European Nursery - Nirvana for Coneheads

By Anton and Jill Klemens in Nurseries

Jan Redyk founded European Nursery in the US over 20 years ago, after escaping the communist regime in Poland. The nursery’s name is an homage to his European roots and is located on approximately 90 acres in Hillsboro, Oregon, with over 900 varieties of conifers, Japanese maples and other rare and unusual plants from all over the world. When Jan is not on the grounds, his wife Aleksandra and daughter Magda tend the business.

European Nursery in Hillsboro, OR
European Nursery in Hillsboro, OR

Magda also runs Hidden Gnome Farm, a small farm and nursery located on the property where she grows many different types of unique plants and heirloom vegetables that you won't find at a big box garden center or grocery store. The farm uses natural, sustainable practices and she believes in leaving the land healthier than she found it. The on-line sales for European Nursery is on Hidden Gnome's website.

Some of the thousands of specialty plants at European Nursery
Some of the thousands of specialty plants at European Nursery

My first purchase from European Nursery goes back to 2008 at a nursery in Northern California; a Pinus thunbergii “Thunderhead’. In 2010, my wife and I moved to our current residence in West Linn Oregon, and I had to leave the plant behind. I was eager to start planting and planning for a new conifer garden. We kept the tag from the ‘Thunderhead’ and my wife suggested that we call the Nursery to see if we could stop by to pick one up.

There's just too much to choose from!
There's just too much to choose from!

As we slowly made our way down the long gravel road we were in awe of the beauty and amount of plant material. Yeah, they had ‘Thunderheads’, more than we could count! I will always remember the gigantic smile Jan had on his face as he scooted along and greeted us from his tractor. We loaded the truck with a few goodies.

See what I mean?
See what I mean?

I still get just as excited on every visit to this day, four years since that first visit. EN is especially known for rare grafts and plants from Europe. For those conifer addicts who are looking for the rare, hard to find, unique brooms, look no further. Jan’s greenhouses are stocked with rare and unusual conifers from Europe, including brooms from the Jerry Morris collection. My smart phone does me no good looking up some of the items I have purchased. Try to Google Ginko biloba ‘Luis’. a miniature globe Ginko, or Pinus banksiana ‘Natalia’, a miniature globe shaped pine. They're so rare and unusual that only collectors and the lucky few who already have them know anything about them!

Ginkgo biloba 'Luis'
Ginkgo biloba 'Luis'
Pinus banksiana 'Natalia'
Pinus banksiana 'Natalia'

There are so many rare specimens at EN that it is hard to figure out what to highlight, but here's another one of my favorites:

Picea pungens 'Platte MIssy #118'
Picea pungens 'Platte MIssy #118'

Don’t be fooled by the small stuff. His mature gardens filled with choice large specimens from afar as well.

The display gardens contain gorgeous mature specimens
The display gardens contain gorgeous mature specimens

And of course many acres of field grown plants, which Jan and his team carefully prepare for shipment.

Some of the in-ground plants, ready for B&B
Some of the in-ground plants, ready for B&B

Are you ready to visit European Nursery after seeing it? Great news - it's one of our featured attractions at the 2014 Western Region Annual Meeting this August 1-2 in the Portland area. We'd love to have you join us!

Comments

Sieglinde Anderson

I am totally jealous! wish we had a nursery like that within driving distance of Asheville, NC. :-)

Daniel Spear

Sieglinde,, We have something similar... have you visited Appeldoorn Landscape Nursery in Bostic, NC? It’s about an hour east of Asheville. He has thousands of cultivars, all that will thrive in our Southern climate.

Mary Griggs

Besides Appledorn's which Bruce and his nursery are awesome. BB Barnes in Arden & Reems Creek Nursery in Weaverville are fantastic. I drive from Charlotte 3 or 4 times a year to shop all 3 nurseries.

Scott Antrim

Visited EN several times years ago but think I heard it is no more. Perhaps one of the Western Region folks can chime in.
Had tons of exotic cultivars, not the same old stuff that can be found in almost every US conifer nursery.

David Olszyk

actually nobody out west really knows for sure. EN was enigmatic during the best of times. Ever since Jan and Magda divorced, it's been a long, slow race to the bottom.

Anton Klemens

Jan is doing well and the nursery is still alive - just not the same as it once was. Almost everything that was in a container is now in planted in the ground. I was out there in November and tagged/purchased around half dozen plants.