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The Gossler Farms fall 2020 catalog is out with some brand new plants and restocked favorites. Gossler Farms’ plants typically have all that heart-melting green lushness and fiery fall drama ??? that feel like classic Pacific Northwest gardens, with plenty of hard-to-resist collectors’ plants sprinkled in for good measure. I’m not one to resist the urge to do a little fantasy shopping of my own while updating our catalog with the latest. Why fight love?

Cornus canadensis (Creeping Dogwood)

Cornus canadensis by Rober H. Mohlenbrock Public Domain
Cornus canadensis by Robert H. Mohlenbrock
Cornus canadensis by Walter Siegmund CCSA3
Cornus canadensis by Walter Siegmund CCSA-3

There’s something about a good groundcover. When I’m really happy with my garden, it’s because every inch of soil is occupied with something that makes me swoon. A carpet of 6″ tall dogwood that lights up with white dogwood “flowers” (but really bracts) in spring and summer, followed by red berries, then blushing with burgundy fall foliage? LOVE. Are they fussy about wanting humusy acidic woodland soil? Are they frustratingly unsuitable for warm humid gardens? Perhaps. But if you have a spot that can make them happy, they’re a bit of woodsy magic.

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Daphniphyllum macropodum

Daphniphyllum macropodum by Danger Garden
Daphniphyllum macropodum by Danger Garden

I definitely have a type. Tropical-looking broadleaf evergreens that keep some summer vibes in the garden all year long. They KILL me. I’ve slept on this one too many times and it always sells out before I get my hands on one of my own. There’s a fresh batch this fall, so I definitely need to get on it this time.

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Magnolia officinalis var. biloba (Chinese Magnoia)

Magnolia officinalis var. biloba by salicyna ccsa4
Magnolia officinalis var. biloba by Salicyna-CCSA

Again, with the unusual foliage. DYING. How cool/unexpected are these Magnolia leaves? Oh yeah, I guess I should mention the classic white Magnolia flowers. There are lots of Magnolias to love, but these fishtail leaves are something special.

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Rodgersia aesculifolia var. henricii (Fingerleaf Rodgersia)

Rodgersia aesculifolia var. henricii by Daderot
Rodgersia aesculifolia var. henricii by Daderot

Rodgersia aesculifolia var. henricii by Daderot
Rodgersia aesculifolia var. henricii by Daderot

At the risk of being repetitive, LOOK AT THE LEAVES!!! I’ve never been able to resist big bold textured leaves. I’ve never met a Rodgersia I didn’t like. There are worse vices.

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Nandina domestica ‘Filamentosa’ (San Gabriel Heavenly Bamboo)

One of my favorite ways to really show off foliage plants is contrast. Big and bold next to fine and feathery. I love the hairy texture on this unique Nandina. And can we talk about how cool it is to have an evergreen presence with fall and winter like this? That’s a hardworking foliage plant. I’ve got the fever.
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Grevillea victoriae ‘Murray Valley Queen’

grevillea murray valley queen flower and foliage by danger garden
Grevillea ‘Murray Valley Queen’ by Danger Garden

I get so excited about leaves, but I would be remiss if I didn’t remember to give some love to a Grevilea that magically blooms it’s evergreen head off all winter long, and pretty much year round. Seriously, if you find your garden blah in winter, maybe you’re missing out on a hummingbird magnet like this.
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Pleione ‘Alishan’ (Orchid)

I didn’t expect to come across Pleinoe Orchids in the Gossler Farms catalog. They’ve had Bletillas before now, but orchids are not their typical fare. Roger Gossler is a true plant lover and always comes up with a few surprises. I’m not much of an orchid expert so I had to look these up, and found some really good info on the Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden site. Seems like magic that these can grow outdoors, but apparently Pleione are good for a sheltered spot outside, hardy to 5°F growing in moss on the ground, on trees, and on rocks. But they can also be grown as a houseplant, which blows my mind. I always imagine orchids being beyond my ability, but this is pretty interesting, I may be giving them a spin.
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Chusquea gigantea

Chusquea gigantea by Daderot Public domain
Chusquea gigantea by Daderot

Speaking of surprise collector’s plants, I think this one is pretty exciting, and probably not very well known. While I have one running bamboo that I love, it’s definitely more work to keep it where it belongs, while my clumping bamboos, including Chusquea culeo, basically are maintenance-free unless I decide to do a clean-up pruning. However, the hardy clumpers are most often shorter and more vase-shaped and droopy. So this clumper with a tall solid culm, it’s just really really good. This is exciting. There aren’t a whole lot, so they’ll probably go quickly. I’m definitely going to be looking for a vacant spot for one of these. And seriously, if you’re considering one, it should go in the ground. It doesn’t like the higher soil temps in a container.

One of our other contributors, Red Panda Nursery (fka LeBeau Bamboo) says this:

It is one of the few clumping timber bamboos hardy enough to be grown in zone 7 or 8, where most other clumpers tend to be far smaller in stature. Older groves can reach 50 feet in height, although 25 to 45 feet with two inch diameter canes is more normal. One of the greatest assets of Chusquea gigantea is that the canes are completely solid, unlike most species of bamboo, making it one of the best species for medium size timber production. The canes are frequently used in construction projects such as building greenhouses and out buildings, as well as smaller crafts such as bamboo door mats or decking.

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Where to stop? How about just one more?

Doodia media

I don’t think there’s any such thing as too many ferns and I already have a lot, but none that push reddish new fronds fairly late in the season. There’s definitely room to tuck one of those in. There are only a few of these available, so they won’t be around all season long.
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Next up, we have a new catalog from Cistus Nursery, and we’ll round up some highlights of the new arrivals soon, but you can get a sneak peek now.

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