As it states in its brochure, Iseli Nursery sits at the bottom of Mount Hood in Boring, Oregon. The views surrounding the nursery are inspiring, and in the clouded light of midday, the effect was magical. However, I wish I could bring you “smell-a-vision.” The scent of pines, cypress, and cedars hung in the air.
The staff at Iseli were friendly and helpful. As we disembarked from the buses, they were all standing with signs for different areas or zones. Oklahoma was part of the Lower Plains. You could wander and take photos or you could follow your designated employee and learn more about which trees were best for your area.
You can guess which I did. I tried to follow. I really did, but there was so much to see, and I didn’t want to miss anything. I soon found myself wandering off on my own.
Iseli is the wholesale nursery were your local nursery gets their specialty conifers. Having plant withdrawal, I actually went yesterday to TLC, our local nursery, and Iseli tags abounded. They are especially known for their dwarf conifers and Japanese maples. They were one of the wholesale growers which anticipated smaller, urban gardens years ago, so they now corner the market on smaller conifers.
The sales office is surrounded by winding gardens filled with exotic conifers and other trees and shrubs. They also have the occasional grass and other perennials, but you definitely know where their focus lies. Demonstration tents were set up showing propagation of trees and the shaping of evergreens with clippers. It was fun to watch.
I stood near this beautiful Japanese maple, Acer palmatum, ‘Baby Lace’ trying to get the best closeup of its foliage. Steve Dobbs walked up too, and I asked him if he thought we could grow it in Oklahoma. He shook his head, but before he walked away, he smiled and said “I’d sure like to try though, wouldn’t you?”
Amen to that. I’ve never seen foliage so bright and so red. There were so many things I’d love to try in my garden, and I’m fortunate because the nursery was very generous. They sent six, different, dwarf conifers for us to try in our containers at home. These would resemble the fairy gardens they’d created at the nursery. There is one in the front of this photo on the left. I hope my little plants are all right. We shipped them via UPS, but the shipper sent mine via ground freight, so they won’t be here until tomorrow. I left most of the GWA garden swag for the local garden writers, but I do want those little shrubs and trees. I’ll let you know if they arrive alive.
If you’d like to read more Sunday Strolls, please head on over to The Quiet Country House, where more are listed.