Although this could very well be a picture of me finding a new treasure at a favorite nursery, it's actually an illustration by David Catrow for a children's book called Plantzilla.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Rare Plant Research Annual Spring Open

So, way back in May, after shopping at Marbott's I met my pal Loree at her Danger Garden to have a plant shopping play date.  Our first stop together was the Rare Plant Research annual public open.  A wholesale grower of unusual plants, RPR is only open to the public once a year and visiting the sale has become a bit of a tradition.  Previous posts with more information here. Both Loree and I were in the market for a few bromeliads and as we parked we joked that this guy had bought all of the ones we wanted.  Why didn't we get there sooner?  Let me just say that I know how to get to Loree's from Marbott's but let the lady in the phone tell me where to go.  It seemed like I was going the wrong way but sometimes the GPS knows a better route.  It became apparent that something was amiss as I crossed the bridge back into Washington State.  Did you know that there's an address identical to Loree's  in Vancouver, WA.  Oops.

 Fortunately there were still plenty of plants for us!

Euphorbia  mammillaris

Aechmea odorata

 Cryptanthus 'Elaine'

Agave americana variegata

Aeonium 'Sunburst'  

Gasteraloe 'Ox Tongue' 

More Echeveria than you can shake a stick at.

You want to be pretty careful walking through a field of opuntia!

Scadoxus puniceus just beginning to bloom.  Glorious flower for a while. The meh foliage of mine is now about five feet tall, has produced offsets and is once again setting seed. It's hardy to zone 7 but needs excellent drainage.

More agave.

Loved the color of this stressed specimen.  

Canna 'Tropicanna' 

This sphere came home with me.  Still haven't found a really good place for it. 

"Once, ownership of this banana was restricted to Hawaiian royalty, but today anyone can own one. Despite its widespread release, Musa 'Ae Ae' is still one of the most highly sought-after bananas for ornamental purposes."  -Description from Plant Delights Nursery.

Part of Burl's personal collection of caudiciforms, what Alison (Bonney Lassie) calls "Fat bottomed girls."


An even bigger specimen. These are so gorgeous. I've kept mine alive for a couple of years but it doesn't look as good as either of these. 

Inside the solarium. 

Folks enjoying themselves.  The grounds are also home to a winery, Villa Catalana Cellars, and wine is available by the bottle or glass.  No wonder everyone was in such a good mood.

Recent studies have shown that a moat and a dragon are a greater deterrent to potential burglars than posted home security signs.

Loree and I got a few things and there were still more nurseries to visit!
Plant shopping is so much more fun with an enabler like-minded plant enthusiast, don't you think?


  1. What a gorgeous setting. The "foliage" colors of the plants you guys can grow makes for such colorful gardens without even thinking of flowers. Looking forward to seeing what you do with that container.

  2. Oh gosh, I forgot all about your detour back to Washington! What a fun day with lots of amazing plants.

  3. After seeing your photos, I think it's safe to say that guy left you plenty to choose from. Thanks for the shout-out! It looks like that was a fun day. I will make it back there some day. Those draped concrete containers are cool, I've seen directions online for how to make them, maybe next year's July Fourth project for you and Chris?

  4. The grounds that are so gorgeous and the bountiful availability of rare plants was enough for the two of you to be in a good mood, wine not necessary.

  5. A lot of beautiful things to see in the pictures.
    I loved the different pots of plants.
    Good continuation of the week.

  6. What a wonderful place, gardeners heaven! and those water lilies are just gorgeous!

  7. It's always wonderful to see those grounds - and I'm glad you didn't omit the dragon.

  8. Every plant looks so exotic. The colors are gorgeous. I love those concrete balls and planters. Can't wait to see what you do with yours. I would love to just stroll around there and look at everything...with a glass of wine of course. I would be seeing dragons everywhere and thinking I could grow anything available. Yes, sounds like fun place.

  9. Beautiful views! And those Euphorbias and various potted plants are luscious! This post makes me want to go plant-shopping again. Stop it. You're tempting me!

  10. I don't need any more of these exotic plants, but your photos make me want to go buy them anyway. What a fabulous place.

  11. You didn't consider renting a U-Haul for the occasion?

  12. Wow, so unfair. I was first thinking lucky you with all those plants for sale, then I thought lucky you when the displays started rolling in, then even luckier you when you hit the conservatory, and then got irritated when you hit the winery, dragons, moat, and all the landscaping! What a cool place, I think I vaguely remember the dragon and house from last time you visited but still its amazing to see it all new! Sounds like a fun day.


Thanks so much for taking the time to comment! I love to hear your thoughts.