lsjogren Vancouver, WA (2 reviews) October 9, 2013
I live in the Portland area; last fall I bought a house with a large yard and became a fanatical gardener. I bought a large number of trees and shrubs and a few perennials since I got the house.
Tsugawa Nursery served as one of the best sources for my plants.
What did I buy there: First, I got three large trees- a Vulcan Magnolia and two Stewartia Japonicas. I had them arrange planting of those since they are large trees. The Vulcan was a great tree for the price. The Stewartias were expensive, but you would pay as much at other nurseries. The Magnolia is doing well and the Stewartias are looking troubled, but I believe that is because it is a spot in my yard with poor drainage, and Stewartias are known for being touchy.
Other things I bought there: Three Catawba Crape Myrtles. Good sized trees at a decent price. These are Monrovias, I believe. Got several Yuletide Camellias and Pink-a-boo Camellias. For their size they were a lot better price than at Portland Nursery.
Also I got a couple of Parrotia Persicas, which the label showed were form Carlton nurseries. These were very inexpensive at $25. The bigger one was quite rootbound and struggled a bit but now looks very healthy.
Bottom line, if you live in this area you will find that some nurseries are good for one thing and others are good for other things.
Based on my gardening in the last year, here are some impressions of the nurseries I have used:
1). Tsugawa- best general purpose nursery. Big selection and usually better prices than Portland Nursery.
2). Portland Nursery- good source for roses. Huge selection of Monrovia Camellias when the new stock arrived in Sept. Including affordable ($20) Camellias in 1 gallon pots that look very healthy.
3). Watershed Garden Works: The best source for native plants such as Madrona and Vine Maple trees.
4). Cistus Nursery: A good source for warm climate mediterranean plants that can handle our climate. Best local source for Japanese Temple Palm (Trachycarpus Wagnerianus- much better price than at Portland Nursery)
5). Joy Creek Nursery: Big selection of perennials, specialize in some things like Clematis.
6). Whitman Farms: Ornamental trees, I got some Tuscarora Crape Myrtles here.
7). Gossler Farms: A variety of offerings; I bought some deep red camellias (Black Opal and Night Rider) here.
8). Means Nursery: Good prices on a moderate selection of landscape plants. They had homegrown Burgundy Queen lilacs in gallon pots for $7; I bought all 7 they had on the shelf.
I have shopped and visited Tsugawa's Nursery many times. All the new trees and shrubs we have put into our landscaping have been purchased there, delivered and planted by their staff. Everything has thrived. Our impression is that the plants are healthier and less expensive than elsewhere and that the staff is very knowledgeable and easy to work with. We were once interested in a particular bamboo that was unavailable; they kept our inquiry and called us a year later when they again had the plant. They have a concentration in bamboo and Japanese Maples not found everywhere, a pond and water feature shop, and have a great selection of everything! Even though it is 20 miles from where I live, I do not hesitate to visit Tsugawa's.
We just paid almost 40 dollars each for three plum trees in containers. When we got home to plant them, we discovered they were bare root, just stuck in mulch. My husband called and spoke to one of the owners, who was pretty blase about my husband's complaint. My husband explained that we (1) should have paid less for bare root and ( 2) didn't need to transport 3 heavy containers for nothing and (3) Tsugawa should tell customers what they are getting. Her response was a weak, "I guess so".
We will never go back. It took us 45 minutes to get there from Portland, they were understaffed on a sunny saturday morning and we feel we got ripped off. One lady who helped us was pretty nice and knowledgeable, but the rest of the staff acted like they didn't really care whether or not we were there.