things and places for homes and gardens

Afflicted with Cistus Fever

Monday 1 March 2010 - Filed under Nurseries + Plants

Cistus nursery greenhouse
Some places know how to set the stage. There’s never a time of year where Cistus nursery fails to inspire. The greenhouse this year is decorated with paper lanterns and chandeliers, and suddenly, winter doesn’t seem like garden downtime anymore. The greenhouse felt like the setting for a party, with the most charming of plant guests.

The displays had a laid back beach-y vibe.

Succulent Candelabra
A candelabra full of succulents – who needs flowers for a centerpiece?

Cistus nursery red pot and yucca rostrata
I entered the nursery in the forbidden staff only space, even though I was warned not to, but who could blame me, with an inviting entrance like this?

Fatsia polycarpa 'filagree'
And then, when I had to be thrown out of the greenhouse that was not open to the public, it was not my fault, this siren of a plant lured me in. Put it on your wish list, this is a seriously stalk-worthy plant: Fatsia polycarpa ‘filagree.’ Yes, I said Fatsia. Isn’t it fantastic? Not for sale yet, but I’m signed up to get a call once they manage to propagate it and offer some for public consumption.

Cistus nursery treefern and staghorn fern
Shoo-ed back into the public greenhouse, where they have the biggest tree fern I’ve seen around Portland, with a companion staghorn fern.

Begonia luxurians
And I am counting the days until I can trust the weather not to surprise us with a frost, and then I am heading right back to pick up this gorgeous creature which is hardy only to zone 10 (I will never learn, but I’ll be prepared to think of it as an annual if I must). In my excitement over the huge dramatic foliage I forgot to note the name, but I believe this is Begonia luxurians. This is why I never say never about plants anymore. Years ago I would have sworn that begonias would not be making an appearance in my garden, but this is positively drool worthy.

Begonia luxurians
Another shot of the begonia luxurians, new foliage unfolding.

Begonia luxurians
And yet another of my new crush, this one with flowers I guess must have been attached, but who could be bothered to look at the flowers with leaves like that?

2010-03-01  »  megan

Talkback x 5

  1. Jane/Mulchmaid
    1 March 2010 @ 3:56 pm

    Cistus fever is the best kind of illness. I love your brazen foraging in the private greenhouse – how else would you know what was being kept from you? That fatsia looks like a winner. I bet we hear more about it when they tell you it’s available…

  2. Loree
    1 March 2010 @ 7:57 pm

    I remember when I saw that Begonia last summer. My reaction was the same as yours until I saw the zone info. I have shied away ever since…but the appeal is still there. I love your 4th image…and I really need that yucca. I know I said that when I saw it at the YG&P Show but I am feeling it even more now. I wonder how much?….

  3. Grace
    1 March 2010 @ 10:56 pm

    Well if you must have an affliction, I say this is the best kind. Thank you for the tour, Megan. You definitely need to get friendly with the owners so you won’t be shooed out of the forbidden areas. The Fatsia is to die for, as is the Begonia. I’m still reeling from my tender-ish casualties. I think I’m going to give up Zonal denial. It’s painful watching your loved ones morph to brown ick.

  4. Karen
    2 March 2010 @ 8:24 am

    OK, here is my next absurb proposal for you – what about a green house in that area you have been clearing of the wild onions? Does it get enough sun? So many non-hardy plants that you covet, and now an example of how to make a greenhouse look stylish… you could totally do it. How else would you keep a zone 10 plant for more than a season? Just think… you could take up propagating, develop some rare beauties yourself, then the Cistus people would be coming to YOU and you could shoo THEM away!

    I had a funny feeling that you were the “kidnapper” that Loree mentioned. :) Sounds like a truly fun day of plant ogling and some purchasing, although you didn’t mention your take-homes. Next post?

  5. ricki - sprig to twig
    4 March 2010 @ 5:48 pm

    Please tell me they have more than one of those begonias. I would never buy it out from under you, but I, too, am in love.