The second installment of my recent visit to Oregon and Washington (or How I Mispronounced Botanical Latin for Six Days While Touring Gardens and Nurseries of the Pacific Northwest). My own peculiar zonal filter can’t help but color these posts; for example, I did feel a special affinity for our next destination, Sean Hogan’s nursery Cistus on Sauvie Island, a marvelous nursery I’ve visited a couple times before and hope to visit many times again. This sign at Cistus neatly sums up the reasons why I find this nursery so horticulturally sympatico.
Our group represented gardens from zones 5 through 10. There was lots of overlap in the plants we admired, just differences in the lengths we have to go to care for some of them.
And then there was the vicarious thrill from everyone’s plant choices. The dark-leaved Daphne houtteana made the transcontinental flight back to a garden on the East Coast. Sean feels scent is paramount in a garden and I completely agree, but I killed my last daphne years ago.
The sea hollies are a particular favorite of mine, and I’ll always remember them as one of the signature plants of this visit. This giant at Cistus is Eryngium latifolium, which Sean said is second in size only to Erygium padanifolium.
Wonderful against the steely blue leaves of eucalyptus and Yucca rostrata
It did lightly drizzle during our visit to Cistus, which limited photo-ops somewhat. Normally, Portland gets scant summer rain. Even so, a skilled plantsman like Sean knows how to obtain a lush effect from climate-appropriate plant choices.
I’m wondering now if the blue leaves mid-photo aren’t Kniphofia caulescens.
Towering, shaggy bamboo
More summer-drought lushness. Genista showering golden blooms over the green flower umbels of thoroughwax, Bupleurum falcatum.
An araucaria, the Monkey Puzzle Tree, can just be glimpsed in the center of the photo.
Brody dutifully herded us along while Sean pointed out the botanical bounty of Cistus.
I do think Brody was a tad smitten with Sue, who blogs at Idyll Haven.
At this point in the trip, I was still under the delusion that flying plants back home to California was verboten.
Good thing this delusion lasted until the last day of the trip, or I would have probably thrown all my clothes away in an attempt to shove a couple Crambe maritima in the carry-on bag.
Enormous cardoons, Cynara cardunculus, legacy of a prank played on Sean by the late Christopher Lloyd, who sneakily described the gift of young plants as smallish, dainty, front-of-the-border plants. The punchline came a year or so later: Surprise, they’re gigantic! Gotta love horticultural humor.
(More botanical tit-for-tat: Sean gifted Lloyd’s Great Dixter with its first hardy banana, Musa basjoo, which Lloyd infamously planted where the rose garden had grown for decades. When Lloyd ripped out the rose garden to grow tropicals, the English gardening public was aghast, and many regarded the move as heretical. Sean must have thoroughly enjoyed the ensuing controversy.)
But enough gossip and dawdling! Three more days to go…