Showing posts with label Erik Petersen. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Erik Petersen. Show all posts

Sunday, September 15, 2013

EMERGENT comes together: A new group bringing young horticultural professionals together

After the issue of Organic Gardening magazine (that had me in it!) came out, a group was formed on Facebook to help connect young horticultural professionals online and the name "EMERGENT" was introduced and we've begun to explore who we are, what we can do, what we're promoting, and also, "why?"

There have been  multiple discussions online via Google Chats, Facebook Messenger and texts and we've all been suggesting that we have a get together in person should the right opportunity present itself.

So, the Farwest Show in Portland, OR was right around the corner. This industry trade show brings in people from across the US for meetings, seminars, and the ever popular "schmooze fest"! Realizing that a handful of people would be there, we started to organize an informal "meet and greet".

With plants being the common bond we all share, I immediately thought about Xera Plants's new retail site in Portland and asked if they would host us. Greg and Paul warmly welcomed our group and had our informal gathering!

There were many familiar faces and a few I met for the very first time in person that I met via Facebook. Western Washington was well represented with my buddies Matthew Berberich, Preston Pew, Justin Galicic, and Meagan McManus Haskins.
Matt, Justin and fellow plantsman Erik Peterson from Oregon
Kelly on the right and Jared on the left checking out succulents at Xera
Also in attendance is the remarkable Kelly Norris who is the Horticulural Manager at the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden in Iowa. He is a very well known speaker, published author (which reminds me, I need to plant my Bearded Irises very soon!) and such an advocate of the up and coming generation of gardeners. Then there's Jared Barnes, who we've dubbed "The Reverend Doctor Barnes", that I finally had the great pleasure of meeting in person. This is a young man studying floriculture at North Carolina State University and is quite a character! Super nice guy, too!

Check Jared out as "SuperSeed!"  Now, you'll have to think back to your basic biology/botany classes to find it really funny, but WOW, what a courageous and enthusiastic guy!

Another young "EMERGENT" I met and actually helped me get this meeting together is a young lady named Crystal Johnson-Cady from Salem, OR. She was a busy woman coordinating speakers for the Farwest Show for the Oregon Association of Nurseries and is a proud graduate of Oregon State University studying botany and plant pathology. Her venture, Sunflower Acres Farm and Garden, is shaping up to be another busy, but exciting endeavor!

It was incredible meeting everyone this this group. I gave a little speech and acknowledged just how incredible it was to be a part of such a talented and hard working group. Each person had their own specialties, their own personalities, and I mentioned just how important their contributions are to the future of our industry. I'm so glad that I'm not alone in my aspirations.

This was just a small gathering of who's out there as there are many more across the nation, but I hope these types of gatherings continue to occur in all the different regions of not just the nation, but also around the world. We have the technology and resources to send out information much quicker than ever before and it's vital that these meet-and-greets IN PERSON events are held.  It's great to know who's who, who specializes in what and also just learn from on another to keep us driven and motivated!


Saturday, March 17, 2012

Garden Shinanigans in Oregon Part 4: Doing the Dance of Oaks

It has been a real plant guys trip as we next hit up the boys over at Dancing Oaks Nursery.

I've heard so much about this nursery, purchased many of their plants and I met Fred last season at a North American Rock Garden Society meeting where I purchased some awesome things! So, it was really quite a treat to be able to see (AND SHOP at) their remarkable nursery and extensive display gardens. I also got to meet Leonard, a true plant fanatic!

Dancing Oaks guys
From left to right: Fred Weisensee, Matt, Leonard Foltz, and Erik soaking up the sunbreak and chatting plants before we raided their nursery and scored some wonderful plants!

Dancing Oaks 2Much like the O'byrnes, they have excellent bones and structure in their landscape. They have this stunning plot of land in the Willamette Valley that's just so rich and it really is an excursion to get to, but WOW.

Dancing Oaks 7
Though most of the wonderful herbaceous collections they have are dormant and marked only by blue flags to denote their location, the paths and the existing structures really help define what really is a remarkable garden that is really diverse in a way that people can re-create a lot of the elements in which they integrated in their landscape. With a basic bedding scheme like this simpled edged in stone, you can create an extravagant woodland garden just PACKED with treasures!

Dancing Oaks 8 focal point to pondThey also use conifers effectively and I love the simple stonework of the formal path that leads to a future focal point, which, I believe is a grand stand of HUGE Gunnera manicata aka DINOSAUR FOOD!

Dancing Oaks Hellebores with Bamboo

There were more Hellebores to be found and this patch growing amongst a grove of crook-stemmed bamboo was quite attractive.

So, luckily, Matt drove and brought his work truck so we could get as many plants in as we could. And boy did we PACK IT!!!

Dancing Oaks packing truck
Complete with the O'Byrne's Hellebores, We strategically loaded it up! No, we weren't done loading yet! LOL!

Dancing Oaks Matt packs it in
As determined Matt was to get EVERYTHING in, he had to leave behind a few plants that Fred and Leonard would graciously bring up to Washington on their next speaking/plant selling engagement.

Dancing Oaks 6
So, I thought this was their house. Nope. It's actually their guest house. Freakin' unbelievable.

Kitchen at Dancing Oaks Nursery
They warmed up their guests with tea and baked goods in a most awesome kitchen that I'd want someday. Look at that open space and the island could also serve as a demonstration platform to give talks, lectures and even film a television show!!!

At Dancing Oaks Nursery with the guys
Fred kindly took this photo of us, but the group photo of all of us turned out blurry. I always strive to capture moments I want to remember, but all the more reason to return and pay the guys another visit and buy more plants for myself and client projects.

Dancing Oaks rainbow 2

We were then treated to a nice rainbow that graced the nursery and garden making for a wonderful ending to a most awesome trip.

This is a definition of a true, retail NURSERY. It's not a garden center where you can find all your tools, composts, gloves, pots, fertilizers, aprons and other crap like that. It's an actual place where plants are grown, propagated, evaluated and truly take centerstage. OH, BUT THEY'VE GOT SOME OF THE BEST ORGANIC EGGS EVER!!  $3.50 for a wonderful dozen of assorted eggs, which Matt taught me how to fry them "over easy". Hhahhaha

Good times...good times....

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Garden Shinanigans in Oregon Part 3: ID'ing the Unknown (Like, I'm suppose to know?)

So, here's a little clip I took of the guys wanting to show me something at Ernie and Marietta's garden at Northwest Garden Nursery in Eugene, OR.

This is just a hint of what happens when plant geeks get together and spend time in the garden.

Matt is always pushing me, I swear!

At Dancing Oaks with the guys

Next installment is where this pic was taken. Visiting the guys at Dancing Oaks Nursery!!


Saturday, March 3, 2012

Garden Shinanigans in Oregon Part 2: Not just Hellebores

After the drool fest and automatic debiting of our bank cards, we strolled the grounds of Ernie and Marietta's garden and, again, were treated to something truly special and awe inspiring.

NWGN grass focal point

"Every great garden as great bones" Penelope Hobhouse once said. Their garden is certainly no exception to this statement; it's actually a fine example of it. In the dead of winter, a garden doesn't need to be flat and barren. Having structural elements and shapes, focal points and other objects which direct the eye make for a successful landscape. I included this photo with the guys in the rear so you get a sense of depth and scale. You see a pedestal as a focal point with a fluffy Carex that makes for a simple yet, very effective focal point and on the right, notice the strong, bold anchor that a columnar cypress creates.

I was taught that if you take a black and white photo of a landscape, you can better define these elements and you can really see what holds a landscape together. It's not just the pretty flowers, lush foliage, the color, the texture of it all, it's these bold lines and shapes that make for the foundation of a landscape.

Notice how the rare winter sunlight illuminates the form, structure, and then you get a bit of texture enhanced as the contorted branches become more evident. Notice the small mounds made up of conifers and, in the previous photo above, ornamental grasses.  With curving paths and simple rocks staggered about, it makes for a pleasant stroll during a cold, but bright winter's day.

Here are some more captivating scenes from their garden:

Look at this remarkable composition: the height achieved in the background with vertical elements set off by the bright winter foliage of a yellow-needled shore pine Pinus contorta 'Chief Joseph'. And in the foreground, you see their simple rock work with a few mounds of evergreen ornamental grasses and dwarf conifers.  THAT'S ALL YOU NEED and you can have a fabulous garden that looks this great year round!

NWGN Yucca with frosted bananas
Even with the remaining foliage of the hardy banana, this photograph illustrates another simple yet effective composition with the variegated yucca flanked by heaths and heathers. In a way, you almost don't notice how ugly the banana is at this time of year.

One of my favorite features of this garden is their spectacular bamboo screen. Meticulously maintained so it doesn't take over all of Eugene, OR, it is a remarkable sight to see. I love the contrast of the aging, multi-stemmed tree against the fine texture and vertical lines of the back-lit bamboo and having the empty containers there

NWGS Container anchor
Very important to have  a rest in the garden, both physically with the bench in place anchored by a large container as a "companion", but also a visual rest from everything else that's going on. It may be winter, but there are still a lot of things to see so these wide paths play an important role.

Levels are important especially in these large beds so there's a sense of depth, scale and each plant specimen or planting scheme is

NWGN Yuccas and Euphorbias

Hellebores in the garden 2
And naturally, the woodlands are inundated with Hellebores!!
Hellebores in the garden with conifers in back Hellebores in the garden

Friday, March 2, 2012

Garden Shinanigans in Oregon Part 1: HELLEBORE HOOPLA

Discussing LinderaA recent trip to Oregon offered many wonderful moments and much needed down time with close friends and colleagues. My buddy, Matt Berberich, a fellow landscape professional up in Port Townsend, met up with me for a plant guy's weekend joined with one of this friends and former classmate at Longwood Gardens, Erik Petersen. Erik is an avid plant collector, specialty nurseryman and recently has taken a position with Oregon Garden, a botanic garden in Silverton, OR.

I sort of spearheaded the trip down to Oregon with the main objective that we pay Ernie and Marietta O'Byrne of Northwest Garden Nursery in Eugene a visit to see (and yes, buy) some of their fabulous Winter Jewels® Hellebores!!! I've blogged about their Hellebores each winter and a visit to their gardens about two years ago. I can't say enough about how incredible their plants are: the well designed and maintained their gardens and what wonderful people that they are.

Hellebore Shopping
 Hellebore Plate at Northwest Garden Nursery
Despite the most erratic and sometimes miserable weather we endured during the drive and even upon arriving at the garden, they seemed quite busy with a flurry of Hellebore enthusiast looking over their remarkable nursery stock turning each nodding flower up to observe and admire the exquisite colors, shapes. and forms of what really are the jewels of the winter garden landscape.

Matt checks out black and white hellebores        . 

Helleborus 'Apricot Blush' 1
Apricot Blush strain
Double Painted strain

Helleborus Rose Quartz 5
Rose Quartz strain

Helleborus 'Amethyst Gem' 2
Amethyst Gem
Helleborus 'Harlequinn Gem' 1
Harlequin Gem

Helleborus Jade Star 1
Jade Star strain

Helleborus Cherry Blossom reverse (2)
Cherry Blossom strain reverse
Helleborus Cherry Blossom group
Cherry Blossom strain

Helleborus 'Painted' 1
Painted strain
That was just a handful of the many wonderful selections they have. Marietta kindly let me through their breeding houses to check out the next generation of Winter Jewels® and boy was I in for a treat. TALK ABOUT BEING LIKE A KID IN A CANDY STORE!!

Helleborus 'Peppermint Ice' in stock house close up

Helleborus 'Golden Sunrise' in stock house 2

Helleborus stock house with double purple close up


Helleborus Rose Quartz 2

It was such a treat to be allowed to see these creations. AND EVEN MORE TEMPTING to select a few to take home!! So, Matt and I selected a few: he picked out some for a client, for his own garden and a special selection for his partner, Rebecca. I shopped for myself to have a few of these plants grace Landwave Gardens. This was our opportunity to meet with Ernie and Marietta and just share in the joy and love for plants and gardens. I'm always inspired and end up just feeling good when I visit!

Checking out

Next on this series, a tour through their amazing gardens!!!