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Last week I shared photos from a visit to Sebright Gardens, this week we venture on to Dancing Oaks Nursery in Monmouth, Oregon. For those who live in Portland Dancing Oaks is a bit of a destination nursery — about an hour and a half south of town. It’s a beautiful drive though, once you get off the interstate.

So imagine you’ve completed that drive and you’ve just pulled into the parking lot. Here’s where things get complicated. Do you first wander the display garden? Or do you head to the hoop-houses and shop? Decisions, decisions…DO100

Okay I admit it. Shopping happened first during this visit — but I’m switching things up and taking you through the display garden, then we’ll shop a bit. You don’t mind do you?

I love visiting these Agaves, they’ve grown significantly since I first saw them. That label you can see below, on the left is for a different plant, I’ve never had certain ID on these but they might be A. parryi var. couesii or A. havardiana.

The serpentine terracotta chimney flue wall has grown.

As has this container creation.

Gunnera chilensis (I think) in the bog garden.

There is a large open patio which is used for events at the nursery. The display garden surrounding it is usually quite dense and lush, however since this visit fell on April 7th most things were just getting a start on the season.

The day was unseasonably warm for early April in Oregon (mid 80’s) — the Bamboo provided welcome shade.

The painted culms are a fun addition!

I’m not up on my Trillium species but maybe Trillium kurabayashii?

Okay enough admiring, let’s shop! Comptonia peregrina (Sweet Fern)

Rodgersia pinnata

Ligularia ‘Osiris Fantaisie’ with a photo bomb by Ligularia dentata ‘Britt-Marie Crawford’ and my feet (couldn’t crop them out and keep those fabulous big leaves!).

One for the lust list (because it’s not yet in production — trust me I ask, every time I visit) Aralia elata ‘Aureovariegata’…

And another…Epipactis gigantea ‘Serpentine Night’ — how did I not know this plant existed? Dancing Oaks description: “A scintillating duet of purple leaves and orange orchid flowers make this a must for any collector. See it and you will want it. I know, I’ve been there. Grows well to 16.” Click through to the plant lust website for some drool-worthy photos…(and believe it or not I left without one, but I’ll be fixing that mistake soon).

I suppose I should mention this and the last two images were from the “not for sale” area…*sigh*…

Illicium lanceolatum, isn’t that wonderful new growth?

Quercus dentata ‘Carl Ferris Miller’…leaves to 10″ long and great fall color, I bought one!

I looked all around inside this hoop-house trying to find the source for the intoxicating spicy fragrance. It was this Rhododendron ‘Coastal Spice’…who knew?

I’ll end this visit with the spring-green needles of Larix occidentalis (Western Larch)…

If you find yourself near Salem, Oregon, a visit to Dancing Oaks is in order. In the meantime did you see anything you can’t live without?