Plant sales are going on everywhere these days. Our neighbor down the road had one the other day, and I bought him out of these lovely little silvery grasses.
When I asked him about this pot of golden bamboo, he said I could just have it if I would bring back the pot. What a deal! We were in line at Portland Nursery the other day and the person ahead of us had the same thing, a little smaller, for $75. Do you wonder that I can never pass by a handmade “plant sale” sign?
Many people have a bone to pick with Means Nursery because of hiring (and firing) practices. It is true that they employ practically a skeleton crew of non-gardeners who have no knowledge of the plants and who all go to lunch at the same time, leaving customers to wait and chat amongst themselves. Still, we have found the plant material to be fairly high quality and they manage to keep their prices low. These two Italian cypresses were just $16 each. R tries to add a couple of them each year. It’s mighty dangerous to have to drive by this place and Joy Creek’s road every time we go to the store.
Speaking of Joy Creek, they have quite a few Rhododendrons in their display gardens. They were inherited from prior owners of the property, and are not featured for sale at the nursery. Still, customers are continually asking about them, so arrangements were made to bring in real experts Mike and Maria Stewart of Dover Nursery to give a talk. They also brought plants to illustrate the wide variety of possibilities within the genus. This Rhododendron saluense is among the smallest, and will go into a new berm.
We were drawn to the lance-shaped leaves with velvety indumentum on their undersides. Rhododendron recurvum will make a nice addition to the evergreen drive.
It will only reach 2 to 3 feet in height over time. I wish I had had time to photograph more of the plants, but we were overbooked that day and had to cut out right after the presentation. One fun fact I will leave you with is this: the way you can tell the difference between an azalea and a Rhododendron is the number of stamens. Rhododendrons have ten, while azaleas have only five.