Nursery Visit: Gossler Farm Nursery Part II

Here we go - Part II of our recent visit to Gossler Farms Nursery in Springfield, Oregon. Last week we took a look around the gardens, so this week let's look at a few Hamamelis species - just one of several genera in which the nursery specializes. We will also look inside the greenhouses to see what's on tap for more garden goodies we can't live without. 

These first few are in the border, so it's difficult to positively i.d. these. Having said that, I would venture to guess this is 'Sunburst' based on the shape of the plant and the color of flowers.

Another gorgeous witch hazel in the borders. I do not have an i.d. for this either.

Or this one. Many look quite similar so I'd hate to get it wrong by guessing.

In the greenhouse, this lovely witch hazel is 'Bonny Brook'. I can positively i.d. this one as they were labeled.

Hamamelis vernala 'Purpurea'

Inside the greenhouse now I believe this is also 'Sunburst'.

Hamamelis x intermedia 'Rubin'

Hamamelis x intermedia 'Luna'

Hamamelis x intermedia 'Brandis' 

Here is Hamamelis x intermedia 'Jelena' in front of the Gossler home; it is the original witch hazel planted in the 1970's. Roger thought it may have been purchased at Portland Nursery.

OK, into the green houses we go! There was an abundance of plants to view. What follows is simply an abbreviated visual shopping experience for you to enjoy.

Mahonia 'Buckland' 

Sycopsis sinensis, a curious, flowering shrub that was introduced to Roger by the one and only Jane Platt. You can read more about her famous garden here.

Jane's friendship with the Gossler's was special. Many of the plants grown at Gossler come from cuttings taken in her garden.

Gossler Farms Nursery specializes in hardy shrubs and trees with a few perennials and ferns included for good measure. I could easily see adding any one of these to my own garden.

Oh, who's that that I spy?

Every time I turned around he was there. Fred the cat. What a guy.

Fatsia japonica and rhododendrons. Everything looked really healthy and the whole place was immaculate.

Grevillea victoriae, one of my favorite evergreen shrubs/trees. I planted one last year in my new garden and so far it has survived our incredible winter unscathed. They don't like compost or fertilizer, rather they prefer lean soil in sun.

They primarily bloom in winter but are said to bloom on and off all year. It's nice to see some color like this in the winter, plus the flowers are perfectly sized for hummingbirds.

The hellebores were in bloom.

This beauty almost came home with me, but I had a budget so sadly had to pass. This is one of the Winter Jewels selection called 'Double Slate'. Stunning.

Phormium 'Maori Queen'. 

Ribes laurifolium, an evergreen currant. What a sweet flower. Ribes are usually one of the first trees to bloom for me and are reliably a source of pollen and nectar for the flying critters.

Evergreen shrubs really catch my attention these days. Looking out into my new garden in winter is a bit dreary because of the lack of such plants. I have been adding them steadily this past year. However, it can take time to see significant growth. Gossler has such a solid selection.

Rhododendron racemosum 'Wright' caught my eye. From the Gossler website: From our late propagator, Art Wright. We got this plant 20 years ago and always enjoy the spice scented pink flowers. Flowers will literally cover the stems so foliage is barely seen. Most of the year the foliage will be dark purple making a lovely complement to the flowers.

Daphiniphyllum macropodum. This evergreen tree from Japan is sporting some amazing color on the stems. I'm not certain this is regular coloration, rather it may be cold stress, I really don't know. In any event it is striking as it appears here.

See? I told you they had great specimens of Pinus contorta 'Chief Joseph'

This gets my heart racing.

Here's the original impetus to get us to Gossler Farms. Quercus hypoleucoides, commonly known as silver oak. I had a heck of a time finding it and wanted it badly enough to plan a nursery visit some 2-1/2 hours away.

It is a sun-loving, evergreen oak that comes from the American Southwest and Mexico. It is said that whomever sees one in person immediately claims it as a favorite oak. It has silver indumentum on the reverse of the leaves so when a breeze catches the leaves the effect is shimmering.
We saw a semi-mature tree at the home of my boss Maurice of Joy Creek Nursery last summer. Surprisingly, Facilities Manager immediately wanted one. That's why this was so important to me, I really wanted something to plant in place of a dead maple tree, something just for us that we both love. We'll plant it outside our bedroom window so we can appreciate it throughout the year.

Here is the 30 or so foot high Quercus hypoleucoides or silver oak in the Gossler Farms Nursery garden. Roger claims it gets quite a bit of moisture but they are more known to be tolerant of dry conditions. They seem to be tolerant of many different conditions.

My haul consisted of one of these gorgeous trees (they still have a few left if you are interested), a flowering quince 'Hollandia' and a Hamamelis 'Rochester'. It was exactly what was on my shopping list and they had them all. Thank you, Roger! 

Working at Joy Creek Nursery, I suppose that I inevitably compare it with other nurseries when I visit. You would think I might even be a little jaded, but nothing could be farther from the truth. I was completely absorbed with Gossler and, to be perfectly honest, all of these nurseries and nursery people are friends. We all adore one another and exchange ideas and excitement over plants. We are very lucky here in Oregon to have such selection when it comes to outstanding nurseries, nursery people, plants and climate. Roger Gossler and Gossler Farms have led the way in the Pacific Northwest for many years, and I tip my hat to them for what they do.

If you are ever in the Springfield area, give them a call and do stop by. I imagine the gardens are spectacular in spring summer and fall. In fact, my friend Amy Campion of The World's Best Gardening Blog visited last fall and wrote up a lovely report of her visit. You can read it here. If you are nowhere close to Oregon but want to buy plants, they ship year-round. Go for it!

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


  1. Great rundown of Hamamelis at the top of the post! I especially like the look of the flowers on 'Sunburst' -- so big and full and fluffy. Was it scented as well?

    1. Aren't those smashing? Oh, Alison, that Sunburst is fantastic. I do not recall a scent, but if you ever want to add it to your garden, confirm with Roger that's the one. It's on the drive up to the nursery on the left side, he'll know it. Vase shaped, a little unusual.

  2. Such a beautiful collection of blooms! Love the crazy Hamamelis flowers! And the kitty posing for you : ) Thank you for the tour : )

    1. Those Hamamelis are WOWZA this time of year, it was a treat to see them all in bloom. The kitty...he was my little buddy. He'd let you pick him up and snuggle - just a baby at a year old. Fred runs that place.

  3. How well we know what it takes to keep a place that spic and span.

    1. Oh, How Well We Know:

      The dirt on the floor
      The weeds in the pot
      Pull out just one more
      My back has big knot


  4. Thanks for the tour - what an incredible nursery! There were a lot of specimens, like those beautiful witch hazels, that sent my envy meter soaring. Sadly, witch hazel is another genus that just doesn't "do" coastal SoCal.

    1. You are welcome Kris! Too bad about the witch hazels for you, but there are lots of other delightful ditties you grow beautifully. Hope your weather has been conducive to spring growth!

  5. I've been 3 times now (I think), and looking through your photos I was ready to hop in the car tomorrow and drive down there again. Such a wonderful place, plants and people!

    1. Oooo, lucky you Loree. It's a cool place. Glad you were enticed! It is a big family nursery full of furry family and lots of love.


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