Monday, September 12, 2016

Open House at Sarracenia Northwest

My foray into carnivorous plants came to a head this weekend with a trip to Sarracenia NW. The owners (Jeff Dallas & Jacob Farin) often sell plants at Portland's Saturday Market, which is where I first bought some of their plants. 

Sarracenia NW has an open house twice each year at the nursery, but an entry ticket is needed to attend, which can be purchased from their website for $10 per car. (See the link to their website for details and more info.)

Each attendee receives a free $5 plant, so fill up your car with your favorite peeps and head to Eagle Creek, Oregon in July or September.

My trusty plant-shopper-in-crime, Alan, and I, hopped in the car and headed to Eagle Creek. It's just a short 30-minute drive from Portland's southeast side.

We (really just me) only got slightly lost careening through the countryside. I also got lost later in the day trying to take Alan to lunch at the Viewpoint in Estacada, Oregon. Apparently my sense of direction is not as good as it used to be?!?

Turning down the road in Eagle Creek, just past the trailer park, we turned onto an unmarked driveway. We headed up the hill and after parking, saw a large art piece of a flytrap, so we knew we were in the right place.

I ignored the lovely refreshments they had set out for guests and dived straight into the plant area. There was a considerable sales area and then rows of pools of plants that were stock plants.

One greenhouse was for tropical plants and another row of Venus Flytraps on tables for sale.

Tropical plants in the greenhouse (bad pic sorry!)
Heliamphora (Sunpitcher) from Venezuela
Cephalotus - An Australian pitcher plant
Pinguicula - Butterworts
Flytraps galore!
We walked through all the plants, taking note of the variety of pitcher plants. I had my mind set on getting a selection of pitcher plants of different colors and sizes and a few other goodies too.

I spent a lot of time in the sales area. Eventually giving in to a crazed orgy of random plant grabbing (mwa·ha·ha·ha).

Alan was a good sport, holding my plant selections, while I salivated, and tried to focus on picking out a selection of plants. At one point he took a break being my plant sherpa to get a donut and some water! Good help is hard to find. 

Dionaea muscipula 'King Henry'
Stock plant area
  So many pretty colors, shapes and sizes. It's really hard to decide! 

Too many fun Flytraps too!

B52 x Low Giant Flytrap
Red Sawtooth Flytrap
King Henry Flytrap
Red Dragon Flytrap
I spent way too much money and came home with my bounty. Thankfully I had three more former ponds that were available to become new bogs. So, another trip to the hardware store for big bags of perlite and two bales of peat moss was next on my agenda. 
My loot!

More loot!

I was also super excited to see this black and yellow orb web spider. I haven't seen one of these guys in Oregon before. In Wisconsin, they were very common and as a kid, I usually befriended one each summer and fed it lots of yummy grasshoppers and bugs. Really a beautiful garden spider.

Argiope aurantia (Yellow Garden Spider)
Afterwards, I wanted to take Alan to the Viewpoint Restaurant for lunch, but I couldn't remember the name of it and only had a vague recollection of turning right, crossing a bridge and heading up into the hills. Alan managed to decipher the restaurant name and that I had missed a turn a ways back...

Lunch was yummy, the view was terrific, the beer at the neighboring beer garden cold and the bonus was photo ops with a mounted elk head in the bed of a pickup truck.

Only in the boonies of Oregon!