things and places for homes and gardens

A trek to Gossler Farms, part 1

Thursday 11 February 2010 - Filed under Nurseries + Plants

plant tag styrax
Yesterday I made the two hour drive from Portland down to Springfield to visit Gossler Farms. The days before were sunny and dry, but the day I took off from work was cool and drizzly, but not so bad that I could be scared off from exploring the amazing display gardens. I never label my own plants, but if my plant labels looked this good, I’d reconsider.

witch hazel
The witch hazels in the garden were unbelievable. The combination of moss and flowers was just stunning.

chief joseph pine
This is the first mature Chief Joseph pine I’ve ever seen. It was calling from clear across the garden, glowing gold. The orange flowering witch hazel makes a handsome companion. Both compelling reasons to visit the garden in winter. In summer, you’d see a plain green pine, miss the show on the witch hazels, and I’m assuming you’d see less lush moss covering the branches of all the trees.

stewartia bark
Stewartia bark!

An unexpected bonus, they have three horses. Sadly I didn’t get a chance to pet a velvety horse nose. Still any close encounter with horses is alright with me.

agaves and aloes agaves
Coming across a bunch of aloes and agaves by the office, I commented that I didn’t know that the Gosslers were agave fans, and Marjory Gossler said “Oh those? they’re just pets.” Somehow that’s the perfect description.

More on the plants tomorrow.

2010-02-11  »  megan

Talkback x 10

  1. Loree/danger garden
    11 February 2010 @ 8:53 am

    “pets”! I love it, and of course I will have to use that term myself from now on. To bad the weather didn’t cooperate completely with your visit but I’m so glad you finally got to see their gardens, and that Chief Joseph!

    Don’t suppose you brought home any plants?

  2. Christine B.
    11 February 2010 @ 9:35 am

    The golden pine was wonderful. I saw a little one at the Seattle garden show and really wished it would’ve fit into my luggage. Also wishing witch hazels were hardy here….

    Christine in Alaska

  3. cindee
    11 February 2010 @ 9:53 am

    Hi Megan,
    Aren’t the Gosslers wonderful, real people? Hope you enjoyed their nursery and came home with some cool plants.

  4. Jane
    11 February 2010 @ 11:39 am

    I guess I had always assumed their garden was not open to the public. Or did you have an “in” after the Timber Press event?
    That Chief Joseph pine is just lovely, and so is that Stewartia bark. The color in your photos is wonderful with the misty, moisty conditions, but driving might have been easier if it was dry, hey?

  5. Diana
    11 February 2010 @ 1:15 pm

    Hi Megan, so glad you got to visit Gosslers… excellent plant people and nursery.

    Jane, it is open to public.

  6. ricki - sprig to twig
    11 February 2010 @ 2:54 pm

    Yes, open, but back when I went, an appointment was appreciated, if not strictly necessary…still true?
    I guess I consider most of my plants pets…just never realized it before.

  7. Karen
    11 February 2010 @ 7:50 pm

    Oh, looks like such a cool place. Can’t wait to see Part II! Could it be a lichen on the witch hazel? I don’t know much about mosses and such, just always think of moss as deeper green and lichens as often that light, silvery color. Wonder why it has colonized the tree so heavily? Never seen that before – amazing. Very cool to come upon the big ol’ Chief Joseph in its prime viewing season. How is yours doing in your mom’s garden?

  8. Grace
    11 February 2010 @ 10:38 pm

    Hi Megan~~ So I take it “pets” is code for “not for sale.” The Moss/Lichen on the witch hazel really does look amazing. I’m looking forward to round two.

  9. tina
    12 February 2010 @ 10:26 am

    I’ve never seen a stewartia and just love it! Another plant for my must have now-gee thanks:) Lovely trip. I wish I could’ve seen it.

  10. Germi
    12 February 2010 @ 11:44 pm

    I am also a big fan of the moss on the witch hazel – nature can be the BEST designer! Talk about a fresh color combo! I’m taking notes.
    Like Loree, I love the description of Agaves as ‘pets’ … they do call baby agaves ‘pups’, after all! I am going to start calling all of my aloes and agaves ‘pets’ from now on!
    Thanks for this – everything was LOVELY!