Greetings to Plant Lovers Everywhere

Dear Friends,                               January 2015

The years are catching up with us!  (Maybe you know the feeling).  It is definitely time to slow down, so that we can better enjoy what we are doing.  A logical first step is to reduce the number of plants we grow and the number listed on our Web Site.  Cutting the list is difficult but the choice ended up about, #1 the rarity of the plant, #2 the physical effort required to produce it and  #3 customer interest. 

The Vireya rhododendron list will also be sharply cut back, mostly the hybrids.  Species vireyas will be our “fun” work group and their list will grow.  This year, for the first time in ten years, we are propagating some of the hardy species and native azaleas from our extensive collection.  These plants deserve to be in more of your gardens.  This will be a one year only propagating project so look for the results on our Web Site by fall 2011 and spring of 2012. 

We live in a house on the nursery property so we will be here when you visit to show you around then garden and the greenhouse.

We are just slowing down not quitting  !

Lucie Sorensen-Smith,  E White Smith


At Bovees we have a commitment as a specialty nursery to offer a unique selection of plants, many of which are rarely found in garden centers or other catalogs. For those who may be interested, the actual nursery is quite small, less than two acres, but most of the plants are produced here, propagated from stock plants growing in our beautiful woodland setting. When the garden was started in 1952 by Bob and Gertrude Bovee as a retirement business, they chose the finer forms of rare trees, shrubs and vines to join their collection of rhododendrons and azaleas. After Bob's death and the transfer of the garden to us in 1972, we retained the name because we considered ourselves trustees or caretakers of the garden which meant so much to them.

We still have hardy species and hybrid Rhododendrons available but no longer list them in this catalog. Please call our 800 number if you have a want list. Because of our advancing age and the ever present work load in our garden we are concentrating on rare shrubs and rock garden companion plants and Vireya Rhododendrons.

We are growing the largest collection of the Vireya rhododendrons (semi-tropical) in the North America. We are always pleased to have you visit the greenhouse where you will find wonderful surprises blooming any month of the year, many with delightful fragrance.

We are closed during August and until September 15th plus the month of January. Except by appointment.

HOW TO GET TO THE NURSERY: We are located between S.W. Lancaster and Arnold Rds., off of S.W. 16th Drive. We are just north of Lake Oswego off of Boones Ferry. Please consult a map and/or call for more specific help. 503-244-9341  

From I-5 South Bound: Take Terwilliger exit (#297) and cross over the freeway bridge eastbound. Continue through the Burlingame district and take the RIGHT FORK (onto Boones Ferry) in the road when it branches at a stop light. At the bottom of the hill turn RIGHT onto Arnold and go up to 16th. Turn left and go two blocks.

From I-5 North Bound: Take lake Oswego/Durham Exit and follow Boones Ferry north through Lakegrove and continue on Boones Ferry to Stephenson St. and turn left. Watch for our signs and turn right on Lancaster and then right on 16th.

Our e-mail address is A very good Vireya Internet web site is Also see this Web site for parentage and photos of plants listed in this catalog. For Vireya seed worldwide, write to Bill and Julie Miller,  PO Box 2087.  Keaau, Hi.  96749    E-mail    1-808-982-8290

Lucie Sorensen-Smith, Proprietor;. propagator, vireya manager.

Janice Palmer, Companion plant propagator.

E. White Smith, Computers, grounds, customer service, Vireya Vine Newsletter.