Thursday, January 21, 2016

A January trip to Cistus Nursery

I have a friend who has just now, in his 40's, decided it's time to learn to drive. I can't imagine. Whenever my world feels like it's starting to close in on me, a nice long (preferably fast) drive out of the city helps restore a sense of my place in the world. I can't say the drive to Cistus Nursery is necessarily long (it's not, only 20 miles door to hoop house) and at a top speed of 50-ish not very fast. But the fact dozens of horticultural wonders are waiting for me, well...it's a January trip of distinction.

These seedpods were right next to where I parked my car. I want to say they're Datura, but I really don't know.

Some kind of Phlomis? I should know, I see it every single time I visit.

I usually stop to admire this Arctostaphylos too, such a beauty.

I do not regularly give this conifer the respect it so obviously deserves though.

Just look at that bark! ID = Cupressus sargentii (thanks Julie and Sean)

I think this might be my first time to drool over this Daphne x houtteana and yet know I have one at home (not yet as fabulous, but surviving!)...

I've never, ever, had Yucca flowers set seed. Damn.

Spring. Let's all breath deeply and know spring is coming, this proves it!

Fatsia polycarpa 'Needham's Lace'

Schefflera delavayi

Spikes to the left, spikes to the right, spikes up and spikes down...

I just right now, this minute, realized that the "strings" of Mahonia gracilipes remind me of the tracery left behind by sparklers on the Fourth of July.

Time to shop! Walking into the "Big Top" (yep, this is going to be a VERY LONG POST...settle in)...

Didn't get the name of this Bromeliad, but I know I've seen it blooming here about this time in prior years, it's a good one whatever it is.

Agave x ferdinandi-regis 'Saltillo Splendor'

Dyckia 'Nickel Silver'

Agave funkiana 'Hakuro Shiro Fukurin'

Good to see their Opuntia polyacantha 'Citrus Punch' bending over like this. My Opuntia polyacantha has been similarly bent since our snow and ice episode.

For just a moment I was confused.

Then I saw the flower actually belonged to this Fuzzy Echeveria.

Agave bracteosa 'Monterrey Frost'...lots of them...

My favorite Echium...E. candicans 'Star of Madeira'...

Cordyline 'Cha Cha' ?

Epiphyllum, showing off some fabulous color.

*Sigh*...only at Cistus...

Truth be told I couldn't leave without this bit of sunshine. Leucadendron 'Jester'...it came home with me.

Echium wildpretii

Schefflera delavayi

And seeds...

Sago (to die for...)

Sonchus canariensis

Pyrrosia lingua 'Variegata'

Empty baskets...

Empty tables. These used to depress me but now I look at them with a bit of excitement. What treasures will fill them in the coming months!?

Within the closed (against the weather) pavilions at the four corners of the garden all sorts of things are happening, like a blooming Ceanothus...

And a new plant-crush (even though it wasn't blooming) because of those teeny-tiny leaves...Ceanothus impressus 'Vandenberg'...

Pittosporum patulum, how beautiful is this?

Even in January such a soul-feeding place to visit...

This, a group of Yucca linearifolia...


Reminds me of this, or at least the version I could easily grow here, in my Portland garden. Photo below – of Agave stricta – taking at UC Berkeley Botanical Garden in 2014...


Nolina microcarpa

Nicely colored up Yucca aloifolia.

HUGE Loquat leaves, Eriobotrya japonica.

My visit is almost over, yet before I can leave I need to visit my spiky friends in the Opuntia house. Just look at them all...

Long spikes...

Dense white spikes...

Purple pads with dark spikes...

They're all there!

One last treasure...my friend Evan is the propagator at Cistus, he noticed this Barred Owl just chillin in one of the Eucalyptus at the front of the nursery. He tracked me and a couple of Cistus employee friends down and made sure we got to see the handsome fellow...

And of course I dallied long enough that traffic was backed up heading back home, however the scenery was such that even it just added to the experience.

All material © 2009-2016 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

39 comments:

  1. Photos I especially like: Epiphyllum against the phormium, the massed yucca, the massed agave, the dark-keaved daphne, the blue color on the ceanothus. All pretty nice.

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    1. Thanks Jane...if you ever get to Portland you must visit this nursery!

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  2. So much to look forward to just a few weeks away! All that spikiness, we don't have nearly the yucca options.

    We had a barred owl visit for a few months. They are beautiful creatures.

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    1. That is just so strange, why are unusual Yuccas so hard to find in Texas!?

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  3. There is so much to covet in this post. I love that variegated Agave bracteosa, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that mine has survived the winter in the ground. I could always use another one. My Echium wildpretii unfortunately bit the dust, I left it out in its pot in the cold fall rain too long. At least my 'Star of Madeira' is still alive. I cut it back rather hard to fit it into the greenhouse, but it's putting out lots of little nubbins.

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    1. Hmmm...I can't wait to hear how your variegated Agave bracteosa is doing in the ground. I might have to follow your lead as mine seems rather tired of being in a container. My 'Star of Madeira' looks like hell but there is still a little bit of green in the center of some of the leaf clusters. I'm thinking I'll cut it back as soon as we're a little further along in our transition to spring, hopefully I'll get nubbins too!

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  4. I was right there with you. A trip to Cistus, real or virtual, is the perfect antidote to the January blues.

    Your last photo of the St. Johns Bridge is fantastic.

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    1. Amen to that (bridge photo)

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    2. Thanks you guys! Gerhard - I hope you're still thinking of coming up in April?

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  5. What a wonderful, inspiring post. And, I MUST KNOW WHAT THAT CONIFER WITH THE CRAZY BARK IS!

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    1. Julie Fukuda (she who knows trees) suggested Cupressus sargentii and Sean Hogan (you know, the owner of the nursery) backs that up. Ya gonna plant one? http://plantlust.com/plants/cupressus-sargentii/

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    2. Maybe! I think you've inspired me to take a trip to Cistus anyway.

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    3. Yay for that! It's always a good place to visit.

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  6. You're lucky to only be 20 minutes away! Thanks for this refreshing visit! I'm glad that you got 'Jester!' That's my favorite Leucadendron foliage!

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    1. Yes I am, very lucky! I'm new to appreciating the charms of 'Jester' but glad I've finally come around.

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  7. It's always worth the drive, even if it's just to look. That owl is amazing too.

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    1. I was so happy to have still been there when the owl sighting happened!

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  8. Great post as always. I am always amazed at how you take so many photos and post them every day.

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    1. Me too...I guess it's a good thing I don't watch television!

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  9. Royalty should always have a personal Jester...way to go. I think I remember seeing Datura out by the parking lot and those do like their pods. Mine never got quite that interesting before splitting and spewing. Now I'm thinking I've been to hasty in removing the flower spikes of Yucca as soon as the flowers are done (love those pods...and the Sonchus...and, well, everything).

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    1. I left a dead Datura outside over winter when I lived in Spokane and still remember the sight of ants marching along carrying the seeds. The little guys (and gals) buried a few in the cracks of the patio and I had Datura babies the following year.

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  10. I can't imagine a better way to spend a cold January day. Even with the empty shelves, the nursery is a wonder. And you got to see the owl!

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    1. I can't wait to see what fills those shelves come April...

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  11. I wish my favorite nearby nurseries were open in January! Love the Ceanothus impressus 'Vandenberg', and even the Pittosporum patulum looks fantastic, even though I previously thought that plant looked too "sparse" for my tastes. Maybe it's a winter thing. Super-love the very white spiky cholla (?)

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    1. I am still thinking about the Ceanothus impressus 'Vandenberg'...I might have to start gardening in the neighbors yard.

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  12. That is one dreamy nursery. It's inspiring to be around a variety of happy, healthy plants. (I just had my Aulax die on me, so I'm loving the lushness in the photos.) I've never seen a deep purple daphne before! That's a beauty.

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    1. It's still fairly hard to find (the Daphne), and when you do it's expensive! Beautiful though...

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  13. Perfect, perfect January day. The owl and the opuntias were special favorites - speaks volumes for Evan (and Cistus) that he wanted to share the owl. Thanks for a spirit-lifting post. Great nurseries are good for the soul :-)

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  14. Ahhh..Cistus.. what a magical place!! the owl is sooo handsome!!!!

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    1. Isn't he? I am so glad you've visited Cistus! It makes me happy.

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  15. Beautiful post. I love seeing the dormant side of things-so much potential!

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    1. Spring is just around the corner...

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  16. What a great place of visit! I thought your picture of the Sonchus canariensis was a great photo. And all those opuntias... 😍

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    1. I took a few of the Sonchus, it was hard to narrow it down to just one image.

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  17. Those opuntias are incredible.. but that OWL!

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  18. I found a label for that phlomis at one point, but can't remember what it is now. I'll have to dig around again. I'm pretty sure that bromeliad is Aechmea recurvata, but it doesn't have a label. Great picture of the owl! I'm glad you were there with a real camera.

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    1. My Sony Cyber-shot (point-n-shoot) is blushing at being called a "real camera."

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