We had the good fortune to be staying with friends in Carlton OR on one of the rare open garden days held by Windy Hill Farm Nursery in Yamhill OR. Kuon, the owner and chief plant nerd/propagator, was kind enough to show us around the display gardens with a running commentary on the highly unusual plants featured there.
Appetites thoroughly whetted, we were turned loose in the greenhouse. In the green pot on the right, potted up with Phormium ‘Margaret Jones’, is a Solanum that no one can pass by without comment. If you look carefully, you can just make out the long, bright orange thorns that protrude from both surfaces of the leaves. In the smaller green pot to the left is Cestrum parqui, or willow-leaved jasmine. It was tiny and in bloom in early June. It is now tripled in size and blooming again two months later. I guess the folks at Kew Gardens in England were accurate when they proclaimed this one of the top 200 plants of the last 200 years.
Some of the things we fell for in the display garden were unavailable, but Kuon put us on her wish list with a promise to call us whenever they could be successfully propagated. The promise came with a disclaimer: we might wait as long as three years for that call. It will be worth the wait. Every plant I brought home from Windy Hill is thriving and growing to beat the band.