Gossler Farms Gives Me Zone Envy

We started in one of the greenhouses, where the fever began. I was coming down with a bad case of Zone 8-itis, complete with the involuntary twitch toward my checkbook before learning the target of my lust was not hardy in my area.  Gossler Farms Nursery is pure Oregon, with a gentle reminder of its range by virtue of the giant palm trees swaying above it all.

Roger Gossler
Roger and Marjorie Gossler had graciously offered to show Dave and me around their compound/display garden/laboratory/growing fields.  What a treat! 
Jamie the cat points out a Hellebore.

I was charmed at every turn, accompanied as we were on our tour by a stiff wind following an Oregonian rain (i.e.: a downpour by anyone who isn’t from the Pacific Northwest, but a drizzle to those who are). We also were accompanied by the Gossler cat, a loner that forged his own path and left Gus and and Sophie with Roger.

Gus and Sophie

The gardens host an array of trees and mature shrubs you likely won’t see anywhere else—certainly not all in one place. The Gosslers specialize in woody plants, but they also carry a selection of very special perennials, including rare orchids, Agapanthus and Gunnera. Roger, his brother Eric and Marjory Gossler, their mother, penned the book entitled Best Hardy Shrubs. The book, along with the Gossler Farms Nursery catalog, makes for a serious mind-expanding encounter for a hortigeek like me.

We'd come for the Magnolias and lingered longer than we’d planned in order to take in some of the rest. Here are just a few of the highlights: 

Davidia 'Lady Sunshine' shows off its variegation with Rogersia. This Davidia is very rare in the trade.

Cornus controversa variegata matures to form a horizontal cascade of branches with a beautiful layered look.


Zenobia, a North American Native with a charming name and more charming flowers.

Deutzia candidisima
Pieris 'Little Heath' doesn't offer many flowers but the foliage and compact size more than make up for it.

If you've started sensing a theme here, it could be variegation. There is nothing like it to brighten up a shaded spot. And the plants with the variegation pictured here all are hardy down to a Zone 6a. Yay!
Marj Gossler stands with a Magnolia loebneri by the same name.
We had the great pleasure to meet and talk with Marjory Gossler, who introduced us to Magnolia denudata x sargentiana 'Marjory Gossler. The tree was named by Phil Savage of Detroit.
Magnolia x wieseneri is a cross between M. sieboldii and  M. hypoleuca. So far, it's the only plant I ordered from Gossler,
but I've got a long list of "must haves" that I hope to eventually work through.



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