Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Conifer Gems at Iseli Nursery

Iseli Nursery is located East of Portland in the Willemette Valley. I know this because our bus guide explained where we were headed and pointed out landmarks along the way. I heard that on a clear day Mount Hood looms in the distance but on the day that the Garden Writers Association visited it was cloudy.

We were so thankful to the staff and sales reps for Iseli Nursery were willing to give up a Sunday to take such good care of all of us (about 600 in all). As we unloaded from the bus, smiling folks holding large signs above their heads to get us into the correct group. I headed for the one marked "southeast" and was warming greeted by the Dave Gommoll, sales rep for the southeast part of the country.

When I told him I was from Franklin, TN he told me that Bill Hewitt sells Iseli conifers, Japanese Maples and other specialty trees. That explains why Hewitt Garden and Design Center on Hillsboro road always has such an awesome selection plant material. Now I can see why they buy Iseli stock.

Mr. Gommoll toured our group through the gardens emphasising the plants that do well in our area. Because I lagged and lolly gagged taking pictures of every cool specimen I saw (which were a lot), I probably missed out on some of the tour but I feel confident that I can go to Hewitts and find just the right specimens for our area here in Middle Tennessee.

Iseli Nursery is beautiful and I was totally amazed at their selection of dwarf conifers. I'm always on the lookout for evergreen plant material for containers. I had no idea their were so many varieties of dwarf conifers. Since most of these only grow a couple of inches a year what a blessing that they can stay in a pot for years and look great.

As we exited the bus back at the hotel Iseli nursery gave us all a gift of 5 dwarf conifers. I was so excited until I realized I was heading to Canada after the conference. But GWA arranged for UPS to come to the lobby and help us ship our plants.

The plants took a week to arrive home and I thought they would be dead or worse but they look fairly good for being cooped up and knocked around in a dark box filled with peanuts. I took a picture to prove it. Thank you Iseli Nursery!

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