A Visit to Little Prince

Finally I’m posting about our recent trip down to Little Prince of Oregon which happened back on March 18th.  This post will end up being similar to Danger Garden’s post on the same trip, but hey, at least you’ll know that neither of us is making it up.

Little Prince is a wholesale nursery that supplies plants to a lot of retailers around the area, including pretty much every New Seasons store and my local Ace Hardware up on Woodstock.  Their plants are always great quality and well-grown – it was a real treat to see the production greenhouses in action as well as the impeccably clean shipping area.

There are a total of 70 high tunnel greenhouses.  Yes, I went into every single one of them.

The shipping area:

impeccable shipping area!
Inside a typical greenhouse. Colored flags indicate plants that are stock plants (for use in propagation and not for sale), plants that have been sold, or other things

I encountered so many wonderful little fields of plants.  My attraction to masses of plants really drove home the importance of planting things in drifts.  Lewisia:

Beautiful little agaves
Amazing little miniature forest of succulents

LOTS of this. Must be a good seller

Some of the greenhouses are heated, like this one which contains plants that aren’t hardy (or at least, aren’t reliably hardy) in the northwest.  Like these Dicksonia antarctica.

I ended up with one.

I wandered into one house with a bunch of stock plants and just about DIED when I saw what amounted to a field of Drimys lanceolata, which I’m sort of obsessed with.  OMG this plant makes me happy.

two words: RED STEMS

In the end I caved to impulse on a number of things, but the boot of this old BMW has never looked better:

I set them all out on the ground when I got home and then realized I have this lovely three-tiered plant stand right next to my front door that has nothing but junk on it and why don’t I display these colorful new plants there for a while until I figure out where to put them?

 

A list of what I got, left to right, top to bottom in the above photo:

  1. Schefflera delavayi
  2. Tradescantia ‘Sweet Kate’
  3. Bletilla ochracea ‘Chinese Butterfly’ – a light yellow flower
  4. Grevillea ‘Ivanhoe’ because this spot right here is a zone 9 area and he will get planted in the ground here
  5. A really red Heuchera whose name I didn’t record
  6. A really chartreuse Heuchera whose name I totally failed to record
  7. Agaves.  wow I thought I did a better job of recording what I bought but I guess not…
  8. Tradescantia andersoniana ‘Blushing Bride’ with its tricolor insanity.  Hard to see here but omg it’s awesome
  9. Another of the same flaming red Heuchera
  10. Polystichum setiferum – I got about four of these for Wichita Ave but then decided to keep this one
  11. Couple ferns in there.  Hard to see but one is Cyrtomium fortunei and the other apparently I failed to record
  12. Sempervivum ‘Borisii’ which I never would have bought had I not seen the mature plants in the Semp stock house.  I’ll give you a pic.
  13. (under the red Heuchera leaf on the ground) Enyngium bougatii

Ok here’s why I got that little semp:

JUST LOOK AT THEM

My garden is so young.. It’s kind of silly to be thinking about small plants like this when I really need to wait for trees to grow, but I cannot resist this intense level of cuteness.  I can’t wait until my plant looks this buttoney.  I’ll probably have to plant it into a container for a while, which I really don’t mind doing.

Aside from all the lovely plants, I must say the group of attendees to this event was really top-notch.  It was sublime to meet a number of fellow garden bloggers in person for the first time and I look forward to many more such forays!

Palm Springs, Part 3: Joshua Tree

Fun facts about Joshua Tree National Park!

  • U2’s album photographs were not from Joshua Tree National Park, but rather the band found this lone Yucca brevifolia out near Darwin, CA along Route 190, which is some 250 miles north of the park.
  • The nearly 800,000-acre National Park is larger than the state of Rhode Island.
  • The whole big place is zone 8a-8b.  Maybe a couple of 9a spots on the fringes (Palm Springs is 9b with a couple 10a micros).

I’ll let you research the rest of what may be of interest; let’s get to pictures.

From where we stayed in Palm Springs it took maybe 45 minutes or so to get to the west entrance of the park.  From there, we drove in (with a couple stops along the way) to Hidden Valley where we took a roughly one-mile hike.

Et voilà.  The park’s namesake, Yucca brevifolia.  And indeed the leaves are indeed shorter than the familiar Y. gloriosa and Y. filamentosa and whatever else we might see more frequently.

I read somewhere that in parts of Joshua Tree, the natural plant combinations can have the look of an intentionally designed and planted garden.  Turns out that’s true! I was immediately drawn to this plant against that plant, time and time again.  It’s like Oudolf was here…

Okay, this next is just one plant but I loved it against the rocks with its excitement of flower stalks.

 

At one point, I kept noticing a very lovely honey-like fragrance, but I couldn’t see any flowers.  In fact, it seemed to emanate from this dead-looking Senegalia greggii (I think) with all the odd growths on it.

Turns out those growths are indeed a different plant: Phoradendron californicum, one of the many mistletoes native to North America. See the tiny yellow bits? Those are the flowers and they are deliciously fragrant.  It’s a hemiparasitic plant which means that it does its own photosynthesis but it gets water and nutrients from the host plant.

 

Aside from ubiquitous Yucca brevifolia the creosote bush, Larrea tridentata, is one of the most common shrubs here.  It’s reminiscent of Scotch broom and a tiny-leaved Ceanothus at once.

For some reason I like this growth habit.

Neato black stripes on many of its branches.  Are those scars? Growth “rings”? Is this thing really that old? I have no idea but I like it.

Pinus monophylla made an appearance.

And there was quite a bit of Quercus cornelius-mulleri, a very satisfying evergreen oak which I found was generally shrubby with good form., often growing in very rocky areas.

I’m going to let the rest of this post be a photo essay and not bother you with any more words.

 

Ok I lied.  I’ll come back and label all of these once I get positive IDs for the plants.

I hope you enjoyed these pics.  Back to the wet, gray Northwest for a while now!

Wednesday Vignette: Dripping

Befitting a drippy rainy day (after so many days of relative dry), I present you with this (slightly blurry; it was raining) lovely sedum which appears to have dripped itself right off the top of this rock wall and into the soil below at the base.  I was struck by the idea that this little happening is indeed an experience of movement in the garden, albeit slower movement than, say, a water feature.

 

Though we gardeners are usually quite aware of them, casual observer or one-time visitor might not notice the seasonal migration of things like self-seeding annuals or creeping perennials.  This is certainly an instance of that sort of plant migration, and I love how this scene shows it so clearly.

Also, this is actually in a friend’s garden; my own has similar rocks but no such elevation – yet.  I’ll get to it.  Maybe…

The Wednesday Vignette concept came from Anna at Flutter & Hum: https://flutterandhum.wordpress.com/