Back on the plant play date with Danger, we left Lila and the Danger Garden to visit Cistus and pick up my aeonium collection prize from the Aeonium Challenge. The collection is so wonderful and in a container decorated by noted plantsman, Sean Hogan, himself that it'll get it's own post later. Here are some impressions of this visit. I began visiting Cistus many years ago after reading about it in Stephanie Feeney's The Northwest Gardener's Resource Directory, a fabulous book that listed every nursery from British Columbia to Northern California and shared Stephanie's impressions from her visits. Unfortunately, MS Feeney was taken from us all too soon. In the last edition of the book (1996, I think) internet resources were added. Anyway, I've greatly admired this nursery for years and before I knew anything else about the Portland area, I'd drive down just to visit Cistus, fill the car (it wasn't yet named plant mobile) with plants and drive home. See previous posts from recent years here.
Beautiful Eucalyptus tree near the parking area.
One of my favorites, Agave americana mediopicta alba. I would have taken one home but there are already two in the hoard. You see, one was purchased as a back up plant because I didn't know if the first would survive.
Agave ovatifolia 'Frosty Blue,' a Cistus introduction.
Oh, that giant cycad is a beautiful sight.
"No Plant Is Safe" from the wagon of a plant addicted shopper? From the four seasons?
Giant palm fronds.
Is there any happier sight for a plant addict than a nursery packed with unusual plants on a warm summer day?
One of the Billbergia nutans 'Variegata' on the table wanted to come home with me. Maybe it'll get to stay with me longer than it's non-variegated couisin that I gave away a couple of years back.
There are more Crepe Myrtles planted around Portland than there are further north. I've seen some bloom beautifully in more exposed sunny areas here but in my mostly shady garden, I only get leaves.
Cistus is a place that invites discovery, pulls one down a path or around a corner to see what might be there, and then rewards the journey with visuals like this.
Protea cynaroides. Oh so tempting.
Vitis vinifera 'Purpurea'
Agave americana 'Cornelius'
Yucca rostratas (or is that Yuccas rostrata?) Anyway, mine will look like this in about five more years.
More green goodness.
Blue sky, golden bamboo foliage (not to be confused with golden bamboo or heavenly bamboo which is Nandina and not a bamboo at all.)
Visiting Cistus is always exciting but what made this visit even more special, besides the ever-present Danger, was that we got to go into the production area, a first for me, not for the dangerous one.
But the sign says....
It's always a special treat to see the collections and propagation areas of plantsmen/plantswomen that one admires. In the course of that week I'd visited Far Reaches Farm, Windcliff (posts to come) and now Cistus and been allowed to peek "behind the curtain" at each of these operations run by world-renowned plantsmen. If you're not a plant nerd, this is the equivalent of being able to go backstage to meet your favorite three rock stars and sit in on rehearsals of the same all in one week.
Do you want to pull that weed from between these prickly characters?
The multi colored flag coding, the sparse labeling because most plants here are known, the hot air of the hoop houses, the roar of the crowd. Oh wait, that's something else.
Aeonium 'Starburst' is a lovely thing!
I really want one of these but don't have the heart to make one myself . Isn't it interesting?
Senecio cristobalensis, I presume? I got one of these from Cistus years ago.
I have Dichroa febrifuga, some with blue blooms and one with blooms a little lighter but this vibrant pink was new to me. The label reads Dichroa versicolor. For further confusion and entertainment click here.
We finally arrive at the office at the back of the entire operation to visit with Sean and, of course, outside there were more faboo plants.
Fasticularia bicolor had been on my list for quite a while and just a few days before, I'd found one that had just been put out that morning at Far Reaches. Seeing this specimen in Sean's collection made me even happier to have found one!
What a treat to see all of this! Thank you Loree and Sean for this special opportunity!