Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Hardy Plant Sale haul - Northwest Territory edition

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.
Done! They immediately replied that they'd be happy to bring two and hold them behind the table for me, along with the Crocosmia 'Culzean Pink' they sold out of at the Seattle NWFGS.
Sue said they hadn't had time to divide the 'Culzean Pink' crocosmia: she reckoned I got about a flat-worth of plants in the pot.

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.
This very spiny Mexican Sea Holly has a marvelous structure and silver-white flowers that are "reminiscent of Proteas." I'm such a sucker for a well-written plant tag.
I also picked up Kniphofia porphyrantha from Far Reaches.
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.
By this time the Mulchman had joined me. We went to the 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. 

From Humble Roots Nursery and Farm, we got a Penstemon subserratus (Fine-tooth Penstemon.) It will form a low-growing mat.
The Mulchman wanted grasses, so we found three Koeleria macrantha (Junegrass), a medium sized, clumping, PNW native grass, also at Humble Roots.
From Wild Ginger Farm we chose three Royal Penstemon, Penstemon speciosus, 12-30" tall, with bright blue flowers. It's native to the Ochoco Mountains.
A last-minute Sisyrinchium 'Devon Skies' and we were ready to check out.

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!
Oh, and say goodbye to the lovely red concrete backdrop against which I took all these photos.
After extensive research and consultation we have found the most effective way to completely get rid of the red paint:


  1. WOW!!!! You just casually slipped in that last zinger "jackhammer" what fun. So new concrete in it's place or something else?

    Since I now know of 3 people (you, me, Ryan) who emailed Far Reaches and had plants waiting for them behind the table I wonder if they sold more plants off the table or from under? I had one of their Eryngium proteiflorum in my flat but ended up putting it back based on the lackluster performance of the one I bought last fall. I'll be watching for updates on yours.

    No doubt the Xera guys also told you that Garden Fever has a lovely assortment of their Callistemons? Oh and Joy Creek usually does too.

  2. Oh wait! p.s. You got a licorice log! Somehow I completely missed those. Or maybe they sold out on Sat and restocked on Sun. I am so jealous...

  3. Interesting and fun haul you brought home from the sale. Bye, bye red concrete. Can't wait to see the replacement.

  4. You found some great stuff, sounds like it as a wonderful sale. I went to a plant sale this past weekend, where they also had a licorice log for sale. I had no idea what it was.

    Looking forward to seeing what you do for a new patio.

  5. Score on the Culzean Pink! I would have loved to increase my stock in that one. If I had read the tag on that Eryngium ("protea like flowers") I would have snatched it up in a minute. Great job on the patio, tis the season!

  6. I'm, as usual, jealous of your choices. The Eryngium is on my list for Florida. Good stuff. My question is, how are you at getting things into the ground? I find that as I get older, I'm actually better at planting things. I don't feel any more decisive, but there are fewer pots sitting in the corner of the deck!

  7. your solution on the concrete...seriously! What great plant that grass (of course), it looks lovely...and what a score with the made out like a bandit ;-)

  8. Looks like you got a good haul as well ! I bought that Kniphofia porphyrantha too. Well , if there is any thing you want from Far Reaches Farm ,I'm going to visit when we are in Port Townsend in Oct.
    Look forward to seeing your new patio.

  9. Kudos to you for plant selection and for paint removal technique. Both should make for some great future posts.

  10. Congratulations on the concrete removal project!
    And I love your "haul" account - if you ever want to do a video about your horticultural hauls, just google "haul videos"... teenage girls accounting for their clothes and accessory purchases for thousands of video fans... it's an absolutely incredible phenomenon!


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