4.23.2017

field trip: Pomarius Nursery

turquoise metal bistro set, Pomarius Nursery, Portland (May 2016)

One day last May, I stumbled upon Portland's Pomarius Nursery while walking from a bus stop in Slabtown up to an appointment in the Alphabet District. Pomarius is what the British would call posh, meaning not your average suburban-chain garden center but a nursery for dreamers and those in higher tax brackets. Sections of the nursery are set up like rooms, complete with bright-colored bistro sets and potted table décor atop neo-modernist rusted-metal occasional tables, the pea-gravel paths like textured rugs. Caged parakeets, tropical houseplants, and trickling fountains were tucked inside a humid enclosure. With plants staged in groupings in furnished rooms, the feeling is small-space intimate: a secret garden of topiary nestled within a former industrial district, now turned into high-end apartments and condos, cafés, and doggy-day-care centers with puns for names.

A few months later, feeling a bit homesick for green space in dense, sprawling London, a walking trip to London's Clifton Nurseries reminded me of Pomarius in Portland. In fact, I preferred Pomarius for its modern, casual, confident mixing of global styles—West Coast American, European, Asian—meaning the world has grown much smaller when a small, progressive Northwest American city can, at least in part, compete favorably with a former Empire capital, particularly when that capital is known for its garden culture. Portland is moving up in the world—or rather, the world is moving to Portland.


peachy-pink rose, Pomarius Nursery (May 2016)


Pomarius Nursery sign, Portland, Oregon (May 2016)


planter pots, Pomarius Nursery, Portland, Oregon (May 2016)


parakeets, Pomarius Nursery (May 2016)


indoor pond, Pomarius Nursery, Portland, Oregon (May 2016)


round metal table, Pomarius Nursery, Portland, Oregon (May 2016)


jade plant, Pomarius Nursery, Portland, Oregon (May 2016)

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