Thursday, March 31, 2016

Nursery Visit: Little Prince of Oregon

When an invitation to visit Little Prince of Oregon wholesale nursery comes around, I say: "Yes, please!" Such was the case a couple of weekends ago when Mark Leichty invited a group out to have a tour and see what they are up to these days. This was my third visit; the first was covered in this blog post from 2014.


The famous sign, adorned with Sempervivums.


Here we are (not everyone is pictured here) gathered in the office before we were let loose to explore the 70-something hoop houses. The last time I visited were some 30 - 40, so Mark has been busy adding more plants and places to grow them. Pictured here, left to right: Evan Bean of the Practical Plant geek, Darcy Daniels of Bloomtown and E Garden Go! and Mike Darcy of In the Garden radio program.


There's Mark and his home-made muffins he shared with us!  After we were provided coffee, treats and a brief history of the nursery, we were set loose to explore this vast place (20 acres) just south of Portland. The nursery was started in 1997 by Ketch de Kanter with some Arborvitae and other common landscape shrubs. It has grown exponentially and is now one of the premiere suppliers of perennials, ferns, sedums, grasses and other more uncommon plants up and down the West Coast and beyond.


Off we went to explore this vast nursery. First up, Viola 'Heartthrob'. What a looker.



How about the silver on these Begonia leaves? Begonia 'Garden Angel Blush'.


Delosperma 'Jewel of Desert Peridot'. This one just sparkles. I would love to see a whole field of this in full bloom.


Dicentra spectabilis 'Valentine', a new introduction that has been quite popular this spring.


A rainbow of Heucheras. They honestly come in so many colors, there's one for every occasion if you are a fan.


So very juicy purple.


Euphorbias and grasses.


Next up is a sea of tiny little sedums from a line called "Plant Poppers." At just a couple of dollars each they are a perfect solution to create that perfect sedum-based craft project or terrarium.


It's a little ridiculous how cute this field of goodness is.


Fellow visitors under a gloomy spring sky.



A stowaway seedling on Scleranthus uniflorus 'Gnarled Cushion'.


I felt like a giant airplane above fields in Ireland looking at this scene. Actually it's moss.


That color and texture. This was the case all over the nursery - patterns of colors and shape and believe me, I took a lot of photos. This is just distilled down to a few favorites.


More sedums.


Aaaand...more sedums! Cape Blanco is the variety here. A native to the West Coast.


Sempervivums that resemble pine cones. There were so many varieties, it boggles the mind.





How about that color?


Sedum bricks - great idea! I've seen these for sale at local stores. It's an economical way to get the most bang for your plant dollar as these can easily be broken up to create any number of projects.


This combination brings to mind photos of space that I've seen. One could get lost staring into this all afternoon.


Little Prince has been up to some creative combinations. These are hanging baskets ready to go. A great gift or an easy solution for your own garden.


They also have these sweet bird feeders and bird houses with eco-roof tops.


In the loading area. Getting ready for shipping! As mentioned in my last post about Little Price a lot of these go to local New Seasons markets. Many also go to our local Fred Meyer stores.


In one of the many hoop houses.


Fresh new hostas.


Armeria maritima or sea thrift - a West Coast native and a stalwart plant in my garden.


Into the fern house.


Fernie von fern fern! (that's the Husband typing there)





Osmunda regalis 'Purpurascens', a gorgeous fern.


Autumn fern or Dryopteris erythrosora -- I did not get which cultivar this is but it's gorgeous no matter what the name.

Hey! There's Mark and Kate Bryant, independent garden writer and plant goddess.


My friend Evan's (of the Practical Plant Geek blog) haul.


Here's Ann Jaeger and her wonderful selection. It was a treat to meet her. Actually I was in such amazing company, it was humbling. Not pictured in this post are garden writers and designers Marcia and Dennis Peck who write for the Oregonian, Ann Amato of the Amatuer Bott-ann-ist blog, and also Mindy Northrup of Rindy Mae garden blog.



My haul: Phlox, Agave bracteosa, Agave ovatifolia and a few others.....


It's a rare treat to be able to see where all these goodies are grown. Little Prince is immaculate and vast and welcoming. I have purchased many of their plants throughout my gardening life never thinking I would be able to see where they were grown. They have been an ubiquitous part of my garden shopping experience so it's nice to be able to connect the two worlds. Mark is a wonderful host as always and very gracious to open up on his days off. We all had a good time although I must admit we didn't see much of one another once we were let loose - it's such a big place. Well, thank you, Mark, for a great day out, it was a treat to see what you guys have been up to! Let us know, dear readers, what your favorite Little Prince plant is.

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

11 comments :

  1. Those little Prince guys grow some great stuff. Sounds like y'all had a grand time and took home treasures! Thanks for this glimpse into the kingdom!

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    1. You bet, Peter - they do grow amazing plants. We are very lucky indeed!

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  2. I love seeing posts about Little Prince, and that "looking into space" photo of the semp mishmash is fantastic, but... I was really hoping to see an update on the new place. Now I have to wait another week... ;)

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    1. Aw, well I shall deliver next time, Alan!

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  3. It was a fantastic time and I'm so happy to have rooted babies to remember the day.

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    1. Oooh, Mindy, thanks for being my hoop house cohort! That was a blast, glad we all got to go! :)

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  4. Still completely bummed that I missed it! I love your haul, so happy to see those Agaves!

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    1. Us too, Danger - there will be other opportunities to vist, I hope!!

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  5. I'm SO envious! It looks like a great growing operation and resource for you lucky gardeners in the PNW. Little Prince succulents used to be available at one of my favorite SoCal nurseries, Sperling Nursery, but sadly it closed last year. I don't think I've seen their plants anywhere else down this way.

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    1. We are very lucky, Kris. Sorry they aren't available any longer, that's too bad :( Mark -- can you help out Kris and get your great plants to some SoCal nurseries?? :)

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  6. Brings back great memories of our visit last year, as do all the plant reminders in my garden.

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