Make the McKenzie Connection!


McKenzie Nursery








By Dan Purkey

Looking to visit a nursery surrounded by beautiful country on the foothills of the Cascade Mountains; coupled with a warm friendly welcome by the Clift’s, Alyce Mathew and their lovable dogs (Grace and Murphy), then please make McKenzie River Nursery your destination for vegetable starts, bedding plants, trees/shrubs and hanging baskets!

Before the 1940’s the nursery started as a dairy farm then was purchased by the Vaughn’s and changed to the McKenzie River Orchards, providing produce for truck farmers. In ‘68, Elwood and Alyce Mathew (from Minnesota) took over ownership and  began McKenzie River Nursery. Initially, Elwood sold wholesale, loading up his truck with plants and heading to town to sell directly to nursery outlets. In 1995, Elwood’s daughter (Tamara) took over for her dad; and began to diversify and become a retail center.

While McKenzie River Nursery was evolving under the direction of Tamara and her parents, Greg Clift was beginning his journey west! He was raised in Wisconsin, attended Milton College, taught high school vocational agriculture and embraced the extension service program of the 4-H. Greg had advance degree studies in horticulture when he moved to Oregon and became an agronomist in approximately 1991.

After a tragic plane crash and the loss of Tamara’s husband on Oct. 11, 1996, Greg’s agronomist visits to the McKenzie River Nursery eventually led to a courtship, love and marriage 22 years ago with Tamara.

In 2001, Greg joined the nursery full time. Since then, under the McKenzie River Nursery has consistently grown; primarily because of loyal customers and “word of mouth.” As one customer said, “the greatest place for anything to plant…a family style nursery meaning when you shop there you become part of their extended family.”

Come to 38698 Camp Creek Road and become a part of their extended family, and ask about their March classes to build and design your own hanging basket.

HOURS: 3/1 – 4/15: Tues – Sat – 9 am to 5:30 pm, 4/15 – 7/3: Tues – Sat – 9 am to 5:30 pm/ Sunday 11 am to 3 pm, 7/5 – mid-October: 9 am to 5:30 pm. Closed Sunday Mid October – 3/1: Call 541-747-2767. Closed Mondays.,  [email protected].


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