First stop – Doak Creek Native Plant Nursery, 83331 Jackson Marlow Rd., Eugene, 541.484.9206, all year by appointment so please call ahead. Owner Cynthia Lafferty grows a wide selection of containerized native trees, shrubs, ferns, ground covers, and wildflowers. It is hidden back up a valley but it’s worth the lovely drive. A native azalea, Erysimum capitatum (Western Wallflower) and some native ferns kept Mary-Kate’s purchases company in the back of the car. While Cynthia was telling us about the nursery and some of her favorite plants, Barney decided to go for a swim in the nursery’s retention pond. Soon after and covered in green duck weed, he raced across the field toward us with a big happy dog grin on his face. Before I knew what was happening, Barney decided the appropriate thing to do was to roll in Cynthia’s tidy pile of potting soil (everything about the nursery is very tidy). My normally well-behaved mellow fellow then found another water feature that needed exploring and emerged with mud up to his doggy elbows. Needless to say, I was mortified and Cynthia was very gracious, letting me use the hose to get him back to his golden self. Harrumph! He stayed in the car at our other destinations.
Mary-Kate and I had another fun nursery adventure in the area more recently, but I’ll tell you about that at another time. Tell us about your best/favorite nursery and garden tours so we can plan our own visit.