Having already checked Castle Rock Nursery and Greg's Gardens, the two nurseries closest to me, I went all the way to Woodland (about a 45 minute drive) to visit Tsugawa Nursery. A traditional garden center with the usual selection of quintessential plants for Pacific Northwest gardens, I have a soft spot for this nursery as it was a favorite destination growing up. Going all the way to Woodland was a big adventure then and Tsugawa is the biggest and best-stocked nursery within an hour of home (well, until I discovered Lael's Moon Garden, but that's coming close to an hour away).
Anyway, poor me, living in the boonies with multiple acres to garden in and poor access to the really cool plants. Bla bla bla. On to the plants. Since this post is already so long, I kept the pictures small. But if you want a closer look, just click on the picture.
Some of the things that caught my eye were deer resistant. I love heaths and heathers, although I'm not fond of pink, which is the predominant flower color for hardy selections. Erica x darleyensis Eva Gold was dark enough that I liked it, plus the new growth was a gorgeous chartreuse. Now if only I could find winter-blooming heaths with flowers that dark. Maybe I should just give up and stick to the white-flowered cultivars. I'm a sucker for blue, so Lithodora keeps drawing me back. I had some once, but tried growing it in close quarters with other short plants. The Lithodora proved much more vigorous and smothering than I had anticipated, and the subsequent pruning left it a bit too ugly, so away it went. I still want to try it somewhere it has the room to spread without choking the plants around it.
I'm looking forward to growing succulents like this Sedum 'Chocolate Ball'. Contrary to lists of deer-resistant plants everywhere, succulents are not deer-resistant. Or at least, not in my garden. Especially during the dry summer, sedums and other succulents are prime candidates for an afternoon refreshment. And they are such a good source of evergreen, burgundy/purple/brown foliage, too. Since I'll be able to use sedums, heucheras, and other plants with dark foliage, I might get rid of the 'Crimson Pigmy' Japanese barberries in the driveway island. They are just Japanese barberries after all, and they didn't stay as "pigmy" as they were supposed to. That bed is getting a major redesign.
Pieris japonica is deer resistant, but I couldn't resist snapping a photo of the cultivar 'Katsura'. That deep red new growth is especially striking against bright green. My garden needs more pieris. I don't care if it's ubiquitous in the Northwest. I love it.
Vaccinium glauco-album has been on my radar for about a year now. I like the relatively large, smooth evergreen leaves and love the powdery white undersides.
I already have two Pernettya mucronulata, but they are small things and haven't really started doing anything yet. These two-gallon, 2-3 foot tall plants were only about $17, thick and loaded with blooms. So tempting.
Drymis lanceolata is also on my list of possibilities. I love the red stems and petioles. I think these were flower buds, but they could have been the fruit. I like them, too, whatever they are.
Mahonia are deer resistant, though the new growth will sometimes be nipped off. These Mahonia japonica would be great as an element in the mixed screen planting I'm planning along the new fence to block the view of the deer. Here's a trick for helping to keep the deer out: if they can't see what's on the other side, they are less likely to jump a fence, so a screen of plants can make a six-foot fence much more effective.
Another deer-resistant group is the genus Daphne. This is another genus I want more of, especially ones like Brigg's Moonlight, below.
It's not always about variegation or really colorful foliage. The foliage of Daphne x rossettii is clean and tidy, with a rich, deep green color tinged with purple. The rich but subtle colors really drew me in. Simple foliage like this is just as important as the more flamboyant leaves in the garden, giving the eye a chance to relax a bit. I liked the flowers, too, almost red tubes opening to palest cream yellow.
Deciduous azaleas and enkianthus are near the top of my list of plants to grow now that I'll have some protection from the deer.
Members of the witch hazel family are supposedly deer resistant, but I've held off. After all, I've seen Japanese maples on those same lists, and I have a defoliated eyesore of a red laceleaf maple in the center of the driveway that says otherwise. But I am so fond of witch hazels, corylopsis, loropetalum, and other members of the family. Blue-leaved cultivars of fothergilla are definitely on my list to grow.
Red twig dogwoods are also on my list. I think these would look nice somewhere along the dry creek bed, maybe near the wetter end.
I love oakleaf hydrangeas. I've never been a huge fan of mophead hydrangeas, but I LOVE oakleaf hydrangeas. Adding them to the list.
I never realized the difference in color between Cotinus 'Grace' (left) and Cotinus coggygria 'Royal Purple' (right). I have 'Grace'. I think I need 'Royal Purple' and a green-leafed cultivar, too.
Maples are on my list. Clockwise from upper left: A. palmatum 'Sango Kaku', A. palmatum 'Purple Ghost', A. japonicum 'Meigetsu Itaya', and A. japonicum 'Green Cascade'.
Rhododendrons, another group that is (mostly) deer-resistant, but I just couldn't resist snapping a few photos. I do need more with interesting foliage, after all. Clockwise from upper left: 'Golden Ruby', 'Daphnoides', 'Teddy Bear', and R. makinoi.
I was excited to see 'Red Foliage Elizabeth' still available. I love the color of the new growth and the narrow, deeply veined leaves. I may have to go back for one of these and the ones above.
Last summer, Picea abies 'Pusch' caught my eye with its rosy cones against bright green new growth. I still like it and there is still space for it in the bed off the back patio, but I decided to save my money for today. Maybe if I had already been digging out my wallet to pay for a Fuchsia 'Autumnale' I would have picked up a few more things. Huh, probably a good thing I didn't find that fuchsia today.
Well, that's a good start to my wishlist. At least for the "normal" garden plants. Can't forget all the cool, weird, unusual plants available from specialty nurseries. Now, if only my budget matched my gardening space...