Monday, February 11, 2013

The Dream of the 90s Is Alive...Part 2 (Portland's Yard, Garden & Patio Show)

Mainly in the interest of reminding my future self after my present self forgets, below are the highlights from the talks given by Dan Hinkley & Sean Hogan at Portland's Yard, Garden, & Patio Show this past Saturday.  These guys are on the cutting edge of bringing rare or recently discovered species of plants into cultivation.  Dan Hinkley spoke mainly on foliage plants he has found success with in his Indianola garden near Seattle.

Perennials/Ground Covers:
Lilium nepalense - A lily with giant ground-facing chartreuse blooms with a deep, dark red center.
Dierama pendulum - Evergreen grass-like plant with drooping sprays of pink/magenta bell-shaped flowers in summer.
Rheum australe - Odd looking ornamental rhubarb.
Rheum palmatum 'Atrosanguineum' - An ornamental rhubarb with iridescent purplish-green undersides to the leaves.
Podophyllum pleianthum - High-gloss tropical-looking shade perennial that looks like the perfect plant for gnomes to live under.
Podophyllum delavayi - I desperately need this one.
Mukdenia rossii 'Crimson Fans' - A low-growing, clumping foliage plant that starts out green in the spring before gradually turning to red from the tips of the leaves inward.  The grand finale happens in October with a brilliant, almost florescent, kaleidoscope of fall color.
Disporum cantoniense 'Night Heron' - Evergreen Chinese fairy bells with black foliage & chartreuse flowers.  It also happens to be a Great Plant Pick.
Disporum cantoniense 'Green Giant' - Dies back in the winter but the bamboo-like shoots in the spring are very intriguing and exotic.  Reaches six feet tall.
Beesia deltophylla - An evergreen woodland ground cover with dark, glossy leaves.
Melianthus major 'Purple haze' - Just click on it.  A picture of it is 1000 times better than words.
Nolina 'La Sibirica' - Like a yucca with longer, thinner, spikier leaves.
Fascicularia bicolor - One of the hardiest (if not the hardiest) bromeliads, all the way down to 15 F/-10 C).

Pittosporum tenuifolium 'County Park Dwarf' - Hardy to around 10-15 degrees, this is one of those elusive evergreen shrubs with black-purple foliage that stands a chance of surviving outside in a temperate climate.
Schefflera delavayi - If you're going to grow one hardy schefflera, grow this one.
Schefflera taiwaniana - If you're going to grow two hardy scheffleras (and you should), grow a delavayi and a taiwaniana.  Both have proven to be reliably if not completely hardy in temperate climates such as west of the Cascades or Western Europe.  Dan said he is currently growing seven different species of hardy scheffleras outside.  This is good information because I now know I need to find eight species of scheffleras to grow in order to beat him.
Quercus robur 'Concordia' - Oak tree with impossibly yellow foliage all year.
Cornus controversa 'Variegata' - Looks like a giant wedding cake.

Actinidia kolomikta - Kiwi relative with green, white, and pink deciduous foliage.
Actinidia polygama - Another variegated kiwi.  This one has fragrant flowers.
Vitis coignetiae - Ornamental grape with brilliant fall foliage.


Sean Hogan also spoke about his favorite plants, focusing on ones that have been tested and vetted in his Portland-area garden and deemed reliably resilient to extreme or weird weather.  This is where rare & exotic meets tried & true.  Here are some of the plants he discussed:

Aristolochia sempervirens - Small, evergreen Dutchman's pipe vine.  Would look great growing up a windmill palm.
Calycanthus occidentalis - Deciduous shrub with burgundy flowers that smell of...burgundy!
Nerine bowdenii 'Silver Pink' - South African bulb that blooms in the fall.
Arctostaphylos canescens - Evergreen shrub native to Oregon.
Cyclamen odoratum - A rare, hardy cyclamen.
Ipheion uniflorum 'Rolf Fiedler' - Low growing perennial with blue flowers in spring.
Echium russicum - This very hardy echium shoots up red flower spikes in the summer.  It is somewhere in between a biennial and perennial.
Eucalyptus pauciflora ssp. lacrimans - Evergreen blue-foliaged tree from the Blue Mountains in AustraliaThey don't call them the Blue Mountains for nothing!
Pittosporum tenuifolium 'Irene Paterson' - Small evergreen shrub with marbled white & green foliage.  New growth is almost completely white.
Magnolia insignis - Red-flowering evergreen magnolia.
Daphne x transatlantica 'Alba Everblooming' - This plant is supposedly in flower 12 months out of the year.  On top of that, it is fragrant and of course has evergreen foliage.
Trachelospermum asiaticum - A fragrant Jasmine vine with yellow-centered white flowers.
Camellia transnokoensis - A well-behaved camellia that does not drop massive piles of flowers all over the place.
Osmanthus fragrans 'Fudingzhu' - Fragrant evergreen shrub.
Hedychium coccineum 'Tara' -  If you're looking for a reliably hardy, reliably blooming fragrant ginger, look no further.
Abutilon 'Victory' - Evergreen shrub with red & yellow flowers.
Ficus afghanistanica - Silvery-leaved fig tree.

Well, that took a lot longer than I was expecting!  I will continue tomorrow with the cool plants I picked up at the show...


  1. Thanks so much for this great post with the links! If one weren't familliar with a plant, the links would be quite helpful! I know that you currently work as a teacher but did you formerly work at a certain well-known nursery in Kingston?

    1. I will try to do this more often. I find myself going back into previous posts and copying and pasting names a lot into google so this should hopefully save some time!

  2. Thanks for posting all the plant links. I enjoyed Dan's class on Saturday as well and am quite unfamiliar with many of those he spoke about!

    1. No problem. I found them on the internet, now I just have to find them in real life...