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Although this could very well be a picture of me finding a new treasure at a favorite nursery, it's actually an illustration by David Catrow for a children's book called Plantzilla.

Monday, April 28, 2014

How Do You Spell Paradise? C-I-S-T-U-S!

I still remember the first time I went to Cistus Nursery years ago and was blown away by the experience. The car was filled with plants!  As I recall, there was significant emptying of the wallet.  The staff was very kind and gave me a Cistus tshirt. (This was before I liked agaves, yuccas, or palms.)  Even without those, which often get featured in posts about this exceptional nursery, the place is amazing.  For previous visits, look here and here . 

Here are some shots of our recent visit to Cistus after attending Hortlandia.   They get ever larger specimens of yucca rostrata.  Didn't even look at the prices of the ones pictured here behind my gardening partner in crime, Alison.  


 This is what my babies will look like in about 15 years.  Don't mind waiting as they look really sweet when they're tiny as well.

Although these are pretty tempting.  Maybe when I clear out the parking strips, another summer project, there'll be space...


So much to love about these sweet plants!


A random shopper checking out some of the succulents.  I sometimes wonder if Portlanders know how lucky they are to have this place in their back yard?  

A stroll through  Cistus's "Big Top" area is like stepping into California without  that pesky air travel.  If you miss removing your shoes and being patted down, you could certainly  take your shoes off and probably one of the staff would pat you down if you asked - they're really very nice here. 

These plants love our warm, dry summers.  Our soggy winters are another story but let's not talk about that right now o.k?


My rodocoma capensis made it through the winter but it's got a great deal of brown foliage from the winter freezes.  I remained firm in my resolve to be done with restios after 10 years of growing many members of the family and watching them expire during especially cold winters.  Then I saw these... Aren't they gorgeous?  No, I will remain strong until I have a greenhouse large enough to drag one of these into during the coldest part of the winter!  (and I already found a very inexpensive gallon on sale recently...)

Heather, Scott, and Loree shopped with us.  It's always fun to shop with other addicts plant enthusiasts and bloggers.


Hosta 'Hyuga Vrajrro' has cool sword like foliage with nice yellow variegation.  Not this time.


Danae racemosa (poet's laurel) description on the tag:  Out of the Middle East comes a slow-to-propagate and rare evergreen shrub for the shade garden.  Handsome AND drought tolerant, this 3ft shrub has arching stems with waxy green leaves once used to crown atheletes and poets.  A nobel history!  White summer flowers are not showy but produce large red-orange berries that last through autumn and winter.  Part shade to shade with water to establish. Frost hardy to at least 0F, USDA zone 7.

I would love to have this simply so that I could rest on my laurels or at least tell the story of the plant to unwary passers by but I didn't love it so it stayed at Cistus.  Then I saw this article and this.  Maybe it should come home with me on my next visit.  I have an urn that would be perfect for it.

It's always a good time to check out the Schefflera delavayi in the garden.  He was posing so handsomely this day.
 Ginkgo biloba 'Mariken'  is a cutie!

Danger in her element!

Here's Heather's haul.

Loree's lovelies are to the left of the stylish purse while Alison's acquisitions are to the right.

Peter's plants.  I'm very excited about the one to the far right.  It's a hardy variegated yucca but resembles a much less hardy cordyline.  Totally cool!

Time to pack up

And ease on down the road to our next adventure.
I'm pretty sure that Cistus will be on the fling itinerary.  Can't wait!

27 comments:

  1. I've been redoing small areas of the gravel garden and thinking about a Yucca rostrata for it. Are they truly hardy? Do you think it will need protection from the winter rain?

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    1. I was told that they aren't quite as tough as some of the other yuccas that we grow when it comes to winter wet. Got two gallon babies to experiment with and put them in the worst soil I have that drains well in the winter and turns to stone in the summer. They didn't miss a beat this winter and look like they put on some growth since I put them in a year ago so I'm going with yes, they're truly hardy. Loree has several and they seem very happy in her garden.

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    2. Besides, you look natural next to them so you should have some in your gravel garden!

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  2. Oh you all are sooo lucky!! such a wonderful place, amazing plants, the best plant lovers as partners... look at those Yucca rostrata...they look so incredible in your pictures that I can´t imagine how amazing they must be in person.

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    1. We're very lucky that the Portland bloggers let us play with them! The Yucca rostrata were truly wonderful and I may need to get a few someday!

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  3. Ah Cistus, you've got me wanting to run back out there right now! As for your comment about wondering if Portlanders know how lucky they are, I am surprised how many people have never been to Cistus. What's wrong with them!?

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    1. I'm very lucky that I don't live closer because I'd waste more money on plants than I already do now!

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  4. EPIc EPIC EPIC! I'm thinking of doing a road trip to buy some rostrata!!!!!! AHHH!!!!!

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    1. It was pretty amazing to see such large specimens for sale. They looked so regal together and made me want to rip out some trees to make more sunny space in my garden!

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  5. How to whet ones appetite! So can't wait to see Cistus in the flesh!

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    1. It's a wonderful nursery and I know you'll love it when we visit in July. I already want to go back and it's only been a couple of weeks since I visited!

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  6. Gingko Foliage is wonderful I love the shape of their leaves, sounds like another great nursery trip.

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    1. I'm fond of Ginkgo foliage too! It's so unlike any other leaves.

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  7. I love your enthusiasm for your plant finds!

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    1. Someday, maybe I'll calm down and utilize plants to get a desired result in the scheme of a garden design but for now, I'm still thrilled by the shape or color of a leaf or a quirky thing that a particular plant does. Oh well...

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  8. I love Danae racemosa. It makes a perfect "skirt" for the base of trees and larger shrubs in addition to being a beautiful specimen in it's own right. It has a more graceful habit in shade, and a bright, saturated true green color. The stems arch down so that the tips brush the ground. It's also tolerant of dry shade, making it a good plant for me! I could use a couple of those Yucca rostrata, too!

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    1. I see a visit to Cistus in your future!

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  9. You certainly know how to enjoy yourself! With so much temptation, I'm surprised more didn't come home with you! I just have to admire from afar, they wouldn't like all our rain in the winter.

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    1. We have a similar climate with rain all winter long and a drought from July 5 until October 1 (more or less.) It's surprising how much many of these plants will tolerate!

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  10. My tiny trunkless Y rostrata probably won't be a dramatic specimen in my lifetime, so you guys are way ahead of me! I have this daydream of driving by a property that wants to get rid of mature Euphorbia ammaks and Y. rostratas because they hate desert plants, and there I'll be with my shovel...

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    1. My own Y rostratas, planted last summer from one gallon pots, are also trunkless but I do enjoy the foliage even without the trunk. One of these days, if I'm sure of a perfect placement, I might invest in a larger one but not today. Yours is a beautiful daydream!

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  11. Great photos! Lovely plants. I am a Portlander and Cistus is my favorite nursery. I haven't been out there recently but there are other ways to get Cistus plants.....! They do have a wonderful garden to just wander through.

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    1. Now I'm curious about these other ways. I know that they do mail order and were at the Hortlandia sale. Part of the fun for me is discovering what's at the nursery.

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  12. I think you have a bunch of Flingers salivating over a trip to Cistus. I'm late to the Yucca rostrata party, but still starting with babies. Like all babies, they're really cute so I'm OK with the long wait for them to mature.

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    1. I want to go back again myself. Alison and I will be stopping again after the Rare Plant Research Open - Hooray! You're right, Y rostratas are cute when they're babies but some days I dream of bigger ones. Patience is a virtue, right?

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  13. What a fun day that must have been. I LOVE Yucca rostrata too and have one achieving a trunk after 5 years. I am always amazed to think about Loree squeezing all her plant purchases into that little yellow Bug.

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    1. And that little yellow bug is always so clean. My car has potting soil covering the interior for most of the year.

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Thanks so much for taking the time to comment! I love to hear your thoughts.