Monday, March 11, 2013

Plant Nerds Unite!

I finally experienced Plant Nerd Night. What is Nerd Night you ask? Well it’s hard to explain. People wait in line like they do for the day after Thanksgiving sales. These pictures were taken when I arrived at 5:30; the doors open at 6 pm. I heard the lines start forming at about 4...

And nursery tables covered with plants are mobbed like 99 cent sock bins at Walmart. This was the Cistus table. People were 3 or 4 deep; cash was practically being thrown at the group working the table.

The nursery owners themselves are treated like rock stars. In fact they even sang, up on stage, like real rock stars, sort of. Notice Sue and Kelley's (Far Reaches Farm) dog Callie (in front of Sue, on the far left), she's singing too!

This was the 12th Annual Nerd Night. Hosted by Mike Darcy (that’s him above in the blue shirt) and KXL101, the station that hosts his radio program. The event starts with an hour of plant shopping, followed by 12 minute presentations from the 6 invited nurseries (Cistus, Dancing Oaks, Far Reaches, Gossler Farms, Northwest Garden Nursery and Rare Plant Research this year). There was intermission entertainment with a dog fashion show (dogs and nurseries seem to go hand in hand) and even several plant give-a-ways. Because of the extreme crowds I only got a couple of plant photos, this Yucca rostrata was snapped up fast by my friend JJ.

I was eyeing these Dyckia from Rare Plant, but I held off on purchasing since I plan to visit their open house in May.

Podophyllum on the Gossler Farms table…

I really didn't intend to buy anything but got stuck in the crowd at the Gossler table staring at this Rhododendron sinogrande long enough that we bonded. I couldn't just leave it behind!

I read an estimate that 600 people attend Nerd Night, that’s a lot of plant crazed people in one room.

Free stuff!

The first nursery to present was Far Reaches, Kelley and Sue do a great stand up act.

In addition to several images of their pooches…

They featured many drool worthy plants like this Pyrrosia sheareri…

The really beautiful image was the next one up on the screen (which I didn’t get) that showed the underside of the leaves. It’s on their website though, right here. I also lusted after this Lobelia which I believe they said is L. excels.

For me the highlight of Burl Mostul’s (Rare Plant Research) talk was his account of buying a few mature olive trees in California and hauling them up to Oregon. I missed the photo of the olive hauling semi-truck but got this one of a tree being planted. Instant history!

This gorgeous magnolia (maybe M. sieboldii?) was part of Roger Gosslers presentation.

Fred Weisensee from Dancing Oaks was the next up…

He wowed with photos of Alstroemeria isabellana.

And Ugni molinae ‘Flambeau’ (along with many others)...

Marietta O'Byrne from Northwest Garden Nursery shared photos from her and Ernie’s garden, proving it’s not just about hellebores for them. Arisaema consanguineum…

A gorgeous group of Podophyllums…

And yes, there were a few of these too. Helleborus Amethyst Gem.

Finishing up the show was Sean Hogan from Cistus.

Some of his featured plants...Yucca schottii

Agave neomexicana, which by the way is having another fabulous year in my garden. Unfortunately mine aren’t quite this size yet (not even close).

And Schefflera delavayi...

Even better a couple of lucky nerds got to take home their very own S. delavayi when Sean gave a pair of them away. It was a good night for the plant nerds in Portland. I can't believe I bought a Rhododendron.

All material © 2009-2013 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

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