Tuesday, July 30, 2019

The rock garden, at Rancho Cistus

Earlier in the month I wrote about my visit to Linda Wisner's garden Flicker Farm, on Sauvie Island. That was my last stop as part of the official HPSO Study Weekend, and I made sure to leave Linda's in plenty of time to visit Cistus—also on the island—before they closed. I hadn't shopped at the nursery for quite some time, but my real reason for visiting was to see the new rock garden Sean and Preston had put in...

Of course visiting at 4 pm on a bright sunny afternoon doesn't really allow for the best photo opportunities (see Sean's Instagram account, link above for that).

The shadier side has a mix of things...

Including several Lupinus albifrons x lepidus.

And Echium wildpretii...

But the sunny side is all spikes...

Well okay, not all spikes, but close...

The advantage of owning the nursery is starting with specimen size plants.

Those rocks weren't just hanging around though. Wouldn't it have been fun to see them dropped off and arranged?

Knowing Sean doesn't wear gloves I found myself wondering if he did these plantings himself.

Agave 'Royal Spine'? Or something else entirely? I'm going with something else, if only because of hardiness.

Agave utahensis?

Agave leopoldii, maybe?

Are you enjoying my guesses? Or are they annoying you? Sean was right there as I was snapping photos and I could have asked him...but sometimes it's better to just get lost in the beauty.

Mangave 'Whale Tale', I believe.

And I think these are part of the “Tim Hanis Western Treasures” collection at Cistus, I planted a couple back in May (here).

I definitely hope to share future updates of this fabulous planting, as it grows and matures.

Agave parrasana 'Meat Claw' (?)

The Agave ovatifolia did not appreciate being planted out in a very hot, sunny day, thus the sun-scald spots.

My last photo of the rock garden, note the sun loving fern...

...before heading into the nursery and enjoying spikes there too...

I took photos of several of the tags, so I could identify the plants. Then I got them all confused. It was a very long, hot, day.

Fabulous though, aren't they? I mean assuming you like spikes.

And you wouldn't be here if you didn't, right?

Weather Diary, July 29: Hi 83 Low 60/ Precip 0

All material © 2009-2019 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

19 comments:

  1. I've seen lots of photos on Instagram of Rancho Cistus garden developments. It's great to see your shots of how it looks. I'm heading up to Far Reaches in a couple of weeks to go shopping. But I'm also really looking forward to seeing what they've done with their new crevice garden that they installed last winter. I'll be sure to take lots of photos and I'll probably post the requisite ten on Instagram.

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    1. I can't wait to see your take on the crevice garden, maybe even a blog post?...

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  2. I'm generally not a huge fan of spikes yet I love your blog: it's all in the delivery (of good taste and style) :-D
    It would be great to get updates of this expertly design rock garden as it matures over time.

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    1. Glad I'm able to sneak in some spikes "under the radar"...

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  3. You must have been in spiky heaven. I'm impresses the natural look of the rock layout. As I stare at the pile of rocks I acquired as a byproduct of our remodel, I'm still perplexed about how to achieve that effect. It doesn't help that many of the rocks are too heavy for me to lift. I expect I'll be testing my husband's patience but I'm going to wait for cooler weather to do that.

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    1. Maybe you could hire some strapping strong young men?

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  4. I'm so glad you posted these photos. After seeing Sean's photos on FB and Instagram, I'd been wondering what the larger area looks like. Can't wait to see it in person. Maybe in the fall?

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    1. It looks great now, time will make it even better.

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  5. They did a great job designing this new installation. The red Opuntia pads are beautiful. After several days of pulling spiky thistles had to pause to think what you would need to wear to plant and maintain such a spiky garden. Makes the thistles look almost tame.

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    1. One of the best gardening purchases I ever made was a set of tongs at a dollar store. It's so nice to have something besides my fingers available to grip the spikes.

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  6. I remember reading about and seeing pictures of Cistus on your blog (I think?) and others before. Must be a special place. I enjoyed your guesses--no idea if they're right or not. ;-) I wonder if the 5th from the bottom is Brittle Prickly Pear (Opuntia fragilis), which is actually native here. I'll never forget happening upon it in the woods near our cottage one day. Awesome selections at Cistus.

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    1. The Portland Fling visited Cistus, so I am sure you saw a few photos from then too. Hopefully your discovery of Opuntia fragilis didn't result in an injury?

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  7. It's been a rock garden kind of summer ! This one does not disappoint. I look forward to seeing the progress.

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    1. Ah good point. Rick gardens foe everyone!

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  8. I have never seen photos from Rancho Cistus but it looks amazing. I am a big fan of cactuses and succulents but unfortunately in country that I live in it is impossible to cultivate them outdoor. The climate here is quite changable, winters are cold, summers are very hot, so there is not a long list of plants I can grow. All in all, my aunt has her own rock garden with beautiful flowers on it. For example she grows there Cupid's Dart (https://gardenseedsmarket.com/cupids-dart-seeds-catananche-caerulea.html). Would love to have such rock garden on my own!

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    1. Sounds like you've got quite a few challenges, hopefully you've been able to identify a few strong growers in your climate.

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  9. I love the limited tonal range of plants, rocks and gravel.

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    1. Sean's Instagram photos take those up a couple notches with warm evening light...

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  10. Great new addition and nice to see so many spikes in the sales areas too. Looking forward to seeing this garden grow over time.

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