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! 


  1. Oh, I would have loved being there . . . it is so much nicer buying plants from people that can actually answer any questions you may have about the plants. You don't get that at Home Depot or Lowes. My Husband and I are in the process of building a small greenhouse from some of the old windows we removed from our house last fall. Do come visit. It's not finished but I have progress photos posted.
    From one plant lover to another, Have a bright and beautiful day!
    Your blogging sister,
    Connie :)

    1. Yes Connie, so true! Thanks for the sweet comment and reading the blog! I checked out your blog and your project seems really cool! Keep us all posted! :)

  2. So envious. It's not enough that you can easily drive to any of these great nurseries on almost any day, but they all come together in one place? Incredible. Also sort of glad something like this doesn't happen here or I'd go way over my plant budget in one afternoon! :)

    1. I know, it's shameful how lucky we plant people are out here! I think we all spend every extra penny we have on plants. It's a problem.

  3. Looks like it was a fun sale with lots of great nurseries. And outdoors! I think I need that variegated Pyrrosia.

    1. Oh, yes...Alison, this is one you would totally enjoy. You don't have to be an HPSO member to attend, either!

  4. So happy to have bumped into you, and then again, and maybe even again...

    1. Hee hee..yes, indeed! Me too, Loree. I can always count on garden blogging friends to be at these great events - how many of us were there? Maybe 5, 6?

  5. So happy you covered this event. I can either take photos, or plant shop. My first time at this fall event at Rock Creek. It's a good one. Great plants, great vendors, and you run into some of the nicest people.

    1. Oh, I know. I usually just shop but this day for some reason it was photo taking day. One DOES run into the nicest people! :)

  6. Bummed to have to work on this day, but glad you posted about it so I could see it through your eyes, at least. I've ousted after one of those Pyrrosias since I saw one at Lan Su at the Fling. They are so cool!

    1. I know, so sorry Miss Anna. I'm glad you enjoyed the tour. Yes, we ALL need a Pyrrosia. Let's all go to Cistus!

  7. I had to chuckle to myself when I read that you were walking around mumbling to yourself. I can SO relate! Cramming all that information into my head and trying to keep my body hydrated... it never quite works. I'm always somewhat (or more) giddy before it's all said and done. Great recap on this event, Tamara. I haven't attended this one. Donna's Nowlens Bridge is my absolute favorite. She is a jewel and her plants are to die for. If you ever get a chance to go out to her nursery in Scott's Mills, you should. It's just beautiful and she is a delight.

    1. Hee hee..I'm glad I'm not the only one who mumbles! Donna Nowlens is an amazing place, I will get out there one of these days. William (McLenathan) raves about it and I think Garden Time did a story on them. Maybe? Anyhow, I'll get out there, thanks for the encouragement!

  8. I think I started muttering to myself before you did, as you feature some things I missed. This was like a second chance to experience the fest (without the heat stroke). Excellent reporting, my friend...and congrats on the new place!

  9. Thanks so much for the full report! I usually get so absorbed that I forget to take photos, forget to note name tags, so I know the toll it takes on a brain.

  10. This is a treasure trove. I need to write down the names of all the nurseries but I'm pretty sure I will not be able to buy anything. They usually charge a big S&H for sending things from Oregon to NJ. But how I wish I lived there.

  11. The little picture on the Cistus business card is the best! Lots of lovely spikes and planters. You sure are spoilt!


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