Saturday, 25 June 2016
Hardy Plant Study Weekend in Salem, Oregon
evening soirée at Dancing Oaks Nursery
Prepare for a looooong blog post. I have not been to this nursery since I visited it with Sheila before the Eugene Hardy Plant weekend of eight years ago. It is glorious and we are going to look at almost every bit of it.
I was overwhelmed by plant shopping excitement and I forgot the part about the Beardless Irises garden book.
We parked with many other vehicles in a big grassy field and I made a beeline for the plant sales, which were already in full swing with booths from Far Reaches Farm and Dan Hinkley’s Windcliff. I seem to have missed one plant I was urgently questing for: Dierama ‘Merlin’, the new, extra dark “angel’s fishing rod”. I saw someone carrying away what might have been the last one. Nevertheless, I did acquire a goodly assortment of cool new acquisitions.
After Allan helped me schlep two boxes of plants up to our van (in hot sunshine, but the plants would be okay for a couple of hours), I headed over to the Dancing Oaks greenhouses for more plant shopping. (I’ll be itemizing all my new plants later when I plant them at home.)
I had my head down in the eryngiums reading tags when Garden Tour Nancy, who was also at the weekend tried to have a conversation. We had been passing in our vehicles like ships in the night because we were touring at a different pace. I said (hot, tired, and hungry for dinner but unable to stop till I secured my plants!) that this was not a good time for me to talk. She said later, when we did chat, that it was the same way that she shops at a book sale, very focused on getting the books she wants before someone else does.
I acquired another two boxes of plants, including….at last…Eryngium ‘Miss Wilmott’s Ghost’, which I have wanted for years.
I do believe this is Miss Wilmott’s Ghost, reseeded by a path near the greenhouses to poke folks in the ankle.
At last, I sat for the delicious catered dinner, one of the best I have ever had at such an event. My mind was on finding time to tour through the whole garden before the evening ended.
After a scrumptious piece of strawberry cobbler for dessert, I leapt…well, creaked and hobbled up and began touring the gardens. (This led to a couple more plant purchases.)
I wandered into the shrubs and trees for sale area and was gobsmacked by a cloud of white.
I had to have it, bought it, got help carrying it to a holding area where we could pick it up on the way out. (The evening would have been easier if I had done that with all the plants I bought.) I was fortunate to overhear that these do better in the sun than deep shade. (That may only be true here in the Pacific Northwest and in the UK, not in areas with brighter and hotter sunshine.) I would have planted it far into the shade because it looks so delicate.
Because we won’t be going to the Hardy Plant weekend next year (its year to be in Canada), I would like to return to Dancing Oaks and Sebright Nursery on an overnight springtime shopping tour of our own.
Next: one more day of garden touring before we return to everyday life and once a day posting.