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Posts Tagged ‘Dancing Oaks’

Friday, 11 July 2014

Garden Bloggers Fling: Portland

Now here is a post that will probably be of interest only to memembers of the GBF or those who wish to go in the future.   Oh, and CPNs (Certified Plant Nuts).

gbf

We arrived about ten minutes late and thought we might find everyone else sitting down.  Instead, there was a bar and…a plant sales room! We went there as soon as we had picked up our meal cards from Loree of Danger Garden.  I finally connected her face with Danger and had one more person memorized (which is very hard for me because of a slight case of face blindness).  My apologies in advance if I get any of the plant photos under the wrong vendor.

plant sales room with three excellent vendors

plant sales room with three excellent vendors

Gossler Farms:

an eager hand reaching into the selection of Gossler Farms plants, with Roger Gossler in background

an eager hand reaching into the selection of Gossler Farms plants, with Roger Gossler in background

A rhodo for Steve and John

A rhodo for Steve and John

and some conifers

and some conifers

and an acer

and an acer

Sebright Gardens:

seabright

In retrospect, I can tell my head was swimming because I did not snag any of the catalogs.

hostas

hostas

Hosta 'Oreo Cream'

Hosta ‘Oreo Cream’

Hosta 'Curly Fries'; what clever and appealing names!

Hosta ‘Curly Fries’; what clever and appealing names!

the Seabright table, with the Dancing Oaks table at the back

the Seabright table, with the Dancing Oaks table at the back

Dancing Oaks:

oaks

Dancing Oaks plants

Dancing Oaks plants

What stopped me from buying plants was the anxious feeling that I had been physically unable to plant my new selections from the Hardy Plant Study Weekend, some of which require the making of a new shade bed.  I thought I had better not add to my stash of unplanted darlings.

but so tempting as I love airy wiry plants

but so tempting as I do thrill at airy wiry plants

I think this one will appeal to Steve and John.

I think this one will also appeal to Steve and John.

Allan did buy himself a couple of ferns from Sebright Gardens.  We discovered that there was a raffle, so we put our free tickets on assorted items.

Allan saw this box of buttons, which I somehow missed.

Allan saw this box of buttons, which I somehow missed.

I put most of my eggs in one basket: this bench, which would be delivered to the winner (not me).

I put most of my eggs in one basket: this bench, which would be delivered to the winner (not me).

And I put a few tickets on the plant table in the corner.

And I put a few tickets on the plant table in the corner.

and we then went into the banquet room.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo; I sat next to Kristen and managed to memorize her, as well.

Allan’s photo; I sat next to Kristen of That Bloomin’ Garden and managed to memorize her, as well.

hall

the food: yummy  (my salmon dinner)

the food: yummy (my salmon dinner)

Allan's steak

Allan’s steak

After dinner, Mike Darcy, whose former televison gardening show In the Garden I still sorely miss, presided over the raffle. Then, to my delight, each nurseryman gave a ten minute talk.

Dancing Oaks

Dancing Oaks

speaking of yummy

speaking of yummy

delectable

delectable

Roger Gossler had plants rather than slides. (Fling organizer Scott of Rhone Street Gardens is to the left with rapt attention.)

Roger Gossler had plants rather than slides. (Fling organizer Scott of Rhone Street Gardens is to the left with rapt attention.)

Sebright Gardens

Sebright Gardens

I Want!  If the slideshow had come first, I might have ;-)

I Want! If the slideshow had come first, I might have 😉

Curly Fries again

Curly Fries again

And then as we left, we all got a swag bag..

filled with goodies

filled with goodies

unpacked, at home

unpacked, at home, with “lifesize” teak horses and lots of cool seeds

After the plants talks, we were given three free plants each from Monrovia, one of the fling sponsors: Disporum cant ‘Moonlight’, Wiegela ‘Crimson Kisses’, and Lavender ‘Phenomenal’.  By ten thirty, it was time to collapse and recuperate, for another day of garden touring lay ahead.

 

 

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At last, on the day before study weekend, I visited Dancing Oaks.  I had been hearing and reading of this nursery for years.  No one could have been a better companion for this excursion than my friend and sister horthead Sheila.

the entry to Dancing Oaks nursery…after a long drive down a gravel road

I forgot to photograph a couple of the features that stuck in my mind.  The nursery and display gardens were just so flabbergastingly gorgeous.  Sheila sent me this photo of the water feature, taken in 2004.

water feature

steps into a shadier part of the display garden

Eremurus in a hot sun border

a shady walkway

I’ve recreated this vision in a garden or two since seeing this.

Sheila and I wandered round the garden twice…gazed at the details of the water feature…pondered which plants to buy and discussed, organized, and added to our purchases.

mesmerizing LittleandLewisy water feature

Suddenly we realized it was near closing time and we still had not seen everything.  At that time the nursery’s owner popped out of the office area and offered to show us ALL around the garden.  Back we went around again on an expertly guided tour of what we had seen, and a tour of the areas we had somehow missed, including this giant Magnolia with flowers the size of Sheila’s head.

Sheila with magnolia

 He even showed us the test areas and more private gardens back of beyond.

stacked planting

Afterwards, while he totaled our purchases in the office area, we realized he had kindly allowed us to stay considerably beyond closing time just because of shared love of plants.  I would visit this nursery at least twice a month if only it were closer.

cat asleep on a work table at Dancing Oaks Nursery

Rich with new acquisitions we drove over the long bumpy gravel road and on to chez Sheila to try to get a good night’s sleep before an early morning start to the study weekend, a bit over an hour away in Eugene, Oregon.

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As soon as Patti’s bright blue bug approached the kerb at Ann Marie’s house, I said “PLEASE let this be the tour garden!”  If it hadn’t been, I would have begged to go through it anyway, because I could tell from the parking strip gardens that here lived an avid plant collector.  But indeed it was an official tour garden owned by artist Ann Marie. Eryngiums, Perovskia, Lavender, Sedums, Dianthus, Stipa tenuissima, and more thrived along the sidewalks on both sides of the corner lot.

beautiful plant collections in the parking strips

From the street, a golden catalpa drew my eye into the garden and as I looked up I saw my favourite grass, Stipa gigantea, and beautiful tall white barked eucalyptus trees. Oh, and I had to ask what the catalpa was….always exciting to me to find a garden where I don’t know the plants.

Golden Catalpa…want…

The eucalyptus creates a transition to a patio next to the house where cold water and bread and homemade jam awaited us.  Patti buttered and jammed some bread and handed it to me because I was too absorbed in plant life to stop at the table. Delicious.

eucalyptus and patio

looking up from the sidewalk

We climbed the front steps and rounded the corner to be met with more garden pleasures which vied with the eucalyptus grove and the parking strips for my adoration.

Back garden vignettes: note the use of stacked broken concrete

The focal point of the back yard, the north side with a glimpse of the blue Columbia, was a cushioned sit spot with fire pit and statuary. There we met Ann Marie herself and were able to gather information about her plants.  Many came from Dancing Oaks Nursery; Sheila and the Rainysiders keep recommending it and so, Sheila, I am now ever more convinced we must come to visit you…and Dancing Oaks.

The seating area…a detail…and how it all ties together

Because it was hard to leave this garden we ended up back by the eucalyptus and noticed another patio which had slipped by us before.  A friend who lives in a wing of the house has her own patio area here and has placed this charming parasol to shield her fish from the sun!

The fish parasol and another of Anne Marie’s little details that makes the garden so perfect

Patti asked Ann Marie if this were a low maintenance garden and she laughed….and said she had worked many hours to ready it for the tour. I commented that she had no plant ghetto left at all…those plants we have not got round to planting yet.

This is truly a collector’s garden and felt like being transported to a Seattle or Portland tour because of the exciting plants. Thanks goodness I am planning an excursion to some choice nurseries soon….(You would think we never worked at all anymore).

[2012 note: We did get to Dancing Oaks and to Sheila’s garden the next year (I believe).]

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