Due to Master Gardener service commitments, I had to wait until Sunday to attend the Hardy Plant Society's Spring sale this past weekend. There were at least two downsides to THAT, namely the two callistemons Xera had already sold when I got there. Humph.
However, it turned out there were a number of upsides to shopping on Sunday, as well. I couldn't believe my eyes as I got off MAX ("You rode MAX?" you're saying, "But what about plant hauling?" More on that later.) The parking lot was almost empty. The hall was pleasantly busy, but comfortable, and the vendors had time to talk.
But the best part about going on Sunday was the later company of the Mulchman, who as a rule, doesn't much go for a crowd (even a plant-oriented crowd), but who was hot to select some new native plants for the re-vamped Northwest Territory at Longview Ranch. He had an earlier engagement, so he met me at the sale, and by taking MAX I had an extra hour of plant mingling. I though it was the perfect mix of our two styles.
After renewing my Hardy Plant Society membership, I made a beeline for the Xera booth to check out the wares. As mentioned, they were sold out of callistemons, and they didn't have the hardy Spanish olive I'd hoped to buy. But I found out I could get it from Garden Fever, so all was well.
Next stop: Far Reaches Farm. When I heard Kelly Donovan and Sue Milliken would be at the sale, I had emailed them wondering if they'd have more Lilium columbianum.
What generous plant propagators! Just say the word if you'd like some, Portland area gardeners. As a reminder, it's pretty different: here's how it looks in bloom (Far Reaches photo):
While I was at the Far Reaches Farm table, I saw a couple of other must-haves, including Eryngium proteiflorum.
Described as "one of the finest Red Hot Pokers" the parent was originally collected by Panayoti Kelaidis (not only am I a sucker for plant-tag copy, but I confess a slight crush on Panayoti after hearing him speak at NWFGS.)
It doesn't look like so much right now, but with flower spikes it will get to 3-4 feet.
Nothing But Northwest Natives table where we selected three Eriophyllum lanatum or Common Woolly Sunflower. It has pretty gray green foliage and a yellow flower in summer.
We also picked up a Streambank Lupine, Lupinus rivularis. I hope it will attract butterflies.
Wild Ginger Farm we chose three Royal Penstemon, Penstemon speciosus, 12-30" tall, with bright blue flowers. It's native to the Ochoco Mountains.
It was time to collect our held plants, but when I rolled up to the counter I saw a licorice log in the holding area. The helpful volunteer looked up the vendor number for me and I raced up to the info table to find out who was selling them.
There was one left!
So that's the haul. It's fun plant shopping with a partner in crime. Especially when he picks up the tab!