Saturday, August 11, 2012

What I Discovered At Viscaya: Social Plant Addiction

Stepped out of my car and into delight....

Do you live close to a nursery?  Do you just go to walk around and chill?  Have you ever considered that you may be addicted to plants?  Why do I ask that?  Because I love to go chill at the nursery.  For me it takes me to my "zone" where the rest of the world is allowed to evaporate for a while.  But I don't just do this sort of thing by myself all the time, I am probably more of a social plant addict myself, people are a big part of why I enjoy gardening so much.  Sort of like a social drinker only instead of the booze it's plants I share in the company of others.  Just ask my friend William if I'm right.  He is owner of Viscaya, a great little nursery near my home that I go visit probably once a week at least.

Yummy...I must get one for my garden too!

William and I seem to share this common bond of being social plant addicts.  Not just regular plant addicts but those who seem to enjoy sharing about what we love publicly.  He is even lucky enough to be a host of a garden show, Garden Time, that is broadcast locally here on television.  So he is sharing on a level I can only dream of and drool over.  (Oh dear, I think I may be a little jealous.)

Like all plant addicts we use Latin nomenclature more than common names, comment on plant anomalies as if it was a yummy dessert, swoon over the latest new thing, gushing as we share any new discoveries and enjoy trying to figure out plant related puzzles that we come across and often are asking questions about issues with plants we are growing. 

The human quotient is as large if not larger in our addiction though.  We could never be solitary plant addicts like some gardeners I have heard of. People make it even more fun for us.  We laugh about ourselves often too.  If we ever stop being able to laugh at ourselves please plan an intervention, we will be needing one.  But we laugh mostly because it is who we are and besides...being a social plant addict can be quite entertaining.  What a great way to have good time.  So how about you?  Social or solitary?

Speaking of laughing, today it was my turn to make William laugh.  But I want to take to peek at the nursery first. I'll you what made him laugh in a minute.  (See, I really am pathetically addicted.)

This is so unfair.  It's too gorgeous I want it all!
Chocolate cosmos and those leaves...fabulous!
What could be more perfect than a garden with a nursery sprinkled along the pathways?  Delightful and very approachable is what I have decided it is.  It is a very friendly place with spots to sit in the shade and even a table to sit at too.  In spite of the number of times I have visited Viscaya I always manage to come away inspired, either by new plants, new garden art ideas or by a lively conversation with William and his mom Roberta.  She's a peach too by the way and as friendly as the day is long.

Sweet nest and things hanging about.

Fountains and creative art pieces seem to be around every corner. Many William has created in homage to his heritage and others are just plain fun, but all of them are great examples of things we could replicate for our own gardens and that is something I really appreciate about his place.  The whole place is just friendly...just like William is.

Dicentra scandens in the serenity of the shade

With that being said I want to say William has become one of my favorite people and his momma Roberta is becoming a good friend too.  The thing I love most is that they really are my neighbors and though having Viscaya so close to my home may not be such a good thing for my pocket book, it is a great thing for my garden and our community which needs good friendly businesses like Viscaya to help infuse our area with new life.  But enough about all have got to see what I spotted along the drive in.  You drive right past it so I lets going back along the driveway to see what's there. You'll miss some things around here if you don't look at what is at your feet too.

Velvety Stachys (Lamb's Ear) and Euphorbia
A beautiful pairing of textures

Like I need more inspiring me to buy plants, here at my feet was this Stachys and Euphorbia that made me coo.  I think I should take a video camera along sometime...I have no pride when it comes to adoring plants.  Oh just like when I spotted this pillar planter William put together.  I mean isn't it fabulous?!  This one is going on my list to reproduce for my garden.  Oh and like the planter below...I didn't even see it until I was walking back in from the driveway, walked right by it on the way out too.  See what I mean.

I absolutely love this one and see how simple!

Now back to that story I was going to tell you.  I was checking out the brick pillar planters that flank the entrance to one area just off the parking lot and saw these big fat luscious Nasturtium seeds and was considering making a snack of some of them. William had been doing some edging and stopped to answer a question I had about something.

Nice seeds ya got there!

"Nice Nasturtium seeds you got there." I say.  He burst out laughing, doubling over, and I almost blushed in my confusion.  I think I said something like, "What's so funny." and when he finally caught his breath and he explained through his laughter that my statement reminded him of how an addict sounds when they are talking about crack and isn't that funny how my comment sounded like that.  Really, it's that obvious? Well at least it's a delightful addiction, that's all I can say.

Unusual and beautiful Monk's Hood Vine (Aconite)

If  you are ever in Portland I recommend you take the time to pop in to visit Viscay and meet William and his momma and prepare to be tempted by the plants.  You may even get in a good laugh.

Happy Gardening!

Copyright © 2012 by Patty Hicks
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  1. A trip to Portland is in my future, but to visit all the great nurseries, I think I'm going to need more than just a long weekend! I have heard that Viscaya is really unique.

    1. may very well need more than a long weekend. You'll love it here. Lots of great nurseries. Viscaya is just one of many here...and one of my favorites obviously.

  2. Thank you for making our lovely Viscaya look so glamorous. To see it through another person's eyes, is such a delight!