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Posts Tagged ‘Echium candicans ‘Star of Madeira’’

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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