Well, open house weekend has sneaked up on me again, but at least this
time I’m getting the newsletter out two days before the day of, instead of
half a day before (e-mail version only, not this blog post!). So as usual we will be open this Friday and Saturday with limited signage and all that. Details and directions are found here.
Also as usual, I’m still behind on everything, so the web site is still
not updated (I don’t even want to talk about that. LOL). But if you have
seen us at the regional sales, you know we have a lot of good nursery
stock out there that looks fresh and is ready to find a home in your
garden. It was interesting at the last open house how visitors gravitated
towards the somewhat overgrown greenhouses because they look “full,”
rather than the new greenhouse, which has a lot of great stuff in it but
may look “sparse.” Well the reason it looks that way is I’m not going to
fill it up with plants that looks rough because they needs attention.
First we pot it up, then put it out there, so everything out there looks
splendid. So don’t be shy about going into the new greenhouse—that’s the
one that still has no plastic on it, which is fine because it won’t be too
So not having the web site up to date, I’d better talk about some of the
exciting plants we have in stock. We may hope that a plant name or two
will jump out at you as something you have been looking for or have an
interest in trying.
In the Chilean department, Luma apiculata is looking good, and we have
plenty of both the “usual” form and hardy form selected by Sean Hogan.
This small tree has attractive peeling bark, showy white flowers, edible
berries and it’s evergreen. Also looking good now are Azara microphylla,
the rare A. dentata with conspicuous yellow flowers, some unusual showy
Escallonias we bet you haven’t seen; and little pots of Maytenus boaria, a
beautiful evergreen tree from Chile with fine weeping foliage.
In the New Zealand department, Olearias have received a lot of attention
lately on social media, and we have a whole lot of them available. One of
them in particular, an evergreen shrub with gray leaves and white flowers
smelling of coconut, has been talked about quite a lot. This plant has
been sold as O. cheesemanii and O. x mollis, but we’ll admit to stirring
the pot (no pun intended?) a bit by insisting (based on my research, of
course) the correct name for this plant is O. x oleifolia. In any case it
is a great plant, and we have plenty of it in 4” pots. We also have about
12 other Olearias in stock including the olive-like O. lineata, showy and
fragrant O. x haastii and toothy leaved O. macrodonta. Most of these are
in little pots but a few larger specimens are out there as well, and
anyway they are quick and easy growers. Also in the New Zealand
department Pittosporum colensoi is looking good, as are little pots of
Corokia cotoneaster (wire netting bush), Astelia nervosa ‘Westland’ and
Griselinia littoralis, and a million kinds of hardy Hebes.
Conifers are still looking great. Notably Araucaria angustifolia is back;
YuccaDo used to sell little pots of this for $30 so I don’t feel bad for
asking $24. We have a good crop of Juniperus maritima right now; this
tree-sized juniper is special since it only exists west of the Cascades
and is very rare. It is a fine drought-tolerant native tree. We continue
to offer Chilean conifers such as Fitzroya and Podocarpus salignus, both
looking great. And then we even have odds and ends like Chamaecyparis
‘Karst’ (—I’m now a little mystified as a google search turns up nothing
for this plant).
In the Australian plants department, we have our best selection in a long
time of Callistemon and Leptospermum in both 1 gallon and 4” sizes. If
you have been saying to yourself (as I’m sure you have) I need a bunch of
1 gallon hardly bottlebrushes, well now you know where to find them. Some
of the really showy ones like C. linearis var. pumila and our own ‘Hot
Pink’ are available and looking great. Our purple-leaf form of
Leptospermum lanigerum is looking good, as is L. lanigerum, L.
namadgiensis, ‘Eugene Hardy’, and others. The silvery Ozothamnus hookeri
‘Sussex Silver’ and O. coralloides remain available in quantity. Also in
the Australian department are a fine selection of the reliable, tough and
long-blooming Grevillea ‘Poorinda Leane’ in 1 gallon and 2 gallon sizes,
and G. rivularis in 4” pots, a very rare species with deeply cut, prickly
leaves and mauve flowers.
Mass production of the fancy Arctostaphylos species from the Siskiyous
continues to elude us, but we do have a lot of nice 1 gallons of reliable
manzanitas such as A. densiflora ‘Howard McMinn’, ‘Pacific Mist’, and A. x
media. We also have A. rudis which is exciting because it blooms in
December. Ceanothus ‘Blue Jeans’ and C. gloriosus ‘Emily Brown’ are both
looking good; these species have deep blue flowers and are not encountered
nearly often enough.
In the Mediterranean department, myrtles (Myrtus communis) are still a
thing, and we bet you don’t have a Cytisus sessilifolius. This yellow
flowered broom relative looks nothing like other brooms and doesn’t seed
itself. Tree heath, Erica arborea var. alpina, is also a good drought
tolerant shrub you need. What could be cooler than a heather that grows
10′ tall? Your neighbors don’t have that.
Finally, our hardy Opuntia table looks great; everything has put on new
growth. This table consists of perhaps 20 Opuntia selections, mostly from
smaller growing and native populations, but a couple larger types as well.
Of particular interest are a few of the Opuntia fragilis/columbiana (?)
collections from the interior of British Columbia that we have finally
gotten into production. They are kinda small but exciting for the avid
collector of hardy cacti. We also have quite a few forms of O. fragilis
and O. columbiana; the latter is from eastern Washington but it does great
out here in the right spot, such as in a rock garden.
Well if you have read this far, thanks for reading, and for your continued
interest in our nursery. If you are waiting to hear from us about an
order we hope to do some catching up in August and you are always free to
bug us again. We hope to see you soon if not this weekend!
Thanks, Ian & Co.
The Desert Northwest
PO Box 3475
Sequim, WA 98382