Discovering Bosky Dell Nursery in West Linn

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

I discovered a slice of magic in these troubling times that has trumped even my most favorite of nurseries in Portland: Bosky Dell Natives.  I can't tell you enough how truly special this nursery is, but I will try!

When we arrived, I saw the owner, Lory Duralia, greeting another customer with her dog in tow.  I met Dan and Rebecca, employees of the nursery, who were hanging out near two greenhouses and a nearby camper-trailer (nursery office) and more than willing to engage us in conversation or talk natives.

Corner after corner I found natives I never knew existed tucked in corners of recycled materials, old window sashes, old antlers, rocks, and nurse logs.  I was in an Oregonian's paradise.

Lory is very knowledgeable about all things native, and I loved reading her story about how she came to create Bosky Dell after being a single Mom and bartender.  It made me love this place even more to find that she was a self-starter, inspired by native plants, the environment, birds, beetles, and bees.

To find myself at a native nursery was a new experience for me.  I found myself in wonder at the selection of beautiful natives of the Willamette Valley that I have always been drawn to, but have had trouble tracking down at other nurseries.

The old camper trailer on the premises is used as the check-out counter/office, and I was invited to come on in, sit down at the old formica laminate counter, where I continued my conversation with Dan, the Bosky Dell employee, signed up to join their e-mail list . . . my eyes roamed the interior of the cabin, taking in the old eco-friendly vintage posters hanging here and there, skimming over old business cards thumb-tacked to a bulletin board that had seen better days, and thank-you notes tacked here and there on the walls of the old trailer, faded over time, from grade-schoolers who had learned something from Bosky Dell and its owner, Lory, during a day-trip excursion.  

Right in line with my style of using old nurse logs as borders for paths, I knew I had found a nursery owned by someone after my own heart.  I can't wait to meet Lory personally and talk to her in depth about . . . the sky's the limit!  I want to interview her and find out more about this special place, the plants, and her life story.  I hope she publishes an autobiography one day.  

Look at those trees, native starts, and the old shed built from recycled materials.  I took lots of much-needed deep breaths of the fresh air, basking in the beauty of the property with deep native roots no matter where you looked.

This old tree was a heartbreaker, I'm sure, to take down, but the logs will be used wisely, integrated into the landscape, continuing to serve an important purpose.

Lory integrates nurse logs wherever she can.  They can become supporters of other plants, growing native ferns, for example, sustaining life for many years while they continue to decay.  They add great beauty and purpose to the native landscape.

The look on my face is pure happiness and bliss, which was much-needed after many, many difficult shifts at work.  I serve in a giving profession, and at the end of this week, I felt I had nothing left to give.  I left Bosky Dell feeling rejuvenated and inspired . . . and, oh, boy, will I be back.  I'm in love with this place, and so happy to find myself connected even further to a network of those that want to bring back native plants, restoring our backyards one at a time to become the habitats they are meant to be for our local birds, insects, and environment.  


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