earlier this summer after its first flush of flowers. Now it's putting on a second show against a backdrop of Bouteloua gracilis 'Blonde Ambition'.

Aster ageratoides 'Ezo Murasaki', purchased from Cistus Nursery a few years ago.

The other Abutilon - I think it's 'Smoked Salmon' from Xera Plants.

Blossoms of a sweet potato vine in the purple garden.

Now for some new additions to Chickadee Gardens:
A recent purchase at Ikea of all places, Cycas revoluta or sago palm. Not a palm at all, it's actually one of the most primitive plants on the planet. I would like to think it's happy as it's putting on new growth.

A new purchase, Geranium renardii 'Whiteknights'. I like it's thick, small leaves with an almost white outline in the light.

Aloe 'Pink Blush', I separated some 8 little aloes from the one plant.

Here's a new addition purchased at the nursery where I work. It's Eupatorium 'Elegant Feather', a kind of Joe pye weed.

It's so interesting and adds a nice vertical element to the garden. I look forward to watching this one grow.

Grevillea lanigera 'Coastal Gem', an evergreen prostrate form of grevillea with small pinkish flowers. Another find at the nursery.

Here's a treat - an evergreen succulent vine. Do those three words ever go together? Here is the only circumstance I have known this to be true. A very special vine from Cistus Nursery, Cissus incisa 'Guadalupe'. Not planted yet, but once it finds its home I'll keep you posted with its growth.

Canna 'Intrigue', another purchase from the nursery. I love the dark leaves and really don't mind if it never blooms. It adds some much-needed vertical spikiness to this area.

See what I mean? Good contrasting dark color to the orange border.

Last but not least, Graptoveria 'Fred Ives' - with such subtle color.

As summer fades away into autumn, I am grateful to have these last few bits of color to admire. I do look forward to a change of seasons. That said, I welcome the (hopefully) abundant rains of fall and winter to replenish the garden for another year. I waited until the end of summer to really add anything new as it was such a hot period. Adding or moving anything seemed a nearly impossible task, so it was with great pleasure that I planted these few little additions.

That's it for this week at Chickadee Gardens. As always, thank you for reading and until next time, happy gardening!