The highlight of my trip down to Portland had to be my stay with Sean Hogan and Nathan Limprecht. They kindly let me stay over two night while I was down there and I couldn't have been more comfortable, more welcomed, and well, just plain spoiled!
The first night was an awesome party they threw with at least 250 people attending, flowing in and out, with many familiar faces such as garden and writer Lucy Hardiman of Perennial Partners, friends from the Miller Garden Richie Steffen and his partner Pick Peterson, Andre Suske from T & L Nursery, and even well known garden designer and nurseryman Thomas Hobbs, of Southlands Nursery, made an appearance. "Where was Dan Hinkley and Martha Stewart?" I wondered. Gosh...there were many other people who looked familiar and also new faces of wonderful people I had the pleasure of chatting with and getting to know.
After the chaos of plant driven geeks and freaks, I had some down time to chat with Sean, Nathan and a new colleague, George Hull, a friendly and knowledgeable plantsman from Arizona who was also staying with Sean and Nathan.
Sean doesn't need much of an introduction to the Pacific Northwest gardener. His Cistus Nursery has got to be the most sought after refuge for plantaholics worldwide and the vast diversity of plants he's grown and acquired over the years, and the knowledge he has about all of them, is simply astounding! He wrote a great book on broadleaf evergreens called, "Trees for all Seasons" published by Timber Press.
Nathan Limprecht is a fellow Next Generation Gardener who just blew me away when I first met him just a few years ago. A trained floral designer and a keen eye for unique and outrageous plants, he has brought so much to Cistus and to Sean; it was heart warming to see those two interact as it seems they've found a good balance between work and home life (both consumed by plants!). I dubbed Nathan as one of my best customers here at Landwave because of his curiosity for plants, his eagerness to learn, and his desire to purchase a plant that's not even fully rooted into the nursery container, but will still pay full price for it (hahah...j/k)! He must simply be in heaven working at Cistus!
The display gardens are simply breathtaking and easily overwhelming at Cistus, even to the experienced gardener!
Plants from all around the world are represented and upon entering the main sales house, you continue to hold your breath as you witness the wide assortment of choice plants for sale (and the cute guy watering them that morning).
The special treat for me was going with Sean through their production houses and private poly tunnels to see their "works in progress". Wonderful hardy Begonias and Scheffleras made my jaws drop and their selections of my new obsession, Asian Mahonia species, made my trip down to Oregon feel like Christmas!. Check out my Flickr page so I don't inundate this blog with pictures!
I want to thank Sean for his hospitality and his generosity (as he gave me a handful of treasures to grow on and evaluate, which includes this rare Mahonia eurybracteata I'm holding).
While the Farwest Show was kind of a bust, getting to spend time with wonderful friends and fantastic plants was totally worth it.