About the Nursery Owners

About the Dancing Oaks Nursery OwnersFred Weisensee and Leonard Foltz are unrepentant plant addicts, always on the lookout for their next botanical fix. It is this passion for plants that in August of 1995 led Fred and Leonard to move back to Fred's boyhood farm to start Dancing Oaks Nursery.

Fred and Leonard's addiction is so advanced that their idea of a novel is a plant catalog, seed list, or new monotype from Timber Press. Vacations -- when they can extract themselves from the nursery -- are weekend escapes to nurseries and hiking trails or frantic plant expeditions to South Africa or Chile for a few weeks in the off season.

Leonard continues to be struck without warning by insatiable desires to know and collect various groups of plants and compare their characteristics and to choose his favorites. His horticultural bent started at an early age while growing up on the family century farm in the Cascade foothills of Jordan in Oregon's Willamette Valley. In grade school his idea of wild was some vegetable novelties from Gurney's seed catalog. It's been a long, slippery slope (and more expensive habit) since then. After studying Philosophy he began working for a grafted ornamentals wholesale nursery in Canby where he worked for nine years. He is grateful for the handful of courses in plant ID and propagation at Clackamas and Chemeketa Community Colleges. Leonard devotes all his time at the nursery tending to the needs of the varied offspring.

Fred can trace the genetic roots of his addiction to his Grandma who had a huge vegetable garden and loved flowers of every kind. But it took a Hardy Plant winter lecture by Wayne Winterrowd and Joe Eck years ago on a balmy February day in Portland to ignite his unrequited addiction. Their eloquent passion for ornamental gardening and keen sense of design awakened a whole new world to him. Fred's horticultural knowledge and experience show itself in the hands-on building of the Nursery and its gardens, visiting gardens far and near, writing hundreds of plant labels, and staffing the nursery on weekends and whenever his full time Internal Medicine practice in Corvallis allows.

Fred and Leonard are members of many plant societies (we are who we hang out with) near and far.