It had been close to 3 months since I’d last visited Cistus. How can one be so close to horticultural heaven and visit so rarely? It’s a sin really. I righted this wrong a little over a week ago, here are a few pictures from the gardens... everyone’s Plume poppies (Macleaya cordata) are taller than mine! Look at their Echiums… So lush! Dog included for scale. Once in the nursery what did my eyes spy!? Opuntia! As far as my eyes could see! Okay, not really. But there were several fabulous ones. I wanted one of each. And why shouldn’t I? Most of them are perfectly hardy here (as long as the drainage is good) and what could possibly provide more winter interest than spikes!? Everyone needs at least one, or two, or… More pictures from around the nursery… Ribes speciosum 'Pincushion' (Fuschia flowered Gooseberry) Galtonia candicans (summer Hyacinth, Spire lily) Edgeworthia chrysantha Nanjing Gold' (Gold flowered paper bush) love those leaves… And in the “big top” (the central covered part of the nursery)…more Opuntia! (there were many non-Opuntia too) So what did I buy? Opuntia of course! And a couple of Echium russicum, they’re hardy here, hard to find, and have lush beautiful rosettes of foliage. The Opuntia that’s stealing the show is Opuntia humifusa, a dwarf form from Great Plains plantsman Claude Barr. And on the far right is a (nearly) spineless form, Opuntia ellisiana.
This one is Opuntia (Tephrocactus) articulata….LOVE those long white spines! Lastly this Maihuenia poeppigii came home with me too! It’s tiny but very very spiny. In fact when the sun is shining bright the white spines almost glow! Eventually (if it is happy here) rumor is that it will form a dense mat. I’ve wanted this little guy since the Hardy Plant Society sale in April. Derick (Mr. Impatiens, who also seems to know a thing or two about spiky plants) pointed him out to me but I had to pass since I was on a budget. I just hope nobody steps on him!