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The haul

Monday 22 September 2008 - Filed under Plants

Plant sale haul, September 20 2008

I did okay at the Hardy Plant Society of Oregon’s plant sale this weekend, I mostly came away with stuff I knew I needed, and only a few things that leave me wondering what I was thinking. I got a handful of the newcomers planted before running off to talk to neighbors, and then, right on time to announce the start of fall in Portland, the skies opened up and it was raining too hard for me to finish up, so most are not in the ground yet.

I made a run on evergreen euphorbias, picked up nine to add to the collection I never meant to have. One was this plain (garden variety?) euphorbia amygadaloides robbaie that just gets 12″ – 18″ that is part of my plan to simplify the front yard and darken up the leaf color scheme to reduce the visual clutter.

Euphorbia 'amygdaloides' robbaie

I couldn’t resist this Euphorbia ‘backbird’ (Euphorbia ‘nothowlee’) which claims, if planted in full sun, to get nearly black leaves. Seems like it’s difficult to find evergreen black leaves, so I’m excited to have that in the winter. Justin had the brilliant idea of an all black garden, which I’d love to try in a small space sometime. Maybe I can carve out an area to experiment.

Euphorbia 'blackbird' (euporbia 'nothowlee')

I came away with 6 new ferns, half are supposed to be fast growing up to 5 feet (!!!), and the other half only 3 feet but evergreen. I’ll post names once I get them in the ground and pull the tags from the containers. Right now, they look almost identical, so I’m afraid I’ll lose track of which is which.


I also grabbed up a bunch carex, some familiar, and some fantastic and new to me. I especially love the green ones that look very ornamental grass-like, but are evergreen and grow in the shade. This is ‘The Beatles’ I guess for its mop head appearance. I also got several more upright varieties. A dark green one that gets 4′ – 5′ and a smaller bright variegated guy I’m very excited about.

Carex 'The Beatles'

I found this gold leafed form of sweet bay, which suckered me into buying it by listing itself as “difficult to find,” but it sort of fit my shopping criteria of adding more evergreens, and with my notions of having a more culinary garden. I do love it, I just have to figure out where I have room for something that needs at least part sun and gets 8 feet wide, 12 feet tall. Next to it is something that came without a tag, that I will have to guess at where to plant it.

Laurus nobilis 'aureus'

My one and only surviving toad lily in the yard is spot free, but I feel like you don’t truly have toad lilies unless you have some spotted flowers, so I got this puppy.

Tricyrtis 'Empress'

Corylopsis spicata ‘aurea’ from Gossler Farms allegedly keeps this gorgeous golden color throughout the summer, even in full sun, and gets good orange fall color, I think he said. It gets 6 feet tall and wide. I’m going to kick out an ornamental rhubarb in a bed of all herbaceous plants that I haven’t been happy with to make room for this woody specimen.


Then there are a few more exciting things that I haven’t unboxed yet. In the what-have-I-done category, I got a couple of these beautiful pennisetums because I love the black tinged flowers. Nothing wrong with them, but I don’t think I have anywhere with the full sun, good drainage they want, so I’m thinking about handing them over to a friend who got one but wanted more.


And this one might be destined to be donated to a neighbor. Yellow net honeysuckle. Ground cover or climbing vine. I’m not sure if it flowers, but I could see it happening. No idea what came over me. It falls squarely in the impulse buy category.

Yellow net honeysuckle

The only thing I’m left really regretting is leaving without the sarcacoca I saw with large golden leaves, so I’ll be pining for that until I come across it again.

2008-09-22  »  megan

Talkback x 7

  1. Crissy
    22 September 2008 @ 7:41 am

    If I lived anywhere near you I would so be encouraging your impulse purchases. I love that yellow net honeysuckle. It’s interesting.

  2. Chris
    22 September 2008 @ 9:22 am

    Do you have toads? Nothing says country like toads croaking in the middle of the night.

  3. megan
    22 September 2008 @ 10:15 am

    Crissy – I’d hand it over to you if you’d take it. I have nowhere to put it!
    Chris – I wish. I put out sideways broken pots and stuff to encourage them just like the book says, but I don’t think I’m really in toad country, I’m pretty close in to the city. It’s not as dense as Brooklyn here, but parts of my neighborhood definitely have a Brooklyn vibe. Justin would draw the line at living somewhere with more bugs.

  4. justin
    22 September 2008 @ 10:22 am

    should I not have been eating the toads?

  5. Karen
    22 September 2008 @ 10:33 am

    What a haul! And good for you for starting to get them into the ground right away. That’s my second-worst failing with plant sales, after impulse purchasing things that I shouldn’t have. Did you get the ferns from Fancy Fronds? That lady is a crack-up! It’s such a cool business. I got a ton from them at my old (shady) place, but am now strangely fern-less. I need to change that!

  6. James
    22 September 2008 @ 1:55 pm

    Wow… you don’t eff around. I like “The Beatles” one… very cool and unique.

    We are in garden limbo at the moment not sure were we are going to live yet… so life sucks. haha

  7. megan
    23 September 2008 @ 7:02 am

    Karen – I don’t even want to think about how many plants I’ve killed not getting them in the ground. I’ve gotten much better over the years, but my enthusiasm for buying still sometimes outpaces my time to plant. I actually got them from someone else, but I say Fancy Fronds there. These fit the bill perfectly, a part sun tolerance, big, evergreen. Perfect.
    James – I feel for you guys, I think about your situation a lot. I don’t think I’d mind moving so much, if it was at my own pace, and if I just got a chance to finish the garden. The problem is, there’s no such thing as finished. You will have to include in your moving plans a truck and time to dig everything out and transplant it in the new place, for the perennials anyway.