Last Friday, I went to my life’s second Plant Nerd Night. It is an annual plant geek revelry, hosted by Mike Darcy, local radio plant nerd extraordinaire, and sponsored by a number of great garden related companies. Both times I’ve been, the evening has centered around presentations by unique growers in our area who also bring some of their favorites in to sell. Interspersed between the presentations plants and items are raffled off to a few lucky people. The event is held at Lake Bible Church in Lake Oswego, and is popular enough to fill this huge church. Get there early – parking can be tricky if you’re late!
I got there about when it opened, and headed upstairs to keep an eye out for my friend and co-worker Gina, who was braving rush hour traffic to make it down after work.
An hour after the doors opened, the the presentation part of the program began. Nowadays, it starts with all the presenters singing the Flintstone song – with new lyrics by Linda Beutler. Kinda goofy, but all in good cheer… In previous years, there have reportedly been a plant nerd chorus which they – also reportedly – are trying to revive. Perhaps next year – I’ll be on the lookout for sure. Both times I’ve attended PNN, Mike Darcy has brought his grandson in to play the piano. All the presenters have a set time to run their spiel, and after that, the Sound of Music tune of “So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, goodbye” nudges them off the stage. It’s adorable!
Kelly and Sue – the fun plant hunters from Far Reaches Farm had made a video for their presentation, but there was some issues with the sound. No worries – they improvised the entire thing on stage – it was great! Among other goodies, they talked about this black-flowering clematis they had brought. Intrigued to no end, and although I hurried to their table afterwards, I was too late. The last two had just been snagged by Dancing Oaks and Sebright respectively. Oh well, I suppose that means that we will see them show up here and there in a year or two. A black Clematis… how cool is that??? Well worth waiting for!
Kristin from Hydrangeas Plus introduced her favorites, which of course were Hydrangeas. I like hydrangeas a lot – especially the mop heads, but have never really done well growing them. I have plenty of both dappled and dense shade, but I’m too stingy with the water to make them truly happy.
Roger Gossler did the presentation for Gossler Farms. Again, I fondled the dark-leaved Rhododendron (Ebony Pearl, I think) that I first saw at the YGP show, but again resisted. Pretty darn cool, though… The one that I very nearly fell for is the one below – a Stachyurus. Damn all logic to hell – I LOVE that one! Of course I have no room for it and buying one would be insane, because it would launch a huge garden edit I don’t have time for, but no matter… In my next garden, it will be one of the first to go in, and it will be in an honorary spot, for sure. It is so uber-cool with its long, dangly, green flowers.
And that, my friends, pretty much sums up Plant Nerd Night for this time. We left with our goodie bags, our complimentary bags of Black Gold, and new acquisitions, feeling rather pleased with our evening. Oh – one last fun thing; The following week a gentleman walked in to the nursery where I work. We got to talking, and it turns out he was Michael Snyder – the man that suggested to Mike Darcy that perhaps FM 101 KXL would want to take over the event when the Hoyt Arboretum decided they had had enough of it, after the two first years. The rest is, as you know, history. Pretty fun coincidence, huh? And guess what… He told me that during all these years, he has never won a single thing at the raffle. What a bummer! It made me feel much better about not having any luck either – if anyone should win something, it’s him!