1200 Weaver Rd, Springfield, OR 97478
Phone: (541) 746-3922
Hours: 9am – 5pm Weds – Saturday & by appointment
We all thought that if we just survived 2020, we were golden and life would be all good. Boy were we all a little off. The past couple of years have been a test for all of us, for many reasons. For some of us it’s how will our business survive in these crazy times, for others it’s how will our kids do in school in whatever format is being used this week, and for others it has been learning how to do our job in a completely new way. For us here at the nursery, we have had a very busy year. We found that people energized themselves by improving their homes and gardens during these trying times. Just the other day, I was reading an article talking about how gardening was one of the better things we can all do for our minds and bodies. We feel this is true, and we hope we can help all of you improve your home and enjoy your surroundings a little better each day.
I will jump into the not so good news for the year. We lost Marj on May 10, 2021. She was 92 and was doing pretty well up until the last month of her life. I’m sure many of you talked with her on the phone over the years or visited with her here at the nursery. It has been a real adjustment for us to not have her here looking over all the projects and activities at the farm and nursery. This is the first catalog we have done in over 50 years of business that she has not had a part in assembling. Marj was born in Rogue River, Oregon in 1928; she was in a class of 6 coming out of high school. She moved on and attended Willamette University in Salem, Oregon and received a degree in Physical education. She moved to Springfield and taught at Springfield High School before marrying and becoming a farmer for the remainder of her life. As many of you know she loved golfing, bowling, and fishing. Roger and I intend on continuing the farm and nursery, keeping it operating for many years to come; we think this would have made her happy.
As for the rest of us, Roger has been busy finding all sorts of new material for the nursery. This year, Roger has had to broaden his search for new plants, and he is really excited about some of the new plants he had discovered. Dawn is preparing for one of the most complicated school years anyone has ever seen. It could be a week to week reevaluation of the plan depending on what transpires. Dawn also was finally able to get back to horse showing and was able to attend regionals in Nampa, Idaho. She and her horse Cooper had a great trip and did very well winning the regional trail class. Pierce is now a shift-lead at Jasper Mountain Center. Jasper Mountain is a 24 hour treatment center for children with emotional and social issues. He is also working towards a microbiology degree during the school year. This coming spring he is going on a month-long Grand Canyon, Colorado river rafting trip. As for myself, I am excited because the Hazelnut orchard project has its first harvest falling on the ground right now. It has been a five-year journey of planting and tending the trees, so even a small harvest is exciting! We think next year should be a turning point, and we should start to see it become a real producing orchard if all goes well. Eventually we should be producing about a 100,000 pounds of nuts a year. Also, I was able to go back to Alaska fishing this year: it was nice to be back after a two-year layoff. The fishing was great, and it was nice to see the scenery again–I missed it.
We are excited this year to offer some great new plants in some old families of plants. We have increased drastically the numbers of Ferns, Conifers, and Camellias this year. Many of these are brand new varieties and have some intriguing new twists waiting for you to explore in your garden. This spring we are once again collaborating with Ernie and Marietta O’Burne of Northwest Garden Nursery in holding two open weekends for Hellebores. These are some of the best Hellebore cultivars available in the world, and we look forward each year to seeing the new combinations and cultivars. The open houses will be on February 19-20 and February 26-27. If you haven’t seen these before, don’t miss out– they are wonderful additions to any landscape.
We would like all of you to explore our local Willamette Valley Hardy Plant group. We have been operating through Covid by conducting virtual lectures. These presentations have had a loyal following and have been well received by everyone involved. The lectures are conducted via Zoom. If you want further information visit the WVHPG website (https://www.thehardyplantgroup.org) for times and dates.
This has been a difficult year for us, and we would like to thank all of you who have sent good wishes and offered your support. We want to single out the crew here for their great work and assistance that makes this all possible. Lisa Seabright helps all summer with the inventory and organizing the catalog. Diana Learner proofreads the catalog and helps make sure we don’t make too much of a mess. Our rock, however, is our neighbor, friend, and coworker Wayne Headlee. Wayne has allowed us to operate a nursery of our size with just three of us on a day-to-day basis for the last 20 years.
Once again thanks to all of you for supporting our operation, and we look forward to seeing you here or seeing your orders, however they may come. We hope everyone has a great year. One other thing I would like to mention: while we were cleaning things out of Marj’s house, we found a small box with 20-30 SD cards. These were filled with photos spanning about 10 years while she had that particular camera. We have been going through these and selected one of these for the cover of this catalog.
Eric Gossler Roger Gossler