NEWSLETTER – June 2012 – First ever OPEN HOUSE and more!

Dear Friends,

Greetings from Sequim! Where did spring go?? More on that later. First, we have some exciting announcements!

You will not want to miss our first ever AWESOME OPEN HOUSE! What’s that? We’re really going to be open? That’s right. For one weekend, on July 20 – 22, we will be open for business and you can come out and see our amazing collection of cool and unique plants! Also, if you’re a certifiable plant geek, you may be interested in our Plant Geek Convergence on the 21st. For more information on both, and of course the all-important directions for how to get here, please see We look forward to seeing you at what is certain to be a unique plant shopping experience!

Next, and almost as exciting, we have finally updated the mail-order list again. This has been in the works for a long time, but required a major edit on our part as I wanted to go through all the plant descriptions to make sure they were accurate and up to date (and to redo some formatting), as well as add a new feature, Drought Resistance Codes. So it was supposed to be the spring 2012 list, and now it has ended up being the summer 2012 list – but hey, it all worked out! And it is very much current, even including stuff that has just become ready in the last few weeks. The Drought Resistance Codes are something we hope to continue to work on. So people won’t be totally lost we have posted a small essay to introduce the concept, which you can view at and scroll to the bottom of the page.

The new list, of course, contains many exciting new plants! ( Of particular interest will be our recent Penstemon collections; these are the perfect drought tolerant perennials for the Northwest garden (unless you live in a swamp or a dark forest, like Shrek). You will find a number of new selections on our list including the spectacular P. barrettiae, a rare endemic of the Columbia Gorge area that features glaucous-bluish leaves and tight clusters of light purple flowers! Then we have Grevillea australis, which is perhaps the hardiest Grevillea, or close to it anyway; and has (surprisingly) fragrant flowers: it does not get enormous and is perfect for smaller spaces. And Kageneckia oblonga is an interesting shrub or small tree from Chile in the Rosaceae family, that ought to be fun to try: so far the plants remind me very much of Vauqelinia (Arizona Rosewood) or Lyonothamnus (Catalina Ironwood), to which it must be closely related.

Also noteworthy from the list; Embothrium coccineum, the stunning Chilean Fire-Tree, is back after a many-year abesnce; as is Fuchsia procumbens. We also offer one of our Ceanothus prostratus collections (a particularly nice one, too!), a plant that is not easy to find; an evergreen Mediterranean oak that I haven’t seen here but it ought to do well (Q. faginea subsp. alpestris); an easy-care tree Aloe (A. plicatilis), the groundcover Gunnera magellanica, and several new conifers including the ever-popular Araucaria araucana (monkey puzzle tree). All of the new plants are noted on the list, but we still like to suggest looking carefully at the whole list,, as certain “returning” plants we have not offered in many years are not noted as new.

So, what else is new? Winter wasn’t bad, making me wish I had planted more stuff out in the ground last fall. We got snowed on for a few days totaling 9” but the ice missed us completely. June weather has been a drag (as I type, rain is pouring down – yes, even in Sequim) but April and May were about dead-on average which felt nice after last year. Even so, our spring seemed to get sucked away on various projects and we are now massively behind on potting up plants. Hopefully we can do some serious catching up over the next couple months now that we have about finished our third greenhouse. That has been a major time-consumer and I think I have learned my lesson to never again build a greenhouse in the spring when I have so much to keep on top of with the plants!

We (or in some cases, just I) enjoyed seeing you at the plant sales in which we have participated this spring; including the Bloedel Reserve sale, Hortlandia, the Rhododendron Species Foundation sale, and of course the Sequim Garden Show. Our next such event is the Fronderosa Frolic which is coming up the second week in August in Gold Bar, so if you can’t make it to the open house we will be glad to bring any plants you would like for pick-up there. If you can’t wait that long, we will also be present at Dragonfly Farms Nursery in Kingston on the weekend of July 14 – 15 with a selection of plants to sell (we thank Heidi for this opportunity!); again, special requests are welcome for that too.

Thanks for reading and for your continued interest in our nursery! May your garden live long and prosper. And please come and see us at the open house!

Ian and Company
The Desert Northwest
PO Box 3475
Sequim, WA 98382

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Mark and Gaz
    Jun 26, 2012 @ 01:31:50

    Good luck with the open house Ian! Hope all goes well and the rest of the season remains lovely for you guys.


  2. Ian
    Jul 04, 2012 @ 11:59:06

    Thanks a lot! I’ll post a report here.


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