Don't be fooled. Inside this thin coating of sweetness is a fiery core of total insanity.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

A Weekend Visit to Cistus Nursery

This past weekend I drove down to Portland for an overnight trip, and to go to the Portland Yard, Garden and Patio Show. Although check-in at our hotel wasn't until 4 p.m., I left early in the morning because I wanted to check out a couple of nurseries. First on the agenda was Cistus Nursery, which I visited once before for the first time, last year. Cistus is a small nursery, but offers a wonderful selection of plants that I seldom/never see anywhere else, up here in the Seattle/Tacoma area. Fortunately the weather that day was gloriously sunny and warm.

This is the view that greets you upon entering the nursery -- a grove of trunking Yucca rostrata and Agaves.

To the right of the door, even more Yucca rostrata, as well as other palms

An interesting pattern has been cut into the trunk

I had come in search of two plants -- Chaemerops humilis var. cerifera and Nolina 'La Siberica.' I checked the nursery's online list to see if they had them in stock.

I had a choice of these smallish ones, and some that were larger, and also more costly.

I pulled out two Nolinas to see which I preferred. I chose the one on the right, but I'm always second-guessing my choices. Maybe I should have bought two.

I almost picked up a Hesperaloe as well, but decided to wait. Now of course, I don't think I made the right decision.

A cluster of monkey puzzle trees

I was literally the only customer there, despite the beautiful weather.

My two new plants

After paying for my plants I hauled them to the car, and then went back to check out the display garden. I was actually happy to see that it was still in need of some tidying up. It made me feel better about the mess out in my own garden that I haven't gotten to yet.

The beds were covered in bamboo debris

This Phormium isn't looking so hot -- the winter was hard on it

Even the steel Agave has wonky arms

A bright red Edgeworthia chrysantha was flowering

It had attracted a honey bee, who was industriously examining every tiny open bud.

These palms were looking quite good, none the worse for wear

I've been tempted to buy a monkey puzzle tree for my front garden, but I fear it will just get way too big. It's such a great-looking, fascinating tree.

I almost bought a Hesperaloe from the Cistus booth the next day at the YGP show, but didn't. I still want to get one, but I'm trying to be disciplined. I'm trying to concentrate on plants for the new front garden, and if I buy a Hesperaloe, it will be for the gravel garden. Given all the planting I still have to do, I don't know when I'll get around to putting new plants in the gravel garden. I was afraid if I bought it now, it wouldn't get planted till the fall, or might even end up wintering over in my yard still in its nursery pot. We were thinking of stopping back in again on Sunday on the way home, but the weather was not cooperating, it was way too rainy, so we just went on our merry way and headed straight home.

What do you think? Should I have bought the Hesperaloe in the hope that I'd get around to planting it this spring? Or was I right to stay the course, and buy only plants for the new front garden? Once that's done, then I can take some time for tweaking other garden beds.