Raintree Nursery Visit
A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I had a free Saturday with both teens off doing their own thing. We decided to take advantage of the day and drive up to Morton, WA to check out the town. Morton is situated as a perfect jumping off point for going to Mt. Rainier or Mt. St. Helens, visiting nearby lakes or skiing up on White's Pass. It is also the home of Raintree Nursery. Raintree is a nursery that I had only ever known by their catalog or online site. It is one of the nurseries we often recommend at the Master Gardener Answer Clinic when folks are looking for specific fruiting trees and shrubs. So a day trip to Morton was a perfect opportunity to stop in and see the nursery in person.
Their greenhouses were full of plants, when we stopped in that afternoon. I was on the hunt for some blackberry starts to replace the raspberries we had pulled last fall. After talking with one of the staff, we ended up choosing two thornless varieties: Black Diamond and Wild Treasure. Of course a few other goodies landed in the back of our car that afternoon as well! We found a new-to-me berry called an Arctic Raspberry or an All Field Berry. These small, ground cover like berries were developed in Sweden. They have a bright pink flower that produces a raspberry like fruit. I bought a few of them and will be placing them out near our new blackberry patch. The last thing we picked up was a bundle of bare root strawberries. The ones we had in the garden had been there for four or five years, and it was time to replace them.
We walked the grounds a bit looking at the different fruit and nut trees available for purchase. There were quite a few people at the nursery selecting some beautiful bare root fruit trees for their own gardens. Raintree has a wonderful selection on varying root stock.
It was also fun to see the different training methods for their fruit trees. It is amazing what can be done with fruit trees given patience and foresight. Raintree was giving away bare root Rosa rugosa Alba to those who came into the shop that day. We picked one up to tuck into our side yard. I am anxious to see how it does over the years. We have a pink Rosa rugosa in our front garden, and I love how it looks through the summer and it's easy going nature. You gotta love ornamental shrubs that don't ask much of you! I hope it's white flowering cousin proves to be of the same nature.
If you find yourself near Morton, WA (which is about 90 minutes north of Portland), I recommend a stop into Raintree's Garden Center. The people who work there are happy to talk plants with you, and they have a great selection of trees, shrubs and vines. And if you don't live nearby, they offer a great catalog and online store for mail order purchases.