Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Hardy Plant Society of Oregon's AMAZING Plant Sale

My oh my, what a great weekend! Long drive down, but so incredibly worth it. I've heard so much about the Hardy Plant Society of Oregon and their well known plant sales I made sure to come down to not only check out the sale and buy a few plants, but to also pay my friends a visit.

One of the most "put together" horticultural organizations (from what I've heard), the HPSO shared the Oregon Expo Center with a large indoor garage sale and gun show. Luckily, they weren't all held in the same hall so avid gardeners could safely and obsessively shop for some of the finest plants I've ever witnessed in one plant sale.

HPSO Banner

It was a true horticultural show with cut specimens of plants on display, a information booth staffed by professional gardeners to offer their advice to anyone who may have a question or need a quick recommendation for a plant and the volunteer effort was outstanding overall.

My friends at Cistus Nursery got me in early so I had an opportunity to shop before the hoards of crowds, but I spent that morning taking photographs, a few video clips and ooh'ing and ahh'ing at the wonderful things I witnessed.

Plant Sale View 1

The crowds were crazy, as they should be, but even with the best of the best flying off the tables, there was still plenty of fabulous selections even for the most discerning gardener who might have arrived later in the day.

Box on Head
There are some really hardcore shoppers out there, but for the most part, there are no old lady fights or such similar quarrels.

Peonies and clematis combo
There's no doubt that the plants took center stage and the compositions some of these vendors put together were just exquisite!

PC Iris with Golden Ribes 1
Anything with gold foliage showed remarkably well and the two of these paired together was quite dramatic (golden-leafed flowering currant and a deep blue PC (Pacific Coast) iris hybrid!

Iris PCI Drip Drop
Speaking of PCIs, this one was a stunner! Still kicking myself for not buying it. Oh well, next time. This one's called 'Drip Drop'.

Trillium grandiflorum Flore-pleno
One of the rarest plants to be offered at this spring's sale is the double flowered Trillium grandiflorum. These were selling for $75 for a single-nosed rhizome.

Aesculus Lunar Patches
Now, I've only seen variegated horse chestnuts in books and on the internet, but to see it in person and realize that it actually exists was thrilling. This selection is aptly dubbed 'Lunar Patches'.

Cistus booth ladies shopping
Over by the Cistus Nursery tables, swarms of people drooled over the many wonderful things they offered.

Sean and Nathan with cards
Nursery manager Nathan Limprecht shows owner, Sean Hogan, just how many tickets he's acquired as each one represented one full box of plants in the hold area!! You can see it in their faces, it was such a fun time for everyone.

Schefflera delavayi for sale
One of the highlights of their superb selection is their batch of the elusive, hardy and rare Schefflera delavayi. Sure, you may be paying $32 for a one gallon pot with, essentially, a seedling with just a few leaves, but the wait for this extraordinary plant has been so long, it was just exciting to see it finally out here for people to plant.

Remember what this plant will look like:

Schefflera delavayi landscape

So, here's my humble haul. Got a few things for myself and few things for clients.

Riz Purchase

I went nuts on a few Epimediums, got some Melianthus and ferns for a client....
sigh...more pics own my Flicker page.


  1. Thought that was you behind the Cistus booth! Glad that the sale didn't disappoint.

  2. Boy, now you've got me even more eager for this weekend's Florabundance sale! I've never been to it, but I saw you're on the list of vendors. I hope it's even close to as good as the OR show looks! See you on Saturday.

  3. Looks amazing, I'm drooling over the selection! Did you sell plants as well, or just go as a visitor?

  4. I just went as a visitor and helped out the guys from Cistus and random people who were willing to hear me ramble on about the coolest plants they absolutely HAD to have!

  5. Hey, that's Loree from Danger Garden who already commented here! I was just going to send you a link to her blog, where she talked about the sale and had a great quote, not exactly an "old lady fight" but pretty close...

  6. Thanks for the link, Karen. Cool blog she has and great pics from the sale!!