The vegetable garden with drip irrigation system was successful this years and it was time to shift my efforts to my landscaping, so I headed out to see Lucille at Whitman Farms. I had heard many great things about her but nothing could have prepared me for my visit.
Whitman Farms is nursery in Salem, Oregon that was started back in 1980 by Lucille Whitman. The goal of my trip was to pick up a contorted lotus tree (Robinia pseudoacacia) to adorn my newly built hibernaculum. But what I ended up with was a truck load of plants and fond memories.
Lucille is one of those people that you instantly fall in love with. As I pulled into the nursery she came out to greet me with a couple four legged friends in tow. I explained what I was after and within minutes we climbed aboard her four wheeler, with a small dog on my lap acting as co-pilot, and off we went to explore the nursery.
As we drove down row after row of trees and shrubs, she continually asked questions about me and my family. Personal questions but not intrusive at all. She just truly cared and wanted to find out what made me tick. At one point I got off on the subject of berries and her eyes lit up. We spent the next hour looking at all sorts of unusual berried plants and tasted any that still had fruit. I found out that she is the mulberry queen. We debated what berries might become the next big commercial crop.
At the end of my visit, I ended up with a large Acer palmatum ‘Kinran’, two Magnolias ‘Genie’, Ribes odoratum ‘Crandall’, Hydrangea Macrophylla ‘Fuji Waterfall’, Sambucus nigra ‘Black Beauty’ and of course my Robinia pseudoacacia. But more than that I ended up with a new garden ally and friend. A trip out to Whitman Farms is one you will not forget.