Princely Pastures

My garden pal Evan – whom some of you might know as The Practical Plant Geek, if you follow his blog (which you should), organized a field trip for us bloggers to famed wholesale nursery Little Prince of Oregon, this past Saturday. I was so bummed to have to miss it, that I arranged my own visit two days later. Actually, as chance would have it, I had a client meeting in nearby Woodburn, so I invited myself to stop by on my way home. Mark – Supreme Maverick of Marketing – was kind enough to not only let me in, but also showed me around – even though I turned up at the end of the day and he probably had way more important things to do. But, as the Queen of Distraction, I prevailed, and I got the royal treatment.

Blue house.

I immediately got lost. On my previous visits, the offices had always been housed in this on-site construction hut-type structure at the far corner of the property. I parked in the usual place, walked around the corner, and saw the note on the door; “We’re in the blue house”. Yup, that made sense. I had noted the grand, new building as I drove in, but not made the connection. Which was stupid, because it was obvious – the members of the Princely Court are moving up in the world. The new offices were glorious!

Bright and cheery, with glassy expanses in all directions. Fresh, new plantings lining the path to the front door.

The inside behind the red door revealed a well-lit, communal office space with tall ceilings, held up with massive glulam beams spanning the distance. The interior was flooded with light. I loved the doors – there were two of them.

The second floor is the break room. A full kitchen with bar seating and plenty of counter space…

… large tables, and comfy seating to lounge on for a while. All enveloped in wonderful light!

The third floor sported but one desk. I figured this must be where the Prince hangs out.

Next to the desk was a door out to a generous terrace, from which the Prince and his visitors can survey the Kingdom. He has every right to be property proud. Straight ahead, are the greenhouses.

To the right, are more greenhouses., and the production and shipping facilities.

Looking to the left, you can see the tidy rows of greenhouses marching on the horizon…

… flanked by horses out to pasture! So wonderfully bucolic!

Down below, we walked through the hustle and bustle of the shipping area.

The plants are grown mostly unlabeled, and get their label when they are on their way out the door. This is the library of tags. I can just hear the shipping center mantra – Right Plant, Right Tag….

Here, orders are being assembled, and loaded onto trucks.

Don’t you just love the diffused light illuminating the space through the rolling waves of shade cloth?

Rows of the popular Eco-roof Bird Feeders waiting to go out.

Ground covers galore! I can’t get over how spotlessly clean this place is. Not a thing out of order – this place seems run on almost military perfection. It’s stunningly beautiful!

Here is where the propagation takes place. Tiny succulent cuttings will one day fill out their allotted space, and be ready to be transplanted into the next size up. Until they are ready to brave the world of the market place. Plants from Little Prince of Oregon cover table space in most every retail nursery as well as box stores and grocery stores here in the Pacific Northwest.

Another greenhouse shot. The door patterns is what captured my attention this time around. It almost looked like one of those eternity mirrors…

Delosperma ‘Fire Spinner’ lighting up the room. According to Mark, these are fantastic pollinator plants.

Once outside again, rows and rows of greenhouses to explore. They grow lots of different things, but the same plants usually stay in the same greenhouses from year to year. I imagine that makes it easier to remember what’s what – and where!

i just love the clean, quiet, rhythm of the pristine greenhouses. This nursery is incredibly well kept!

See all the pink flags? That means the plants are stock plants, and are used for propagation only. This is where the sweet stuff that will make us consumers ooh and aah next year, is contained.

Sempervivum ‘Braunii’ – adorable!

Row after glorious row…

Not sure which kind this is, but it had decided to flower in its little pot. So cute!

Anyway, a new client AND a visit to Little Prince. I had a very, nice Monday. Thanks Mark, for taking the time – I loved it! 🙂

About annamadeit

I was born and raised in Sweden, By now, I have lived almost as long in the United States. The path I’ve taken has been long and varied, and has given me a philosophical approach to life. I may joke that I’m a sybarite, but the truth is, I find joy and luxury in life’s simple things as well. My outlook on life has roots in a culture rich in history and tradition, and I care a great deal about environmental stewardship. Aesthetically, while drawn to the visually clean, functional practicality and sustainable solutions that are the hallmarks of modern Scandinavia, I also have a deep appreciation for the raw, the weathered, and the worn - materials that tell a story. To me, contrast, counterpoint, and diversity are what makes life interesting and engaging. Color has always informed everything I do. I’m a functional tetrachromat, and a hopeless plantoholic. I was originally trained as an architect working mostly on interiors, but soon ventured outside - into garden design. It’s that contrast thing again… An interior adrift from its exterior, is like a yin without a yang. My firm conviction that everything is connected gets me in trouble time and time again. The world is a big place, and full of marvelous distractions, and offers plentiful opportunities for inquiry and exploration. I started writing to quell my constant queries, explore my discoveries, and nurture my curiosity. The Creative Flux was started in 2010, and became a catch-all for all kinds of intersecting interests. The start of Flutter & Hum at the end of 2013 marks my descent into plant nerd revelry. I occasionally contribute to other blogs, but those two are my main ones. For sure, topics are all over the map, but then again - so am I! Welcome to my blogs!
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15 Responses to Princely Pastures

  1. Excellent photos of an mpressive place

    • annamadeit says:

      Thanks Derrick – it’s absolutely spotless, and they grow such great plants, from the more common to really unusual things. It was the first place I had ever seen Grevillea ‘Ivanhoe’, for example. Great place all around!

  2. cavershamjj says:

    I now have strong feelings of greenhouse inadequacy and envy. Theirs are also a LOT tidier than mine. Sigh…

  3. Peter/Outlaw says:

    An amazing facility! The blue house is awesome – I want to move in. What makes it even nicer to see Little Prince tags in plants in so many places is knowing how kind the folks behind the label are. One of these days I’d love to see the operation myself. So, did you buy anything?

    • annamadeit says:

      We discussed some options for a low-growing, evergreen, shade tolerant ground cover. Coming in, I was thinking Soleirolia soleirolii but Mark suggested super cute little Blechnum penna-marina. I’ll present them both to the clients. Once they decide, I’ll be back for one or the other – and probably something for me, too. I hadn’t intended to, but got there so late in the day, I didn’t want to complicate things (and encroach on their free time) by shopping. Next time… 🙂

  4. Alison says:

    So funny that you came two days later than the rest of us and got your post up sooner! It was the most amazing place. You got a nicer day, we had to shelter inside the blue house from a hailstorm. I wish I had taken Mark up on his offer to do a tour. I just wandered in a kind of daze. I never saw the boxes of tags or the eco-roof birdhouses. Great shots of the Semps!

    • annamadeit says:

      Thanks Alison! Yeah, if I don’t do it right away, it likely never happens. I STILL haven’t gotten a post up on Iseli, and that was last summer… One of these days… that was an amazing place too. We are so lucky to live where we do!

  5. Kris P says:

    It looks as though the business is doing well! One of my favorite nurseries, Sperling (Calabasas, CA), carried Little Prince plants and I was pleased to have to opportunity to pick up plants there 3-4 times a year when I made it up that way. But, sadly, Sperling closed a few years ago and I haven’t seen Little Prince offered anywhere else down my way. I just checked their website and didn’t turn up any sales outlets here. I hope they correct that omission – even if our drought is officially over, SoCal loves succulents!

    • annamadeit says:

      It’s really a beautifully run place! What a bummer they closed… I do hope someone else down there realizes how applicable their plants are to SoCal – Little Prince has tons of great succulents!

    • Mark Leichty says:

      Hi Kris, It’s Mark from Little Prince. I am working on some places down in So. Cal. I’ll keep you posted. You can also reverse engineer a deal with your favorite garden center and tell them about us!


  6. Okay I’m jealous! In my post (up today too) I mentioned that I wanted to sneak up to the top floor and go out on the balcony…and you did it! Thanks for the pictures, almost as good as being up there myself. Sorry you didn’t have time to buy…I bought so much!

    • annamadeit says:

      Ooh – what did you buy? Sorry you didn’t make it up there. It was definitely a great view. It reminded me of the roof tops of the old British manors, designed to let its owners’ survey their land. Next time… Heading over to your blog now, to see your take on LPoO.

  7. Pingback: The Practical Plant Geek: Nursery Visit

  8. Pingback: A Fistful of Ferns

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