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Monday, October 25, 2010

Visiting the Nursery: Call Before You Come!

The nursery will remain open by appointment through the winter months.  We welcome visitors during this time and simply ask that you call or email us before you come.  Regular weekend hours will resume early next March when visitors can see many alpine plants in full flower.
Saxifraga 'Walter Irving'  in mid-February, 2010
You will see some changes at the nursery during your next visit.  We have built two new hoophouses to better protect our plants during the increasingly harsh winter weather.  While most of our plants are fully cold hardy when planted in the ground, those in pots benefit from this added protection.  Another big plus will be our improved ability to protect early season flowers from spring hailstorms, a frequent occurrence at our location in the foothills of the Cascades.
One of two new hoophouses
Mail order shipments will continue through the end of November as weather conditions permit.  The 2011 mail order catalog will be online in January and shipments will resume based on customer’s locations beginning in February of 2011.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Hardy Primroses

I have been planting an assortment of Primroses in the garden this fall and look forward to a colorful display next season. 

After being inspired by the gardens at the now closed Berry Botanic Garden, I have planted groupings of Candelabra Primroses in an area with heavy soil in part day sun. These deciduous primroses originate in meadows and wet areas of Asia and are best grown in moist, acidic soils in partial shade.  Many can also be grown in full sun if soil is kept moist or in a bog.  

Primula aurantiaca
Primula burmanica
Primula anisodora

Primula japonica 'Apple Blossom'
I’ve included a number of different species with an assortment of flower colors.  Primula aurantiaca has flowers in golden tone while Primula burmanica’s flowers are bright red-purple.  Primula japonica ‘Apple Blossom’ is an easily grown primula with pale pink flowers with a dark eye.  Another intriguing addition is Primula anisodora, Anise Primrose.  It has bold dark red, anise-scented flowers.

Primula kisoana
Primula kisoana foliage
I’ve also tucked some Primula kisoana into the moist woodland garden.  This creeping Japanese species has interesting fuzzy foliage and produces pink clusters of flowers in spring.  There is also a stand of Primula viallii, the Poker Primula, with its unique crimson and pink flower spikes.  They both should contrast nicely with the Himalayan Blue Poppies growing nearby.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Autumn Reflections

The nursery will be open a few more weeks before we revert to our appointment-only winter hours.  Fall has brought a flurry of activity as we propagate plants, create new covered spaces and refresh gardens.

As the sun dips lower on the horizon, the light changes and creates a dreamy garden atmosphere.  On a recent day, I noticed the dappled light hitting the evergreen foliage of this group of Hebes.

We had a glimpse of what is in store for next spring when a few young Lewisia seedlings unexpectedly put on a late season flower display.  We are trying to breed them for double flowers and Lewisia are notoriously difficult to isolate a specific trait. It is too early to tell if we will achieve our goal with the entire group but if we did…. ooh, la, la!

We still have some fall flowering perennials in bloom in the nursery such as our introduction, Gentiana sino-ornata ‘Moonlight’, a white flowering version of the normally blue Autumn Gentian.

Aren’t we plant lovers lucky?  Every day of the year brings a new marvel!