Friday, February 26, 2010


The unthinkable happened last weekend. I went over to a friend’s house and before I knew it we were in her car and we were on our way to Sauvie Island…the home of Cistus Nursery. It would not be inaccurate to say that I was kidnapped and taken there against my will. Once there I was exposed to hundreds of beautiful plants, and (it gets worse) I was forced to buy a few of them! Can you believe it?I know what you’re thinking. But she is recently unemployed! What sort of friend would take her to the land of temptation? Obviously one who knew what I really needed.

I have no idea what the fabulous bloom at the top is. I love it but couldn’t find the name. And of course as soon as I turned around I was distracted by something else fabulous and forgot to ask. Something else like this yucca, my yucca lust continues! But as fabulous as this Yucca faxoniana is at $28 it stayed put.
There was more fabulousness….check out the bloom on this Banksia integrifolia…
And the seed pod isn’t too shabby either.
Funny a couple of weeks ago I was completely oblivious to the charms of the Grevillea and now I am seeing them everywhere and falling in love. Look at this bushy little Grevillea 'Canberra Gem,’ luckily before I fell head over heels I read the tag and noted the size…4 to 6 ft! It stayed behind.
My will power was shot when I laid eyes on the marvelous Echiums. I am still mourning the quick demise of mine. One day it looked fabulous and the next day horrible. This replacement is perfect. (I was so overwhelmed on the spot that I neglected to take a picture of the display…so this shot was taken in my backyard upon arriving home).
Another plant I was powerless when faced with, Leucadendron. This one a Leucadendron salignum 'Golden Tip' of course it is only marginally hardy here and I’ll have to protect it when we get cold next winter but how could I resist these amazing blooms?
And the red stems?
Exactly, I could not. This is about this time that I start rationalizing that with 2 harsh record setting winters in a row this next one will be a cake walk. Right? It has to be!

This Agave toumeyana screamed out to me, it needed a home and was a bargain at $9. Plus the one I bought at Garden Fever in January had died before I even got to plant it, I needed a replacement! (btw the folks at Garden Fever were totally willing to exchange it and now I have a fabulous Prickly Pear to add to my dangerous plant collection!)
I include this next series of photos to make everyone here in the PNW who lost an agave last winter feel better about it. If the Cistus display gardens can loose agaves then none of us are immune to the powers of nature.
One last purchase that I have to share. Yucca carnerosana. Just look at those fabulous white threads!
Aren’t they wonderful?
In case you lost count, the total times I used the word fabulous in this post: 7, Cistus just does that to me.


  1. Well, I'm in love with that banksia seed pod. I'd love to decorate my house with pods like that.
    I'm glad you had a fun outing to distract yourself from your worries. Maybe you can reward yourself after every 20 resumes sent out with a plant!

  2. Fabulous post, Loree! Sounds like you have the best kind of friends! I love the idea of being kidnapped and forced to go to Cistus.

    I have loved Banksias ever since I saw them in Australia. But I'm afraid to even CONSIDER having them here because I'm trying to be a hard-headed zonal realist these days. But I love your rationale that two bad winters must mean a mild one is in our future. I'll be very glad if so: my stringent zonal reality kick only goes so far when confronted with lovely, tempting plants!

  3. That looks like a great field trip. I'm most taken with your echium purchase because I have never seen one here in Austin. I've been buying yuccas too--commonplace softleaf yucca and a new one for me, 'Color Guard.'

  4. Wow, that is one collection of fabulous plants, I would have lost all control...That Leucadendron is really stunning.

  5. We all need friends like that. A little dose of garden/retail therapy is just bound to make the job offers roll in, right? That's the way I like to think, anyway. Great finds and very bold of you to go for the marginally hardy stuff again, I think I done with all of that. I'm going to have to visit that nursery someday, although I bet it would make me buy stuff I didn't mean to. Can't wait to see these new babies in your garden! How is your injury healing, BTW?

  6. VW, your odds are way more challenging! I think I would have gone with a 1 to 5 ratio.

    K&V, if you're ever in Portland you should visit Cistus!

    Jane, ok...truth be told I was having fun with the whole kidnapped thing. It was my way of making light of how ridiculous I am spending money on plants when I am unemployed. Maybe it's a fantasy I was playing out? Being taken to a nursery and forced to spend money?!!

    Pam, really? That surprises me that you don't find Echium in Austin. I wonder if they can't handle the heat? They were everywhere (weed-like) in San Francisco.

    Nicole, I feel like I did loose all control!

    Karen, I like your thinking! If you need a guide when you finally visit Cistus just let me know, I am available. As for the injury I am currently sporting a lovely compression stocking, which looks like an old lady nylon. Not attractive! It does however allow me to squeeze my foot into a normal shoe, which is lovely. One stop closer to normalcy!

  7. Ooh, la, la, Loree! And check out that blue sky backdrop. It must have been a fabulous day indeed.

    Call it my more basely nature but I too am "glad" to see the shape of Cistus' agaves. I'm assuming their phormiums were equally tattered?

    I think you were still really thrilled with your Echium when you wrote this post because you left us bleeding with curiosity as to its species. Please, do tell. And please, please when it blooms, show photos. Not that it needs to bloom. It is FABULOUS as is!!

    I like your friends.

  8. Kidnapping - some people have a lot of nerve!
    I thought for sure I had captured the name of that first plant you have a photo of, but I looked back through my plant tag photos, and nothing.
    Of course right after getting the echium, we had a cold night, and I was running outside at 5 in the morning to bring mine in and rescue it.

  9. OMG! Your dog is the cutest thing I have ever seen:)

  10. Cistus is practically our next-door-neighbor. Can't believe we haven't been there in months. Gotta!

  11. Grace, yikes! You are correct! Echium candicans 'Star of Madeira'...that's what it is and you should hustle on up to Cistus and get one for your very own! You know I don't remember seeing a Phormium! Maybe they had already cut them back and I was oblivious?

    Megan, I know huh!? :) I stuck mine in the garage upon getting home and it seems to have weathered the cold just fine!

    GartenGrl, I love her!

    ricki, can't wait to hear what you buy!

  12. by the way, we're headed to Cistus on friday! We being my Mom, my Aunt Lynne who's in town from Grand Rapids Michigan and I! We're going to show Lynne what living in a climate that doesn't have 4 feet of snow is like! :)


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