On a Trip to Sauvie Island

by Cynthia

Last weekend my family and I made a trip out to a beautiful area outside Portland called Sauvie Island. Just a few minutes from the city you can be surrounded by farms and serenity. It is a beautiful spot to visit but I had my sights set on a particular location found on Sauvie Island. I wanted to pay a visit to a nursery devoted to selling just herbs called the Blue Heron Herbary.

The last time I paid a visit to this beautiful nursery my daughter was still a baby and my visit was cut shorter than I would have liked. I was very happy to be able to return again with her a little older so she could enjoy it with me. It is not just the large array of herbs for sale that gets me excited about this nursery. In fact it is their absolutely beautiful display garden that I was really looking forward to seeing. The display garden at the Blue Heron Herbary is a knot garden design full of Elizabethan herbs and it is just beautiful.

Blue Heron Herbary

Looking out across the display garden

The Elizabethan display garden

The Elizabethan knot garden display

Another view of the Elizabethan display garden

Another view of the Elizabethan knot garden display

I do believe everyone in my family was surprised at just how pretty a garden full of just herbs could be. My husband stated several times how peaceful the garden was. The garden is truly a wildlife sanctuary as it was bursting with birds and butterflies. We were very excited to see several birds nesting in the birdhouses found throughout the garden. My 10 year old son said it was so relaxing there that he wanted to lie down and take a nap in a corner of the garden!

Blue Heron Herbary

Within the knot garden some lavenders were reaching full bloom.

To make the visit even better I was able to pick up some herbs on my wish list that I had not yet been able to find. Of course I also came home with some herbs I had not intended on buying! I do feel like I displayed some self control though as I could have gone crazy. I did not even allow myself to browse their huge selection of lavenders because I do not need another lavender plant and you can bet had I browsed that huge selection I would have came home with one or two or maybe even three.

Within the display garden there is a large patch of Sweet Cicely that I thought was very pretty.

Within the display garden there is a large patch of Sweet Cicely that I thought was very pretty.

My daughter also liked the Sweet Cicely. Its flowers are the perfect height for her to examine.

My daughter also liked the Sweet Cicely. Its flowers are the perfect height for her to examine.

The displays found throughout the nursery were just as lovely as the Elizabethan garden. My husband and I particularly liked this arrangement of pots placed in a corner of the nursery. In fact I so liked the plant combination of thyme and variegated calamint (Calamintha grandiflora ‘Variegata’) featured in one of the pots that I ended up buying a variegated calamint so I could duplicate this combo in my own garden. This says a lot because I do not usually go for variegated plants but this combination was so pretty I just could not stop eyeing it.

Tucked into a corner of the nursery one can view this pretty little display.

Tucked into a corner of the nursery one can view this pretty little display.

The thyme was not labeled but to me it looks like lemon thyme.

Here is the thyme and calamint combination that I liked so much. The thyme was not labeled but to me it looks like lemon thyme.

On top of the nursery there is also a gift shop to browse through. Everything herbal can be found inside this cute little shop. Things like spice mixes, to jams, to tea pots, to books on herbs; herbal heaven for someone that loves herbs as much as I do.

A little shop bursting with herbal goodies.

A little shop bursting with herbal goodies.

My family and I all had such a nice time strolling the gardens and nursery that Saturday afternoon. We enjoyed it so much so that my husband and I have been discussing possibly planting an Elizabethan herb garden in our front yard. In fact if I can find the time I might just attempt it seeing how this visit left such an impression on us.

If you ever want to tour nurseries in and around Portland, Oregon the Blue Heron Herbary is definitely one you do not want to pass up. Oh, and bring your camera! Photographing what you like helps to remember displays that you might want to duplicate in your own garden.

Photos in this post may be clicked on to view fullsize.
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