U.S.A., Washington State. USDA zone 8a. Sunset climate zone 5

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Gossler Farms Nursery's Display Garden

Springfield, Oregon, April 2018

You need to see this place in person. And, be sure to have enough space in your car for plants. Also, leave that big dog at home because one big dog takes up space which can fit several nice plants. 
Come as early as the Nursery opens to have a chance to stroll its display garden. I mean, pick up a catalog, go through the greenhouses, discover unknown plants, get excited about finding the plants of your dreams, and then treat yourself to a walk through the garden.

It was such a beautiful day as there were no any distractions, and I purposely didn't bother to write down the names of the plants so I could just enjoy what I saw.
I was not even going to blog about this visit.  Because walking through the garden to enjoy it is one thing, and walking through the garden with an intention to blog about it, is a different thing. 
Since it was my first visit to the well-known Gossler Farms Nursery, I wanted just to discover it for myself.
 Oh boy, what a discovery it was!  A sunny spring day in a countryside itself is already a treat - blue sky, fresh air, birds' singing... But, add to it hundreds of plants - blooming, leafing, unfurling or just poking through the ground - and you have a piece of paradise! And, if many of those plants are those which you love or have in your own garden or want to have in your own garden - then, it gets even more exciting.
Going through the pictures at home, I realized that it would be a bad thing not to share them with fellow gardeners.
So, I am sharing these pictures with you.  If you have a chance, make plans to go to Springfield, Oregon and visit this Nursery and its display garden.

After walking these unpretentious, soft paths and looking around, you understand that it will be a different picture a month later when more plants come into play, and that summer will bring new discoveries, and fall will change the look of the garden again... and you tell yourself you should come here in summer and in fall.

Sycamore trees, you'll be green next time when I see you

Following is a history-related extract from the Nursery's website:

"Our family has been in the Springfield area for 120 years and have farmed this area for most of that. In recent history, we were corn and peppermint farmers. Over time there was an interest in ornamental plants in the family and as time passed there was an effort to increase the size of our garden and collection. To do this we began selling bare root street trees around the Eugene and Springfield area. Then in the mid 1960's we produced our first catalog and began shipping our plants around the country. The nursery remained a side business to the farming until 1985 when we quit farming and established the nursery as our primary operation. Since then we have expanded our offering each year and continue to offer a large number of new material each year while remaining loyal to some of our traditional materials."

 Magnolias were blooming their hearts out.  I counted 75 magnolia varieties in Gossler Farms Nursery's current catalog. 
Actually, Magnolia lilifora was one of the first trees to be planted in 1952 when Gosslers started to collect flowering plants.

Besides magnolias, the Nursery has an excellent selection of rhododendrons (47 in current catalog!), maples, dogwoods, viburnums, hamamelis (43!), stewartia, paeonea, hydrangeas (21!), etc.

I enjoy looking through the Nursery's catalog. There are some neat tips in it! Look, for example, how they grow Hydrangea 'Annabelle': "This fun large flowered hydrangea can be grown in different ways. It can be grown as a shrub up to 6" tall. The way we grow it as a perennial. We plant it and let the plant grow a year. In early spring, we cut the plant to 6". We will get huge white flowers. The plant will bloom in the current season growth, so you can get a real show-stopper each spring." I need to try that!

I am very partial to terracotta containers; hence, there are so many pictures with them. 
I call it an art of an empty pot.

I had very warm, homey feelings walking this path. In my own garden, I try to keep hardscape to a minimum to be able to walk on the dirt, not cement.

Stream runs through the property.

Epimediums rule!

 Here, you have a chance to guess- is it an apple or a pumpkin? Marj said she thought it was a pumpkin, Roger called it an apple. I first thought it was an apple, but looking at its shape again... 
what do you think?

The power of an empty space

There are so many things going on under the trees...

Don't you like the turquoise tint on the arbor?

I put my eye on these treasures, but it's Roger's own collection, and as he said, some of these have been here for 35 years.

Among the plants we brought home from Gossler's were: Cornus controversa Variegata, Davidia Sonoma, Arctostaphylos a. Diablo Blush and several others. 
Thank you Marj and Roger for your time and company! We enjoyed our conversation about plants, places, fishing, colleges, etc., etc.
If you decide to visit the Nursery, please call in advance.

***Copyright 2018 TatyanaS


  1. Thanks for deciding to share your photos. I understand the difference between experiencing the nursery without the camera in front of your face and with it. I love big empty pots too! I don't have a big dog but I've often left my big husband at home in order to have more room for plants.

    1. Ha-ha, Alison, he could help you to carry and load the plants!
      While in Eugene, I even found a nice glazed pot at the yard sale, so MH was useful in carrying/loading it!

  2. Your photos are so interesting since I was there in late summer when most everything was finished blooming and the paths were narrow from the lush foliage spilling over. You purchased some real treasures. I didn't know Marj was back to working again. This is such good news.

    1. Grace, I'd love to visit the nursery again in summer and fall. Marj is a very good conversationalist! It was a pleasure talking with her!

  3. Thanks for the tour. I would love to visit it. So many pretty things to see.

  4. The rhododendrons/azaleas in the photos, any idea of the variety, especially the purple/blue? So beautiful! Thanks for sharing.

    1. Hi Kiki! I wouldn't guess the variety, sorry.

  5. I am so glad you decided to share this visit. The nursery garden is fabulous. I am surprised you got away with so few plants with all that inspiration. I loved all the empty pots too. My first thought the fruit sculpture was an apple but when you mentioned pumpkin I thought well it could be. Happy planting.

    1. Lisa, thanks! Those few plants include two trees that are going to be big and beautiful! The car was already loaded with several plants from Eugene's 'Down to Earth' place. And several days before, I brought home 43 new plants from our local Plant Swap. Now, I need to plant all these treasures!

  6. This looks like a wonderful garden to wander and explore.

  7. What a fine looking garden and you've taken lovely photos as always!

  8. What a large and special garden, I'm so impressed. I love the informality. Interesting to think about the difference between just looking and taking photos and thinking about blogging. I guess it changes the experience of mindfulness.


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