Friday, April 20, 2012

Nerd Night Nuttiness

The first annual Plant Nerd Night was a flora fest of Portlandian proportions, being based off a similar event held in Portland every year.  In a nutshell, it was a one-night flower show for plant addicts.

When I went to buy tickets for the event two months ago, it had already sold out.  The only way I was able to attend was by volunteering.

I worked here, offering guests free wine before setting them loose to hound and hoard the many rare plants being offered for sale.

The evening was hosted by Ciscoe Morris and featured six 10-minute lectures by some proven plant nerds: Richie Steffen of the Miller Garden, Paul Bonine of Xera Plants, Sue Milliken & Kelly Dodson of Far Reaches Farm, Dan Hinkley of Windcliff, Langley Fine Gardens, and Joy Creek Nursery (I didn't get the names of the last two speakers unfortunately).

A Portlandian choir called the Chorus of the Goddess Flora serenaded us with songs such as "The Bed of Asparagus" (to the tune of The Age of Aquarius) and sang the speakers off the stage when they exceeded their allotted speaking time.

Chorus of the Goddess Flora
In between speakers, or even during, people were able to roam around and buy some amazing plants.  Here are just a few:

Trillium grandiflorum 'Flore Pleno'
I have a feeling Far Reaches Farm didn't want to sell this trillium.  Instead of saying "For Display Only" they simply put a price tag on it for $1500.

Boquila trifoliolata, Evergreen Chilean relative of Akebia vines
Schefflera alpina, reportedly hardy to 5 degrees
Berberis replicata, an evergreen barberry with deep red new growth
Cardamine trifolia, an evergreen mounding perennial
Eryngium bourgatii
Ruscus colchicus, an evergreen shrub
Perfect-looking agaves
I exercised a large amount of restraint and did not buy a single plant...something I'm already starting to regret!  Oh well.  If you didn't go this year be sure to keep an eye out for it next year.  I'm sure they will move to a bigger venue but if not, buy a ticket the day they go on sale!


  1. You did not buy a single plant? Wow....just wow. I was at Xera earlier today and bought two of those Eryngiums. Now if I could only find a Schefflera alpina...

    1. I wouldn't be surprised if Dan Hinkley has more for sale. It might be cheaper to travel to China and find your own though.