1 I mentioned in Tuesday's blog that I visited Cistus Nursery in Portland, Oregon and purchased several unusual specimens for my redesigned gardens in East Hampton, which Cistus is shipping to me.
2 Here I am with Sean Hogan, nursery co-owner and
principal designer of Cistus Nursery.
3 Sean is a self-proclaimed plant geek, who always knew he would be involved in horticulture, somehow. Together with his partner, Cistus was founded in the mid 1990s as a small public and residential design firm. Today, Cistus is a much larger enterprise, circulating through 15 to 20 thousand plant types!
4 For me, Cistus is a feast for the eyes with many, many unusual varieties of plants! This is the Opuntia stock house, commonly known as prickly pear cactus. Many types of these are hardy to zones 3 and 4!
5 This is some of this year's mail order crop. I loved seeing so many different varieties.
6 Opuntia microdasys 'Monstrosa' on the left and Opuntia (Tephrocactus) articulatus var strobiliformis (pine cone cactus) on the right. These an exception to the other colder hardy at zone 9
7 Opuntia fragilis 'Potato' a nearly spineless variety that can survive in zone 3, where it gets 40 below 0º F!
8 Another view of this amazing hardy opuntia stock house
9 This pretty purple flower belongs to Echinocereus richencachii - a zone 5 little barrel cactus.
10 These unusual leaves belong to Cussonia paniculata, a zone 9 tree aralia from South Africa.
11 This is a sampling of new dwarf aloes and aeoniums in the retail area.
12 These are magnificent specimens of Yucca rostrata-Mamilique form in the retail area. Yucca is a genus of perennial shrubs, notable for their rosettes of evergreen, tough, sword-shaped leaves and large terminal panicles of white, or whitish flowers.
13 Another view - What great form!
14 Solanum quitoense, also known as naranjilla, is a tender perennial whose leaves and stems are covered in short purple hairs. It produces an orange, citrus-flavored fruit whose juice is often used as a drink.
15 This is Nigella, named after the plant Love-in-a-Mist. This nursery kitty had plenty of attitude!
16 I was amazed by this plant, Farfugium japonicum 'Shishi Botan', or parsley leopard plant. I loved its puckered and sculpted leaves!
17 A very unusual Eucalyptus perinniana - Spinning Gum, hardy to zone 7 - This very robust, strongly aromatic eucalyptus with its circular leaves around a long stem is a favorite of flower arrangers.
18 This is E. neglecta, another robust eucalyptus hardy to zone 7, called Omeo Gum. It is fast-growing and gets quite tall - 20-feet or more.
19 This is Wollemia nobilis a primitive conifer from Australia. Recently discovered in 1994, it created great excitement in the botanical world, as it was presumed to have been extinct, only known to botanists through its appearance in fossils dating back 91 million years and then disappearing around two million years ago.
20 The tree was discovered by David Noble, a field officer of the Wollemi National Park in Blackheath, in the Blue Mountains, while out bushwalking. He brought back samples to identify only to discover it was new to science. The species was subsequently named after him.
21 Fatsia japonica, or Japanese aralia - This evergreen has large palmate leaves that can reach 16-inches across and provide wonderful contrast in the shade garden.
22 Tetrapanax papifer, 'Steroidal Giant', is a Cistus intro - This giant leafed plant spreads to small groves and is hardy above ground to zone 7, a protected perennial to zone 6. For a truly tropical look in a temperate garden 'Steroidal Giant' can reach the epic size of 25' tall!
23 Abutilon 'Mobile Pink' is a heavy blooming cultivar with showy, pendulous, light salmon-pink flowers that bloom all season. It comes in many colors and is excellent for display in containers.
24 Melianthus Major - Ginny's giant form. Honey Bush from South Africa Can be very good temperennial, or pot specimen below zone 9. A dramatic and tropical-looking accent plant, Honey Bush is prized for its large, serrated, blue-grey leaves.
25 This is the island view from the retail area through garden olives and Italian cypress.