Means Nursery and Autumn Miscellany

Two weeks ago we visited the Scappoose Bay Watershed Nursery so today let's continue with a tour of another local nursery, Means.  Located literally at the bottom of the hill from Joy Creek Nursery where I work, I see this place every day but I rarely visit. Let's look around.

Means Nursery is primarily a wholesale gig. There are hundreds of hoop houses on the property adjacent to the retail location, I've been told most of their product is sold to the California market. It turns out they sell their overstock at this retail spot as well as cut flowers and other goodies. Here, mums were buy one get one free. Although quite eye-catching, I passed this time.

On this drizzly day it looks kind of bleak, but behind this building are rows and rows of really great plants. Means is known in the local garden community for having great prices, sometimes so low that you have to take the plant home out of pity's sake.

They often have a good selection of seasonal items.

Here, Mahonia 'Charity' tried to lure me in. The thing is, working at a nursery myself, I am most careful to buy things that I cannot find at Joy Creek so I passed on this one, although it looks very healthy. Some Cupressus sempervirens 'Tiny Towers' behind the mahonia caught my attention. Cupressus sempervirens or Italian cypress were the reason we stopped by this day, after all - but not 'Tiny Towers' -- we want the BIG ones.

A sea of wintergreen.

Osmanthus heterophyllus 'Goshiki' or variegated false holly. This evergreen shrub is a great anchor plant for partly shady areas and is not quite as prickly as holly, nor is it invasive. It's also a Great Plants Pick.

Moving on around the corner, some fall color brightened up this gray day.

Itea 'Merlot' does its wonderful glowing red thing this time of year.

Here, a Hydrangea paniculata 'Bombshell' shows off some charm.

This beauty, labeled as willow leaf Stachyurus caught my attention.

A sea of lilacs. Not for me, but someone might be looking for 258 lilacs. Many landscape items, some really inexpensive and some regularly priced.

Getting closer to my goal - but not quite there. These very landscape-ish arborvitae stand like soldiers awaiting another line-up in someone's garden.

Oh, I must go back when it's a nicer day, don't you think? There was also a sale section with lots of trees and shrubs, whose tags eluded me, for about $5 each. I mean large, 5-plus gallon sized plants. That is cheap. Again, I need to go back on a dry day and just stroll around with no time restraints.

See, it's a fairly large place. All in all, Means has a great selection but it changes all the time so it can be hit or miss for plant geeks. At Joy Creek Nursery I often refer people here if they can't find what they are looking for, especially larger sized plants as we tend to grow smaller sizes suitable for shipping. Plus, we're not tree specialists - rather, we specialize in hardy perennials, shrubs and some dwarf trees. This place is stocked with such material - landscaping trees, shrubs, etc. It's interesting to note that on several occasions, customers reel at the notion of shopping here citing they would "never go back to that place again" - after what? I have asked why and the response is either silence or they explain that no one was there to help them. Well, the three or so times I've been here I've had the place to myself, happily sought out and selected the plants I was after and brought them inside to be rung up with no issue and friendly staff. It's a mystery to me, but, hey, to each his/her own.

Moving on.

How about some Chickadee Gardens miscellany? Here, three columnar apples and one dwarf fig tree now call our garden home. These were gifted to me at our most recent garden blogger's fall plant swap, but we had to go pick them up. Thank you, Darcy! Once the orchard area is prepared they will go into their new homes this spring.

I show this photo of the back side of Casa Azul to illustrate the fabulous shelter Facilities Manager DP made for the mason bees. How sweet is this?

From the side. He also built me a couple of shelves for the many pots I've acquired these past several months. What a mess, Tamara. Well...I have since organized them a bit more.

Here you can see Facilities Manager DP's handy work yet again! He built this handy shelter for the lawn mower. See, we're getting there. Little by little, project by project.

I show this photo for the creeping rosemary. I planted three of these this January of all things to creep over the edge of this retaining wall. It's finally putting on new growth and is even blooming now. I have since purchased about four more (it's a really long wall) and they are all now growing rapidly. When it's covered it will soften the edges and bring me joy.

Meanwhile, up the street at the neighbor's home, the donkeys, goats, chickens and other critters enjoy a few apples tossed their way. It's so funny when I am around, they all silently walk towards me, very slowly, from a scattered position all over their pen to a concentration of the lot of them, each one vying to see what treat I've brought them. The animals per square foot at that moment is crazy and I feel a little giddy to be around them all. They soon realize I don't have the buckets of food they imagined and scatter back to the super important activity they had abandoned to seek out the crazy girl.

Miz Goat has her mouth full, doesn't she? They are all so sweet. I love them!

Here's a crazy discovery made by Facilities Manager. These were in the bramble a few weeks ago - and the only thing we can come up with is that they are chicken eggs from Jersey giants, as they are huge. Also the neighbors on the east side of the property have such chickens which are free range. The funny thing is, however, that it's a LONG way for them to go, day in and day out. And why would they do this? Someone at work suggested that they might be disgruntled if their eggs are taken away every day, so in a protest nest laid these. Well. We left them so our female friend would not have to endure another empty nest. I'm sure the critters got them anyhow.

And last but not least, here are the Cupressus sempervirens that we purchased at Means. Five to get me started, I fell in love with them at my friend and colleague Ricki's (of the garden blog Sprig to Twig) garden. They have several on their property, a collection of sorts assembled over the past decade and they look FABULOUS. So I'm a copy cat and had to have some. I'll let you know how they turn out in the landscape.

Well, now that we're on the mend and back in action, we'll be posting more progress around the farm. That's it for this week at Chickadee Gardens. As always, thank you for reading and until next time, happy gardening! We need it now more than ever.


  1. What a grab bag this post is! You referred to the drizzly weather at the nursery as bleak but it looked wonderful to my eyes. (As if it's not bad enough that we've had no rain, our temperatures are back in the 90s.) I loved seeing your domesticated neighbor critters and was tickled by the pile of hidden eggs.

    1. Hee hee, that's a great description, a grab bag. It's just all the interesting tid-bits that have no huge story but are kind of fun. I wish for you much rain this fall ant winter. Sheesh, that is so tough. We have enough sorrow in the world today, we need to hold on to gardening so please, rain gods, give 'em a break, ok?

  2. I like visiting nurseries on grey and dull autumn days it cheers me up, this is quite a large one. The animals around are such fun and I'm sure the Cupressus sempervirens will turn out wonderfully in your landscape. Once, about 35 years ago I have sown these Cupressus from seed from a holiday in Italy. They grew and grew until they were far too big for my garden, so sad we had to remove them 3 years ago.

    1. Oh, yes, the rain really doesn't deter me much...a good nursery visit almost always cheers me up too, Janneke. That's so cool you sowed your own seeds, what a wonderful souvenir. Sorry they had to be removed, but that is part of gardening, right? Things always change.

  3. Donkeys, Chickens and Cupressus …you lucky girl !

    1. I'm surrounded by nature out here (and a few loud cars and guns) so yes, very lucky indeed :)

  4. Wow! I think you may have more empty pots than I do. I've seen some very nice plants occasionally at Means.

    1. Uh oh, that's saying something, Alison. You'd be proud of me though, I organized them so it doesn't look like I have *quite* that many. These are all just from the past year, too. Crazy. I haven't the heart to guestimate how many there are, I think I'd faint if I knew.

  5. Okay so Means isn't exactly known for their customer service but the people are always nice, and the "unknown" quality of the place is half the fun. Oh well, they stay away that means more bargains for the rest of us.

    1. Yes, I agree...they have always been nice to me. It is a grab bag place, I too love seeing what's out there. And there are rarely people there when I've been, so it seems we have it all to ourselves.

  6. You are so lucky to have such a great nursery close to you. Awww...

    I love the animals. Have you adopted them from shelter. I wish I could do so.

  7. There's kind of a rumor mill around Means. For a while they had a very knowledgeable fellow helping but now I think they are back to a lean staff. I don't go there for service but for the great bargains. When there's a great one, I try to pass it on via my blog. Fun to see you posting about the hood.


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