Magazine article Sunset

Heavenly Nurseries in the Willamette Valley

Magazine article Sunset

Heavenly Nurseries in the Willamette Valley

Article excerpt

Dream plants, from perennials to antique roses

Welcome to horticultural paradise, where the beds are lined with gold and jewels, rose blossoms perfume the air, and perennials approach floral perfection. As Dorothy said to Toto, "I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore." Sure enough. But this Landscape of Oz is easy to find - in Oregon's Willamette Valley, where specialty nurseries grow the sorts of plants most gardeners dream about.

Follow our yellow brick road to Sunset's favorite nurseries between Scappoose and Cottage Grove. Many have inspiring display gardens, and each offers plants or seeds you're not likely to find anywhere else. If you're traveling on Interstate 5, it's easy to swing off to one or more of them. The nurseries are listed from north to south and numbered on the map at right. Call for directions or an appointment if needed.

A note to visitors from California: You can take home most Oregon-grown plants without certification, but persimmon trees are prohibited, and all cherries need treatment certificates from the Oregon Department of Agriculture. Pines, many nuts, and oaks may be admitted with origin certificates. Check with the nursery.

1. Joy Creek Nursery, Scappoose. A very strong collection of clematis sets the tone here, with lots of dianthus, hydrangeas, hostas, penstemons, and other perennials to complete the garden. See them all in 3 1/2 acres of display gardens, at their peak in August. Open 9-5 daily. 20300 N. W. Watson Rd.; (503) 543-7474.

2. Bovees Nursery, Portland. Bovees offers a fine collection of woodland perennials, with an emphasis on tropical Vireya rhododendrons (some bear warm-colored flowers this month). Open by appointment. 1737 S.W. Coronado St.; (503) 244-9341.

3. The Bamboo Garden. Milwaukie. If it's bamboo and grows in the Northwest, you'll probably find it here. By appointment. 13822 S.E. Oatfield Rd.; (503) 654-0024.

4. Porterhowse Farms, Sandy. Dwarf conifers (850 varieties) and a large selection of companion plants are offered by Lloyd Porter and Don Howse. By appointment. 41370 S.E. Thomas Rd.; (503) 668-5834.

5. Caprice Farm Nursery, Sherwood. Though Dot and Al Rogers specialize in peonies, this time of year you'll most appreciate their collection of daylilies and hostas. 10-4 Mon-Sat. 15425 S.W. Pleasant Hill Rd.; (503) 625-7241.

6. Hedgerows Nursery, McMinnville. Focusing on unusual ornamentals, owners David Mason and Susie Grimm are developing a demonstration garden and importing many plants from England. …

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