This is my third and final informal illustrated report on the Society visit and meeting to Portland, Oregon, USA in 2019. As usual, a full set of articles by members of the group will be published in the next journal, Clematis International 2020. To those of you who came along, I hope it will bring back happy memories. To others, perhaps it will encourage you to join us on a future year. My first report covered the first two days of the meeting, including the Welcome Evening at University Place Hotel, Ainsworth House and Garden, Lan Su Chinese Garden in Portland, Argyle Garden and Winery and Red Ridge Farms/Durant Olive Mill & Vineyards. My second report detailed our visits to Dancing Oaks Nursery, Sebright Gardens, Bauman's Farm and Garden, Silver Star Vinery, the garden of Linda Rectanus and the garden of Vanessa Nagel.
Presentation by Dan LongA relatively leisurely start to today, certainly for those staying at University Place Hotel as Dan's presentation was given in one of their rooms. The title was "Clematis You Need! You Need Clematis!", a celebration of clematis with suggestions for what to grow, where to grow it, how to support it and how to care for it. With the intention of interacting with local gardeners, this presentation was open to the public and it was pleasing to see some new faces. For those of you who don't know, as well as owning and running Brushwood Clematis and being a Vice-President of the Society, Dan is an avid bee-keeper. So it was not so surprising that, on entering the lecture room, Dan was displaying an opening slide of bees in a flower. However his audience needn't have worried that they'd come into the wrong room as he soon replaced it with his opening Clematis slide.
Visit to Luscher Farm and the Rogerson Clematis GardenAfter an early lunch, we boarded our coach for the short drive to Luscher Farm and the Rogerson Clematis Collection. The Society last visited way back in 2010. We had heard that the collection had developed significantly since that time, with more cultivars, advanced displays, more space. Signage had also come on in leaps and bounds. So we were all fascinated to see what it now looked like. After a welcome speech from Linda Beutler, Past President of this Society and Curator of the Rogerson Clematis Collection, the visit started. The collection is displayed in themed beds, with signage about the clematis planted, their characteristics and origins. There were plenty of volunteers on hand to answer questions. The Rodal Clematis Research Library, named in honour of David and Dorothy Rodal, was open. It contains a very extensive collection of books, magazines, pamphlets and other clematis paraphernalia.
Welcome / Introduction
Linda Beutler, Curator of the Rogerson Clematis Collection
Rogerson Clematis Garden Welcome Sign
The Beginner's Garden features cultivars featured in the Society "Recommended Clematis" (previously known as the "Clematis for Beginners List").
They were looking wonderful on our visit, proving that it's not difficult to have a great display of clematis.
C. 'Ashva', Russia / Ukraine in the Baltic Border
C. 'Sylwia', Poland / Franczak in the Baltic Border
C. 'Perle d'Azur' by the Historic Luscher Farmhouse
C. pogonandra var. pilosa (China)
C. otophora (China)
C. occidentalis var. grosseserrata
C. hirsutissima var. scottii
C. columbiana var. tenuiloba
C. hexapetala, syn. of C. angustifolia
Part way through the afternoon we gathered around a new area in the Rogerson Clematis Garden, created to display antipodean species clematis. Phyllis McCanna, President of the Friends of the Rogerson Clematis Collection, gave an introduction to this new development within the collection. She then asked Margot Hughes, one of our members with strong links to this part of the world, to unveil the plaque describing the cultivars growing here.
Phyllis McCanna, Friends of the Rogerson Clematis Collection President,
dedicates the new Antipodes area
Unveiling The Antipodes plaque
The Modern Garden, with strawberries
This area, planted with clematis cultivars introduced since the end of WWII, also has strawberries planted around the base of the clematis as a weed barrier. There were 16 rows of clematis, each row featuring clematis of one colour, making comparison between the blooms and selection of a suitable, colour-coordinating plant easy. Each row also had a different strawberry cultivar planted along the line. This morning, volunteers had been out picking the strawberries in preparation for the Solstice Strawberry Tasting, a joint event with the Hardy Plant Society of Oregon and, fortunately for us, coinciding with our visit. Bowls of each variety were placed on tables. People tasted each variety (one strawberry of each variety only, got to make sure everyone gets a taste) and, if they liked it, put a wooden toothpick into a jar. At the end the sticks were counted and results declared. I can't remember which variety won, but "a good time was had by all"!
planted at the base of the clematis
A few plants to take home!
Lake Oswego Farmers MarketOur last day started with a visit to Lake Oswego for the Farmers Market, held on Millenium Plaza Park which overlooks Lakewood Bay, at one end of Oswego Lake. The market vendors sell a wide variety of foods, ingredients, arts and crafts, with local cafés, bistros and restaurants close by. In addition to the attractions of the market, the town itself is very interesting. It was further enhanced on our visit by the art sculptures placed around the town, as the town called it, a "Gallery Without Walls". A walking tour of these exhibits was included in handouts provided by the Lake Oswego Farmers Market.
On the steps of Millenium Plaza Park
Lake Oswego Farmers Market
Lake Oswego Farmers Market
Lake Oswego town
Gallery Without Walls - Sunflower
Gallery Without Walls - Wormy Apple #2
Gallery Without Walls - Beacon
Gallery Without Walls - Salmon Romance
Gallery Without Walls - Sail
Gallery Without Walls - Complement II
Gallery Without Walls - Living Water 2
Gallery Without Walls - Pollinators
McCoy Family NurseryOur final visit of the meeting was to the McCoy Family Nursery. On a lovely sunny afternoon we walked up a gravel track through Douglas Fir forest, past a large lake, until we came to a clearing and some poly-tunnels. This must be the nursery. Dave McCoy used to work for Bob and Carol Gutmann, who not only ran their own nursery but also gave Brewster Rogerson space in one of their tunnels for his collection. When the Gutmanns decided to retire, Dave and his wife, Chris, decided to start their own nursery. This is a wholesale nursery supplying the Pacific NorthWest with large-flowered hybrids and many viticellas, along with other clematis cultivars. The nursery runs with the help of various machinery and equipment which Dave designed and made.
Poly-tunnels in the clearing
Introduction to the nursery by Dave and Chris
Trays of new clematis
Excellent root growth
Automated potting table, designed and built by Dave
Neat rows of clematis waiting to be shipped
Modified trolley for easy moving of clematis tables
Gala DinnerOur Gala Dinner was served in the Astoria Room in University Place Hotel. Served in this private room, it was an excellent dinner, made even better by being accompanied by some very good local wines. It was a fitting finish to yet another enjoyable and interesting meeting.
I hope you've enjoyed my third and final report. For those of you who missed either of the previous reports, or wish to re-read them, please click here for my first report or here for my second report.
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