Friday, December 17, 2010

I am the happiest girl in the world!

Well okay, not really. If I were the happiest girl in the world I would have just found out that I own a home in Santa Barbara (paid for) with an ocean view and an unlimited plant budget. So I guess I am really the second happiest girl in the world. But you are probably wondering why? Because Cistus Nursery has joined up with plant lust! And earlier this week I was invited to step inside one of their “off limits” greenhouses and visit a million happy warm little succulents. Heaven. So many beautiful things!
I seriously considered causing a distraction, grabbing this Agave victoriae-reginae, and running for the door. I’ve been hunting for a good size one of these for quite awhile. But I quickly calculated the pros of getting the desired agave with the cons of not being able to ever visit the nursery again. I’m still thinking about that Agave though.
Back out in the nursery it was time to do a little wandering and shopping (you didn’t think this would be all business and no play did you?). It was a crazy stormy December day with drenching downpours and even a few dramatic claps of thunder adding to the drama and resulting in us having the nursery all to ourselves.
Since they are in full-on winter mode you can see where the inspiration for our shade pavilion winter greenhouse came from.
Minus the propane tank (they scare me).
Look at the plants all huddled together, warm and dry.
With the plants grouped for warmth your eye was able to take in more of “hardscape” of the nursery. Like this simple yet beautiful table.
A little festive holiday green and red.
And spiky stems and twisted rebar.
It seems the magic of Cistus even extends to their Echiums…still alive and beautiful!
And because it’s a time honored tradition that I leave Cistus planning for my next visit I am now completely infatuated with this Dion edule (the Cycad dead center in this photo). It’s only hardy to the lower 20’s but when have I ever let that stop me?
Even though Jim, the knowledgable fellow we were meeting with that day, told me the name of this plant (again) I can never remember it. Maybe Sonchus acaulis “Cerraja”? Or I can just call it a Dandelion on a stick like he did. (**update it is Sonchus canariensis**) I’m also still in love with the foliage of the Begonia luxurians, but so far I’ve managed to resist its pull.
Of course there was a little purchasing done…remember earlier in the week when I vowed to get a Fascicularia pitcairnifolia v. bicolor? Well I did. And remember the fabulous Nolina growing at the Whole 9 Yards? It’s a Nolina ‘La Siberica.’ And I got one of those too.


  1. Very nice. Aren't behind the scenes tours the best!

  2. Talk about plant lust... I want one of EVERYTHING please!

  3. You definitely know how to combine business with pleasure, Loree. That Dion edule is seriously sexy...I don't know quite why it grabs me so hard but it sure does!

    So happy to hear the estimable Cistus Nursery has joined with plant lust. They have the good sense to hook up with a good thing when they see it.

  4. At least I can grow some of those plants effortlessly in Abq, and the property tax in SB would be pretty bad. Cistus Nursery is great, when I visited in Oct '07 - I like the layout of plants by global climate / environment types. Nice visit!

  5. Wow! Congratulations on that partnership. That's a beautiful nursery and the plants are gorgeous. Stay warm and dry.
    David/ Tropical Texana/ Houston

  6. I sent Jim a note thanking him for his time, and I included this message--in case you ever need a character witness.

    "I'm fairly confident Megan and Loree will not be found sneaking into your growing greenhouses when shopping Cistus in the future."

    It was a good day.

  7. phew! that was a fun tour! i loved the little table they cobbled together using old concrete block! beautiful photographs, too!

  8. It is a nice time of year for greenhouses, isn't it. Looks like a fun nursery to visit.

  9. what a treat! for you and for plantlust. Let us know when all their wonderful plants have made it in to plantlust

  10. Total eye candy. Makes me happy just looking at the photos.

  11. Great pictures - agree with Greensparrow - would like one of each please!

  12. How splendid to be able to visit Cistus whenever one wishes.I would be in serious trouble if I lived in Portland.

  13. This must be the "yes" you alluded to. Congratulations, Loree! What an excellent partnership.

  14. Talk about fun! I hope you signed the waitlist for the Agave v-r.

    And if you ever find out the name of the dandelion lollipops I'd love to know!

  15. Delightful - your joy is contagious!

  16. That would make me a happy little camper as well! Thanks for taking us on the tour. ;>)

    Happy Holidays!

  17. Spiky O, they really are, I treasure every one that I've gotten.

    Greensparrow, you should put them on your Christmas list!

    MulchMaid, isn't that the truth! And we are very fortunate that they see the value we hope to provide. Smart folks they are!

    DD, oh but see it's a fantasy so in the fantasy the property taxes would be taken care off too! I know this will make me sound crazy but I'm not sure I could ever live that far inland. I like being close to the coast...odd I know. Glad to hear you've visited Cistus!

    David, one could spend a lot of money at Cistus...just as my husband.

    Tricia, good to know I've got a never know.

    Thanks Janine!

    ryan, good point...a visit in August would not have been so pleasant.

    Ryan M, will do!

    Grace, you haven't made it up to Cistus in a while have you? Well soon you'll be able to virtually scroll through their inventory from the comfort of home!

    Charlotte, you'll tell Santa too right?

    ks, thank god they are just a bit beyond the "drop by" range. Any closer and I would be in serious trouble.

    Denise, right you are! Thank you.

    James, oh damn! I should have...and when I call to do that I'll ask about the Dandelion.

  18. The Whimsical Gardener, thank you!

    Kate, if you're ever in Portland...

  19. Congratulations on the collaboration - good for everyone, I believe. Happy holidays, Loree!


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