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Need Nursery Scout in Washington State

  • Subject: [cg] Need Nursery Scout in Washington State
  • From: Adam36055@aol.com
  • Date: Wed, 28 May 2003 08:44:15 EDT


I'd generally write a nursery catalogue piece in the deep of winter, when the 
Clinton Community Garden is blanketed in white, the only signs of plant life 
being the heilbores, snow shrouded topiary, decorative cabbages and the cheery 
steam in  plastic compost bins, chugging away like locomotives in a blizzard 
towards the promise of Spring, waved on by the snowmen that miraculously 
appear when we have a school snow day. 

I guess my mind was too much on Mr. Bush's war, job hunting and the almost 
daily shovelling of our garden's  75 foot sidewalk frontage ( "Yo, if you don't 
get out there and shovel with me, somebody's gonna slip and sue! Yeah, the 
lady will make some hot chawuk-lit [note: NewYorkesese] like last year. Now get 
your %@!! out here and that son of yours playing the video games.  Thanks!")

In the "library" this morning, I was reading through a pile of garden 
catalogues that I keep on a small storage hamper we keep under the sink.  I'm mostly 
planted, veggie and perennial wise, but budgeting being what it is, I'm 
generally looking for closeouts and that special plant that I need for Father's Day 
more than a tie. 

While I buy from them far less than I'd want to, I savor the plant 
descriptions in the Heronswood Nursery Catalog, sort of like going to the boat show and 
looking in the yacht cabins when I read of rarities like "Stubberfieldia 
stubbedhertoeii  hardiness zone number: z8 ; pot size d2" plant code 01234 Price 

In all seriousness, most of the stuff in the catalogue, like the climbing 
hydrangea that I bought from them and other perennials run in the $8 - $15 range. 
 While I start some stuff on my windowsill at home, and buy primarily from 
farmer's market plantsmen, this catalog is such a reading pleasure in the 
"library", I'll forswear another tie this year. 

The owner seems to be an interesting guy. He  lists the CVs of his  garden 
workers up front: 

"Alan Hanson, maintenance and safety manager, since 1991

Alan moves with the grace of a gazelle while exhibiting the force of a 
migrating herd of wildebeest.  There is something both unflappable as well as 
unstoppable about his approach to work that has made his accomplishments at  and his 
value to Heronsfield legendary.  There is nary a task that we challenge him 
to take on that he does not complete with aplomb, wit and a gentle and friendly 
disposition.  My suggestion to anyone wanting a clone of Alan; get in line.

Favorite Plant Partners:  Taiwana cryptomeriodes, Miscanthus sinensis 
'Morning Light " ; and on for several pages before we read plant descriptions like, 

"Clematis sp. DJHC 0168  zone 6; pot size d2"; No. 00789;  $12.00

I collected the seed of this trifoliate species, with individual leaflets 
unlobed and possessing a bluish green hue, in NW Yunnan Province in the autumn of 
2000.  The seeds were presnt in large but not abundant seed heads.  Having 
now collected Clematis in this region of the planet on three occasions, I have 
garnered the knowledge of not so much as what to collect but what NOT to 
collect.  Though I do not know its name, I do know this to be a good species worthy 
of cultivation, found growing with  Rheum alexandrae, Polygonatum 
cirrhifolium, Smiliacina henryi, Primula sikkimensis and P. secundiflora.  Ranuncilaceae  

Truly this is rather heady stuff for a community gardener like me who has 
potted lillies cadged over the years from the McManus Brother's Funeral Parlor 
growing in his bed (fyi: they were put out in the trash - I did not swipe them 
from a display next to the dearly departed.) 

Heronswood is so rarefied, they take visits by appointment only: 

Heronswood Nursery
730 NE 288th St.
Kingston, WA 98346
Phone: (360) 297-4172
Fax: (360) 297-8321
e-mail: info@hersonwood.com
Website: www.heronswood.com

Could some nice Washington State community gardener please check them out 
sometime and report to the list what they saw?  The place sounds really 
intriguing.  I never saw a $2,000 fern before and I wonder if it has bells, or pours 
you a cup of tea or something.

Best wishes, 
Adam Honigman
 <A HREF="http://www.clintoncommunitygarden.org/";>Clinton Community Garden</A>


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