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Posts Tagged ‘Cistus Nursery’

Friday, 26 June 2015

Hardy Plant Society Study Weekend, Portland 2015

a side trip to Cistus Nursery on Sauvie Island

We were skipping two of the tour gardens today so that we would have time to visit two nurseries.  The first was one of my all time favourites, Cistus on Sauvie Island.

hot

much rejoicing at our arrival at Cistus

much rejoicing at our arrival at Cistus

We rarely get to this nursery as it is over a two hour drive from our house.

driveway between two display gardens

driveway between two display gardens

plant nerd crossing

plant nerd crossing

This is the plant nerd crossing from sales area to parking lot, from my passenger window.

This is the plant nerd crossing from sales area to parking lot, from my passenger window.

The display garden is full of plants I cannot easily identify.

The display garden is full of plants I cannot easily identify.  Acacia, I think.

plants

grasses

display2

So far, this is only in the display garden along the parking lot.

by the (by now very welcome) sanicans

by the (by now very welcome) sanicans

driveway2

rose

On early springtime visits, I have been able to walk up this path.

On early springtime visits, I have been able to walk up this path.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

A saw a white spot; it was one of the shop cats, hiding from the sunshine.  (I had to walk in to say hi.)

A saw a white spot; it was one of the shop cats, hiding from the sunshine. (I had to walk in to say hi.)

Eryngium: Allan's photo

Eryngium: Allan’s photo

Eryngium: Allan's photo

Eryngium: Allan’s photo

entering the main greenhouse

entering the main greenhouse (Allan’s photo)

so happy to be there!

so happy to be there!

in the Big Top

in the Big Top

Allan didn't get much further than the succulents area at first.

Allan didn’t get much further than the succulents area at first.

succulents

Solanum quitoense: I used to have one and wish I still did.

Solanum quitoense: I used to have one and wish I still did.

Solanum quitoense

Solanum quitoense, such cool thorns

I could not purchase large plants, because we would have to lug them up to our hotel room for the weekend; it would be too hot to leave them in the van.

Oooh, I love brown flowers.  This was small, so I bought it.

Oooh, I love brown flowers. This was small, so I bought it.

hotchocolate

more cool plants

more cool plants

 I would have bought so many more if we were on our way home.

Acacia pravissima.

Acacia pravissima.

Oh, how I want that Acacia again.  I had it, in a pot, in my old garden, till a bunch of snow slid off the roof (a most unusual snowstorm) and crushed it.  This one was too darn big to buy and lug to the hotel room.

out of the Big Top into the sunny nursery

out of the Big Top into the sunny nursery

This I've had twice, and it's died twice.  This time, I resisted it.

This I’ve had twice, and it’s died twice. This time, I resisted it.

Pittosporum 'Marjorie Channon'.  I almost succumbed.

Pittosporum ‘Marjorie Channon’. I almost succumbed.

This reminds me that I must check and see how my Rhomneya is doing in the back garden...

This reminds me that I must check and see how my Rhomneya is doing in the back garden…

Albizia 'Summer Chocolate'...too big for this trip.

Albizia ‘Summer Chocolate’…too big for this trip.

I'm thinking of going much more drought tolerant in my front garden....Hmmm.

I’m thinking of going much more drought tolerant in my front garden….Hmmm.

I did buy a manageably sized Fremontodendron!

I did buy a manageably sized Fremontodendron, which will fit in the hotel room.

tag

zonal denial, perhaps

one of the plant sections

one of the plant sections

More Tetrapanax...

More Tetrapanax…

Perhaps my front garden could look like this.

Perhaps my front garden could look like this.

yard2

the big chicken that is the host of summer barbecues.

the big chicken that is the host of summer barbecues.

behind the sales desk

behind the sales desk

Next time I hope to be able to buy some Really Big Plants!

Next time I hope to be able to buy some Really Big Plants!

Next: Our third tour garden of the day.

 

 

 

 

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Sunday, 13 July 2014

Garden Bloggers Fling, Portland

The itinerary for our bus was different than on the schedule.

The itinerary for our bus was different than on the schedule.

crossing one of Portland's many bridges.

crossing one of Portland’s many bridges.

Along many areas beside the city freeways, drifts of roses are planted.

Along many areas beside the city freeways, drifts of roses are planted.  (photo taken from the bus, of course)

John Kuzma Garden

Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 6.45.21 PM

photo 1

As soon as I saw this garden, I again wanted to tear up all of my grass (as is usual when I see a gravel garden).  One of the main thing that stops me is that we cannot get decomposed granite or even washed gravel.  The only gravel around here is full of “fines” and is not the proper sort for building a garden like this (as far as I know).

the bus arrives

the bus arrives and we are greeted by our host, John Kuzma

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Gravel drifts all the way to the street.

Gravel drifts all the way to the street.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

front

As we arrived, it began to rain.

taking shelter by the front door

taking shelter by the front door

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

front porch, Allan's photo

front porch, Allan’s photo

the front garden

the front garden

Allan's photo, a rhodo for Steve and John

Allan’s photo, a rhodo for Steve and John

front

two

front

front

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Now…walking around the side of the house:

side garden

side garden

And into the truly enormous back garden:

entering the back courtyard

entering the back courtyard

an elegant water feature

an elegant water feature

water

water

against the house

against the house

in the center of the courtyard

in the courtyard

court

And now into the upper level of the back garden:

just a few steps up

just a few steps up; I’d hardly had to do any stairs all day.

upper

cactus

orange

The garden was big enough to let us spread out.

The garden was big enough to let us spread out.  Also so nice and level for my walking comfort.

orange

house

 

crevice

 

crevice garden

crevice garden

crev

crev

 

crevice

 

Allan's photo; I was smitten with his crevice garden idea.

Allan’s photo; I was smitten with his crevice garden idea.

The rain had begun to bucket down.

The rain had begun to bucket down.

I hustled to a shed at the back corner of the garden.

I hustled to a shed at the back corner of the garden.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

with a living roof

with a living roof

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

shelter from the storm

shelter from the storm

I had to get back out for more photos.

foliage

Soon it seemed I was the only one who had stayed out in the garden.

urn

urn

gunnera toward the back of the garden

gunnera toward the back of the garden

a small kitchen garden

a small kitchen garden

leaves

looking back to the house

When I heard thunder and saw dramatic forked lightning strike on the other side of the house, I decided I had better get inside!

house

crev

a quick route via an unexplored area

a quick route via an unexplored area

rose, maybe Mutabilis

rose, maybe Mutabilis?

rose

 

Eucalyptus at the edge of the garden

Eucalyptus at the edge of the garden

I found the bloggers clustered on the back porch, donning garbage bags as rain gear.  One of the organizers had thought to bring them after seeing the forecast of thunderstorms.

bloggers2

 

the donning of rain gear, Allan's photo

the donning of rain gear, Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

our host, Mr Kuzma

our gracious host, Mr Kuzma, who let us drip into his house for lunch if we so desired.

This was our lunch spot; the other bus would be dining at the Floramagoria garden at the same time.

This was our lunch spot; the other bus would be dining at the Floramagoria garden at the same time.

lunch2

view from the back porch

view from the back porch

stairs to the upper level

stairs to the upper level

Along with several other people, I went into the house to eat.

another delicious sandwich from Elephants Deli.

another delicious sandwich from Elephants Deli.

view from the kitchen window

view from the kitchen window; you can see one side of the upper back garden does not have stairs to enter.

kitchen view

kitchen view

kitchen view

kitchen view

front door view

front door view

view from the front porch

view from the front porch

In the house, garden designer Sean Hogan's plant encyclopedia (Allan's photo)

In the house, garden designer Sean Hogan’s plant encyclopedia (Allan’s photo)

During lunch, the contigent of California bloggers were talking about Instagram and one of them gave me a quick tutorial.  I had it on my phone but had only used it once and had not realized it had become such a big thing.

Then the bloggers fanned out into the garden to take photos, rain or no rain.  (It had almost stopped.)

after lunch

after lunch

With the rain stopped, I could finally take photos looking up.

With the rain stopped, I could finally take photos looking up.

flowers

up

up

And with my phone, I took and posted my first Instagram.

And with my phone, I took and posted my first Instagram.

Allan joined the other bloggers for a post-rain tour of the garden; photos below are all his:

P1100453

P1100454

 

P1100455

P1100456

P1100457

P1100458

P1100459

Xera plant tag

Xera plant tag

P1100461

P1100462

P1100464

P1100465

P1100467

P1100469

P1100471

Aw....I had this back in 2012.

Aw….I had this back in 2012.

P1100472

P1100474

P1100475

P1100476

P1100478

Fatsia japonica 'Spider's Web'

Fatsia japonica ‘Spider’s Web’, I believe, and a little rhodo

This is the sort of garden where I have no clue what most of the plants are.

P1100480

P1100481

P1100484

P1100486

If I were twenty years younger…I might dig up every scrap of sod at home and find a way to get the right sort of gravel.  Beth Chatto’s Gravel Garden is one of my favourite books. I had no lawn at my old garden and liked it, but even better I like the way the paths, courtyards, and plantings are as one in a garden like this.

I think that Robert Nold of The Miserable Gardener would love this one.

Next: Floramagoria, a garden which I have heard is rarely open for tours.

 

 

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Friday, 11 July 2014

Garden Bloggers Fling

a fourteen hour day!

 

Cistus Nursery

cistus

After visiting the Lan Su Chinese Garden, we boarded two tour buses (luxurious, even with bathrooms that no one used, but no hydraulic stair lift) and departed for Cistus Nursery.  On the way, our bus driver called out,  “Let me know what the temperature is like in the back; last time I walked back to check, all the passengers screamed.”  I was instantly smitten.  The air conditioning was appreciated as it was 90 degrees or more outside.

crossing the Sauvie Island bridge

crossing the Sauvie Island bridge

Allan's photo: crossing the bridge to Sauvie Island

Allan’s photo: crossing the bridge to Sauvie Island with houseboats hugging the shore

The bus took the long way around the island, giving bloggers from other areas a pleasant tour of farmland.

The bus took the long way around the island, giving bloggers from other areas a pleasant tour of farmland.

The farms are part "edible" (cabbages, and in fall corn mazes for fun and fear)

The farms are part “edible” (cabbages to the left)

and part horticultural, with fields of roses, hydrangeas, and other shrubs

and part horticultural, with fields of roses, hydrangeas, and other shrubs.

sign

Its white flowers also caught Allan's eye.

The white flowers of Matilija poppy caught Allan’s eye.

"Owner Sean Hogan had meant to greet people off the bus, but we "scattered like kittens", says Allan of his photo here.

“Owner Sean Hogan had meant to greet people off the bus, but we “scattered like kittens”, says Allan of his photo here.  Sean chats with Kristen.

Allan's photo:  Bloggers in the display garden.

Allan’s photo: Bloggers in the display garden.

in the display garden:  Cistus is well known for its gravel gardens.

in the display garden: Cistus is well known for its gravel gardens.

bloggers enter into plant sales paradise

bloggers enter into plant sales paradise

By the gate, a scratch and sniff challenge.

By the gate, a scratch and sniff challenge.

This is the first time I have ever been to Cistus and walked out without spending about $300.  And think what I could spend with our large van instead of the small two door Saturn.  Struggling with a sore leg and the heat, I did not feel up to wrestling flats of plants up to the hotel room, so I bought, shockingly, nothing at all.  But am longing to go back and spend some money.

The nursery sales areas are divided into sections.

The nursery sales areas are divided into sections.

sign3

paradise for CPNs (Certified Plant Nuts)

paradise for CPNs (Certified Plant Nuts)

I believe this chicken holds fire! during summer evening events at the nursery.

I believe this chicken holds fire during summer evening events at the nursery.

I would love to go to such an event if there were a hotel (not a B&B) nearby.  And I mean REALLY nearby so one would not have to drive far after the event.

photos

Why, I could fit one of these in the van...I think.

Why, I could fit one of these in the van…I think.

We could hear the gentle sound of an employee raking gravel along the bamboo grove path.

We could hear the gentle sound of an employee raking gravel along the bamboo grove path.

Melianthus major 'Ginny Hunt'; my plant of this cultivar died over the winter; I couldn't face wrestling with this big of a replacement in the heat.

Melianthus major ‘Ginny Hunt’; my plant of this cultivar died over the winter; I couldn’t face wrestling with this big of a replacement in the heat.

more sniffing tips

more sniffing tips

Allan's photo: a sniff warning

Allan’s photo: a sniff warning

This had an excellent fragrance.

This had an excellent fragrance.

As did this.  I must return!

As did this. I must return!

A new Eucalyptus could surely be squeezed into the front garden.

Allan's photo: an "I want" Ficus; maybe one of the two plants he bought here.

Allan’s photo: an “I want” Ficus; he did not buy it.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

sales 4

sales3

looking back down the path by which we entered the sales area

bigtop

and turning 180 degrees, we enter The Big Top.

inside the "Big Top"

inside the “Big Top”, a massive sales greenhouse

A shop dog whom I've met before takes refuge from the heat.

A shop dog whom I’ve met before takes refuge from the heat on damp gravel under a table.

bloggers buy plants

bloggers buy plants

bigtop3

schmoozing with Sean Hogan

schmoozing with Sean Hogan

Sean takes on of our garden tour posters (it's this Saturday, July 19th!) and poses for Garden Tour Nancy.

Sean takes on of our garden tour posters (it’s this Saturday, July 19th!) and poses for Garden Tour Nancy.

In The Big Top: Cestrum newellii; used to have it, wish I still did, lost it in a cold winter.

In The Big Top: Cestrum newellii; used to have it, wish I still did, lost it in a cold winter.

Two bloggers from England sit outside the Big Top.

Two bloggers from England sit by the side door of the Big Top.

In the outdoor sales area, wilted bloggers seek shade.

In the outdoor sales area, wilted bloggers seek shade.

Both Allan and I did further exploration of the display gardens.

Allan's photo and caption: "A subtle sculpture under a glowing tree."  See, he could write this blog.

Allan’s photo and caption: “A subtle sculpture under a glowing tree.” See, he could write this blog.

Allan's photo:  hydrangea

Allan’s photo: hydrangea

Allan's photo: Cotinus and Eucalyptus

Allan’s photo: Cotinus and Eucalyptus

the urn down a shady, almost grown in brick path

the urn down a shady, almost grown in brick path

the main display garden path

the main display garden path

I got on the bus first because it was taking me a while each time to climb the stairs.

bus window view of other bloggers leaving Cistus

bus window view of other bloggers leaving Cistus

our previous visits to Cistus Nursery:

springtime visits 2010-12

summer at Cistus in 2011

Cistus in 2009 (June)

Cistus in 2009 (May)

Cistus in 2007

Next:  Joy Creek Nursery

 

 

 

 

 

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While Allan and I most definitely went to the Northwest Flower and Garden show…and stayed at his parents’ house in north Seattle…I have no photos from that year.  It was completely new and different and fun for me to go with someone who very much wanted to attend every possible seminar and learn as much as he could about gardening.

Garden of Mu, Olympia

In the spring, Allan and I went to Olympia to help a cyber-gardening friend, Mike Unser, dig up plants from his garden to prepare for a move to his new country home near Shelton.

Mike's garden

Mike’s garden

There were many plants to dig up (and share). A number of folk from the Pacific Northwest gardening forum showed up to help. (I actually did have some people photos, somewhere…)

Mike's garden

Mike’s garden

Here was another good example of gardening friends who met online coming to know each other in person.

Joy Creek and Cistus Nurseries

For the annual trip to Joy Creek and Cistus, we met Sheila and others from the Rainyside.com garden forum for lunch and plant shopping. I was still holding to my frugal plan of buying only for my clients, and none for me.

Sheila by an Echium at Cistus

Sheila by an Echium at Cistus

at Cistus:  Echium

at Cistus: Echium

Echium

Echium

Alki Beach, Seattle

In the summer, Allan and I went to Seattle, stayed at his parents’ house, and indulged in a Northwest Perennial Alliance garden tour weekend.  I think that is the July when we were there because his mom had a hip replacement and someone needed to stay at the house for four days to take care of making dinner for his dad, making sure Dale took his medication, and so on.  Or perhaps we were there for Dale’s birthday in August.

We now come to the very photos that inspired this whole set of prequel journal posts.  I was poking back through my albums and found these and thought “I MUST share these on my blog!”  And then I thought about all the old garden photos that I had…and began the big late winter project of catching up from 198something to the year I began to blog, 2007.  (One year to go at this point!)  So…just LOOK at the plantings all over this house in the Alki Beach neighbourhood of Seattle.  And these were not even on the official weekend tour; we just happened upon this place while on a drive.

the most astounding container display

the most astounding container display

The fabulous little house was tucked away between two tall buildings.

just..wow

just…WOW

It is breathtaking.

It is breathtaking.

astonishing!

astonishing!

more flower house photos

and more

As one drives along Alki past the cottage garden of annuals, one then seas a mysterious hillside garden with Asian inspired tea houses….This was the best angle I could get of that fascinating place.

Asian style garden on the hill over Alki beach

Asian style garden on the hill over Alki beach

Up the hill into West Seattle, I also had to photograph this swoopy brick wall.

bricks

bricks

Northwest Perennial Alliance Tour

On spring and summer weekend, NPA members host open gardens for each other.  If I lived in Seattle, I would go to every one.

On the one that Allan and I attended, we saw in the lower U District, near the freeway, a Jurassic garden of huge plants.  This garden was meant to be tall enough to be structurally in tune with the towers that surround it.

Jurassic garden

Jurassic garden

Gunnera

Gunnera

Below, inside one of the NPA tour houses that was near Allan’s parents’ house in north Seattle…

garden window

garden window

outside the same house's bay window

outside the same house’s bay window

The same house had its bedroom, in the back, with doors that could completely open to the garden.

bedroom

bedroom

Those were just two of the several gardens we toured that weekend….

Rainyside Tour in Portland

I was finding the garden touring to be irresistable; I’d never been able to do much touring with Robert because we were too poor and because his behavior was unpredictable. In early fall of 2005 we met up with some Rainysiders, including Sheila, for an overnight stay in Portland and touring of some gardens. I was particularly to see the one below, which was designed with 4 quadrants by Lucy Hardiman and which had been featured in her lectures at the garden show.

in the 4 quadrants garden

in the 4 quadrants garden

a gew gaw in the Lucy-designed garden

a gew gaw in the Lucy-designed garden

center of the 4 quadrants garden

center of the 4 quadrants garden

in the 4 quadrant garden

in the 4 quadrant garden

Below:  another Portland garden by…someone famous! a garden writer whose name I have forgotten.  His garden spills out onto the street.

a well known garden

a well known garden

Below:  I think this was in Kym Pykorny‘s shade garden.

water container

water container

I was thrilled to bits to visit Dulcy Mahar’s garden, because her gardening column in the Oregonian was a highlight of my weekly reading.

in Dulcy's garden

in Dulcy’s garden

Dulcy's fire circle

Dulcy’s fire circle

and...somewhere on the tour

and…somewhere on the tour

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Northwest Flower and Garden Show

Here are the usual not so great photos from the Northwest Flower and Garden Show, February 2004.  I stayed with Carol and we had a lovely time as always with a meal at the Barking Dog Alehouse which had replaced a dive bar just around the corner from her Ballard apartment.  I attended probably 18 seminars.   As I had sometimes done over the garden show years, I felt a vague envy (not too sharp) of the gardening couples that I saw sitting together during seminars.  It would be nice to have a gardening partner who took an interest in such things.   But I had profoundly enjoyed my winter of quiet solitude.

boatscape

boatscape

potting bench

potting bench

planting salad greens in straw bales

planting salad greens in straw bales

Peninsula touring

Alison, a funny cyberfriend whom I had met through an online gardening forum, came to visit; here we are at Klipsan Beach Cottages because of course I took the day off to take her on a garden tour.

Alison and me at KBC

Alison and me at KBC

me at Laurie's garden, photo by Alison

me at Laurie’s garden, photo by Alison

I wish I could find Alison again!   She moved, my computer crashed, etc….   She was so funny and smart and a great gardener.  She might have changed her last name due to a marital change, and that makes women so darned hard to find.

Buddliea in a Long Beach garden

Buddliea in a Long Beach garden

Joy Creek and Cistus

I went on a springtime shopping trip for clients at Cistus and Joy Creek Nursery with J9; stuffing as many plants as possible in her car, along with her wonderful dog, Sophie.

English delphiniums at Joy Creek Nursery

English delphiniums at Joy Creek Nursery

Cistus

Cistus

Sophie and J9 at Cistus

Sophie and J9 at Cistus

CistusCistus

The display gardens are much fuller now!

Cistus Nursery

Below: Pineapple broom…used to be Cytisus battandieri but now is (sometimes) Argyrocytisus…at Cistus.  I long for this plant to bloom in my garden. I had one at the Spring Street garden that did nothing but put out grey foliage, and I left it behind in autumn 2010 because it was quite large.   I planted one at a garden in Seaview where the house got sold, one at KBC which the slugs ate, and one at my mom’s which was also to big to move when the house sold and I now do not have one at all!

pineapple broom

pineapple broom

The flowers really do smell strongly of sweet pineapple.

Clarke Nursery

Meanwhile, Sheila came to visit. I had been plant-sitting a whole lot of potted plants for her after she sold the Harborview Motel, while she moved around (and around!) with her peripatetic spouse trying to find the perfect house to create a new garden. Here we are at Clarke Nursery in its former bayside location, where I am sure she bought a few more plants, and then took some of the ones I was storing away with her as well.
me and Sheila at Clarke Nursery

me and Sheila at Clarke Nursery

Sheila's vehicle stuffed with plants

Sheila’s vehicle stuffed with plants

Sheila says “I believe we built layers with plywood and plastic milk crates to get them all in…the layers can be seen in the back…”.  Her fig tree was laid in sideways.  She is determine to fit in at least two more plants.

Painted Lady Lavender Farm

I took an afternoon off to go to the Painted Lady Lavender Farm with J9.   It’s between Ilwaco and Chinook, and may have been its first or second year open to the public. Its owner had been known locally for years for her decorative painting.  I had seen her work on local garden designer Dale B’s house (now owned by our friend Patti, on the Seaview Antique Mall, and on the exterior of Payson Hall at Andersen’s RV Park.

Painted Lady Lavender Farm

Painted Lady Lavender Farm

Below: View from atop a hill at Painted Lady Lavender Farm. I was quite overcome with envy and the wish that I had the money to have a number of little cottages and enough land to plant lavishly.

overview

treehouse

treehouse

black scabiosas

black scabiosas

behind the main house

behind the main house

house and deck

house and deck

Oh how I longed for a little guest cottage like this!

Oh how I longed for a little guest cottage like this!

another adorable outbuilding

another adorable outbuilding

For several years after, I thought of revisiting but just felt too busy; every time we drove by the entrance, we were on a mission to go Astoria and points south.  Finally I got back there in 2012 and found it even more beautiful.

Portland Classical Chinese Garden

In the fall, Terran and I took a day trip to Portland and visited the Classical Chinese Garden. Sheila’s gift of an old digital camera which used floppy disks provided some interesting photographic results.   I loved the instant gratification of digital and when that camera wore out, I bought a new one and only occasionally returned to film because I had some rolls to use up.

Terran in the Chinese Garden

Terran in the Chinese Garden

Portland Classical Chinese Garden

Portland Classical Chinese Garden

in the Chinese garden

in the Chinese garden

Chinese garden

Chinese garden

Chinese garden

Chinese garden

Gardeners were walking through the ponds in hip waders cleaning up the lotus leaves.

lotus

lotus

Manzanita

I put frugality on hold for an evening when J9 and I took a trip to Manzanita to have a memorable meal at the (now sadly gone) Blue Sky Café. It was kind of a shock to eat real food, because I had been subsisting for months on frozen food after buying my first microwave earlier that same year.  I am not much for cooking but I do love restaurants.

beautiful garden bench in Manzanita

beautiful garden bench in Manzanita

But first we went to Cartm, an amazing huge recycled materials yard where I acquired a small garbage can in which to plant a phormium, the idea which I’d gotten at the Molly Ward garden/restaurant back in summer 2003.  You can find almost anything upcyclable at Cartm.  Too bad it is such a long trip from here.

Cart-em

Cartm

Non-gardening outings

Talking Tombstones in Astoria

J9 excelled at getting me to go out and do things.  At Halloween,  we went to see the “Talking Tombstones” in Astoria, where locals act in the role of the person who is buried under each stone.

tombstone
a sad tale of dying of influenza

a sad tale of dying of influenza

Talking Tombstones

Talking Tombstones

On any trip that we took across the river (or “overseas”, as old timers say around here), we stopped on the way at the excellent Chinook Coffee Company drivethrough in Chinook.

Chinook Coffee Company

Chinook Coffee Company, October 2004

Fort Clatsop

In December, J9 and I went to the old Fort Clatsop for a historical presentation about Lewis and Clark’s Christmas there.  Soon after, it would be destroyed by a fire and be reconstructed.

Fort Clatsop

Fort Clatsop

inside Fort Clatsop, the replica of Captain Meriweather Lewis’s  desk made my own tiny house look more spacious in comparison.

Lewis's desk

Lewis’s desk

boardwalk at Fort Clatsop

boardwalk at Fort Clatsop

Flavel House Museum

Always good at finding excursion, J9 took me to the Flavel House Museum for their Christmas plum pudding tea.

Flavel House on a dark December day

Flavel House on a dark December day

teatime in the Flavel House Museum

teatime in the Flavel House Museum

Looking back on this year makes me realize what a boon to my social life J9 was and I am more sorry than ever that she moved away from the Peninsula in 2012.

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July 29, 2012, Gearhart, Oregon

At the end of a shopping trip preceding our own garden tour, I had seen a flyer for the Gearhart tour.  There had been Gearhart tours that I had not known about every year since the glorious one I had been on in 2008?  If so, we had been missing out!  (But I do not recall the 2008 one being a benefit for Casa.)

FIFTH annual?? Argh.

FIFTH annual?? Argh.

At the starting point, a lawn next to the Trail’s End Art Center, fliers explained the mission of CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates for children), and delicious treats were offered.

starting point

starting point

bouquets and plants for sale

bouquets and plants for sale

on the refreshments table

on the ticket table

The Ridge Trail

The Ridge Trail

Could this fascinating collection of plants be the first garden?

Could this fascinating collection of plants be the first garden?

On the corner, a collection of my favourite Eryngiums!

On the corner, a collection of my favourite Eryngiums!

Acacia pravissima

Acacia pravissima

We were all stopped in our tracks by this garden, which was not on the tour. The owner, Roger, was busy painting something and did not make any effort to lure us in. We were all buzzing around so he came to talk to us, of course.  As I suspected, A lot of Roger’s plants came from my favourite nursery, Cistus on Sauvie Island…including the Acacia (above) which I once had till it got broken off when snow slid off my roof in an unusually bad winter.

 

Acacia pravissima detail

Acacia pravissima detail
Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus

Roger’s glorious Eucalyptus collection also spoke to me of Cistus nursery; it turned out he is a professional landscaper, not at all to our surprise.

Roger's house

Roger’s house

in Roger's garden

in Roger’s garden

 

Roger's wonderful dog

Roger’s wonderful dog

He also had an exceptionally sweet dog.   But while his garden had been on the tour before, this year it was just a serendipitous find on the corner of the block which had, further down, an actual tour garden.   After  much dog petting and plant admiring, we finally moved on to tour garden number one, half a block away.

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On our yearly early spring plant buying road trip we always go to Joy Creek first, then on to Cistus on Sauvie Island.  The first time I went to Cistus I recognized only a small proportion of the plants on offer.  Here is a true collectors’ nursery.  I have heard that Dan Hinkley shops at Cistus.  (True or rumour?  The gardening elite do all know each other.)  Any nursery with so many cutting edge plants is highly educational and I now recognize maybe one third of what owner Sean Hogan sells.  I hope you enjoy perusing the photos of these unusual plants.

3 May 2010

by the parking area

entering the sales room

greenhouse exotica

in the greenhouse

Pseudopanax ferox...had this, but a very tiny one...killed it...just bought a new gallon size in 2012. Looks like it is made of metal.

Rubus lineatus...amazing leaves. Also had it, and it died, and I just bought it again....a familiar theme.

inside the greenhouse

The checkout desk cat

outdoor sales area. The metal chicken is for outdoor barbecue feasts. Note the clear-roofed plant room to the back right; there is one in each corner.

If I wanted this so much that it still haunts me, and did not buy it...I should have. It was not in bloom in 2012 or I surely would have.

display borders

display borders

detail

27 April 2011

the driveway

In 2011 a new path had been opened up to the left of the greenhouse entrance.

beckoning

punctuation

new path

gold...

layered...

...gold

exploring

returning to the greenhouse entrance...to the left, an area which will become another new path...

exotic and boggy plants

boxes of water

I adore this water feature.  In 2011 I acquired from the city of Long Beach two big wooden boxes in which glass had been delivered.  I placed them just like this, sort of offset from each…and filled them with soil and plants.  What was I thinking??

plants of desire

again with the Pseudopanax ferox.

Psuedopanax ferox:  I saw a big specimen when touring with Allan in north Seattle in 2005.  It did indeed look like a metal sculpture.  Later, much later, I acquired a tiny six inch pot of it, so small and slow growing that it got buried by a weed.  In spring of 2011 I found one tough leaf sticking out of that pot, but that particular plant never did put on any size…Thus my gallon, acquired in 2012….Will I succeed with it this time?

in the big greenhouse

one of the regular staff members

Chaenomeles

I did acquire in 2011 this gorgeous Chaenomeles (Japanese flowering quince) and planted it in a rough area in my little woods.  It still survives.  The deep mahogany blooms spoke to me.  I hope it gives me a flower or two in 2012.

blue bottle tree by the parking lot

the 2011 Joy Creek/Cistus haul

I don’t know what was wrong with me that day. I rejected some plants at Cistus cos my new garden has almost too lush soil and ended up with some room left in the car…unheard of.  But I made up for it in 2012….

12 April 2012

The disadvantage to going so early is that the display gardens are not yet showing as spectacularly as just two weeks later, although a Daphne outside the main greenhouse filled the air with intoxicating sweethouse.

sales desk cat

in the greenhouse

another cat

Echium candicans 'Star of Madeira'

I did very much want to buy the Echium but feared that it would simply rot away from moist cold in my garden.  It is so beautiful.  I would have taken a chance if it might have bloomed during the upcoming garden tour.

At Cistus part of the enjoyment is the entertaining plant labeling.  For example, on the Pseuodpanax ferox which I did buy for myself:  “One of those cool dinosaur plants found down Kiwi way that catches the eye and triggers the lust gene in plant geeks and adventurous gardeners. Juvenile leaves are dark brown, long, very narrow, stiff, and saw-toothed, growing downward from a central stem — odd indeed. Slow growing, trees reach 20 ft in 20+ years, only then producing adult foliage, shorter, wider, and green. Sun to dappled or bright shade and regular summer water. Frost hardy in USDA zone 8b in a sheltered location, though even in Portland we keep most of ours in containers and shelter during winter cold.”  You can read all sorts of information like that in their mail order catalog.

I have no budget for the plant tour, and by that I mean I will buy any plant I want for just this one year.  (Uh huh.)  Time will tell whether before July 21st we make another trip inland to feed the frenzied tour-driven plant lust.  I’d like to visit Sheila and Joy Creek/Cistus could very well be on the way….but down Sheila’s way we have Dancing Oaks and Gossler Farms, and my friend Shaz sent me a gift certificate to Ferguson’s Fragrant Nursery with an invitation to visit her near Portland….and our car is simply nowhere near big enough.

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the driveway in early summer

On the way to the Hardy Plant Society Study Weekend in Portland we stopped at Joy Creek and Cistus.  I had not really intended to buy a lot of plants but had mostly sought the opportunity to see the display gardens in summer.

driveway

driveway

The difference is, as with all intricately planted gardens, astounding from when we saw the same view in late April and early May.

feline staff member

container

display garden

display garden with Macleaya cordata

lilies not quite in bloom

display garden

the new path closed in

The new path that we had walked through six or seven weeks before had started to close in and would quite possible disappear by mid summer.

background: Allan. left: Sean's dog. center: the famous plantsman Sean Hogan, Cistus owner

Tetrapanax papyrifer 'Steroidal Giant' for sale

Whatever it may be, I want it.

display garden

the shop dog

the sales desk cat...what a life of attention!

loading the car

This time I got a respectable amount of plants.  If only I did not have to take luggage to the study weekend, we could have fit in even more!

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On June 13th we went to a garden tour on Sauvie Island (next post) and of course took the opportunity to shop at Cistus for more last minute plants for my mother’s open garden day.  The display gardens were in fine form.

2012 note: Now that I have a garden with no pond I very much want to recreate this water feature from the bog/water plant sales area.

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at Joy Creek

at Joy Creek

In spring of 2008 we agreed to let our garden be on the Peninsula garden tour.  I had long resisted, never feeling ready, but finally our friend Patti, tour organizer, said to me “You know you are going to do it eventually, so why not get it over with?”

As soon as I had committed, plant shopping took on a whole new meaning because now we were shopping for our own garden.  With this in mind we took our usual beginning of May trip to Cistus and Joy Creek and returned with as many cool plants as we could stuff into our small car.

at Joy Creek

at Joy Creek

 

at Joy Creek

at Joy Creek

at Joy Creek

at Joy Creek

at Joy Creek

at Joy Creek

at Joy Creek

Euphorbias at Joy Creek

Our garden was still a mess.  Friends visited from the midwest on Memorial Day weekend and as we walked through the garden I could see their (non-gardener) skepticism when I told them we would be on a tour in less than a month.  Could we do it?

In early June we began a serious clean-up of all our garden paths.  (I estimated that we lost over $1000 in income slacking off on work in order to bring our own place to perfection.)  Because the Hardy Plant Study Weekend would be the weekend before the garden tour, a great deal had to be accomplished before then.

By the 7th of June the paths looked as perfect as if they had been freshly laid….Weeded, topped with fresh gravel, and rolled.

garden paths

gardens paths of perfection

JUST the week before leaving for study weekend, I decided that the tiny little path on the lower north side of the garden simply had to be widened and in a frenzy tore up the concrete molded fake rock pavers, dug the bed a foot wider on each side and then with Allan’s helped laid landscape fabric and all fresh gravel. There’s nothing like imagining people tripping up on a bad path to inspire one to finally get the project done.

decorating

decorating with rust

We decorated every surface as I had intended to all along but had never taken the time.  Patti showed up every few days with another old rusty thing like these wire boxes that Allan hung up on the silver shed.

Meanwhile we had to keep up with work, at least on our public jobs.  More of the Long Beach planters (the ones where the volunteers had slacked off) had fallen into our clutches and by May 11th the plants were blending together and looking stunning.

Long Beach Planters

Long Beach planters, 11 May

Up until my departure on Thursday June 19th to Shedd, Oregon, my friend Sheila’s house and the departure point for study weekend, Allan and I  fussed around in our garden till dark-thirty despite the evening torment of clouds of no-seeums.  I would not be back till Monday June 23.  Allan tells me he worked for the three days till he came to meet me at Sheila’s on  Sunday…probably watering, and possibly taking motorcycle rides.  I did not realize how sore I was till my legs cramped up on the crowded bus from Portland to Albany.  I could barely hobble down the steps where Sheila waited to whisk me off for a long awaited introduction to Dancing Oaks Nursery.  I was about to fulfill more of the Big Revelation of June 2007:  visiting more gardens and nurseries.

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