Fuchias in the City
Cistus Nursery
Sauvie Island in Portland, Oregon
Cistus is one of those Collector’s Collector nurseries that’s filled with more treasures than a rajah’s palace garden in some forgotten corner of the world. The plants are generally Mediterranean or Southern Hemisphere, but even the way they’re arranged is suggestive of something deeper and more mysterious. I mean, what else can you make of sections called the likes of Araucana? Admittedly, the offerings of ancient fuchsias are a bit meagre for my interests but the wealth of the rest of their plants makes for such an exquisite distraction that the lapse is hardly noticeable. Cistus Website.

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  • Cistus Nursery
  • After entering Sauvie Island, you travel a bit past
    many farms and fields and, then suddenly, the driveway appears.
  • Cistus is tucked into a grove that makes it seem more like a desert oasis than a nursery.
  • Honestly, the last time I came down a road that looked
    like this one I think it was on the road to Marrakech.
  • When you first come in at the front entrance, you really have to stand a bit to take it all in.
  • A number of pavilions along the path beckon hospitably, “Come. Look. Linger.”
  • Of course, there are lots of plants that catch my eye. So many. So many to see.
  • Where’s my list? Lonicera nitida ‘Silver Beauty.’ Check.
  • Fargesia nitida ‘Eisenach.’
  • Asplenum scolopendrium ‘Cristatum.’ This would work. USDA Zone 7? I can do that.
  • Polystichum setiferum ‘Congestum Cristatum.’ Nice. I have a small space. I like it.
  • A display stand with bright-shade loving plants and, of course, a fuchsia.
  • This place never gets old. A little creaky & rusty
    from the looks of the bike, maybe, but never old.y
  • It takes awhile to make any progress.
  • So much to the left. Even more to the right.
  • And then you have to come back to look at something you saw at the beginning again.
  • Carex phyllocephala ‘Sparkle.’ That list is getting longer.
  • Oddly (not if you know me, though), I’m being drawn to the far right corner....
  • Hmmm. I think this might be the right place.
  • Yes. I was hoping the large potted Fuchsia regia was still here. It’s been moved, though.
  • Yeah, I know, I know. It’s not going to fit on the plane as carry-on luggage. Sigh.
  • Well... I can always dream, can’t I? This is that kind of nursery, you know.y
  • The flowers on this species are sparser
    han on most cultivars but the sepals hang elegantly.
  • I don’t see a label but I wonder if this is the reitzii subspecies. Also, nothing is pilose.
  • Lots of ripening berries. They’re also attractive.
  • OK. I know I’m prejudiced but you just have to love the color of these berries. Really.
  • The bark exfoliates a bit as it gets older revealing reddish color in the splits.
  • My own F. regia will never reach this stage as it dies back to the ground every winter.
  • One last, longing look.
  • Across the way, the Araucana House has plants originating in the Southern Hemisphere.
  • A few familiar friends on this table, including the fuchsias.
  • A fine tray of ‘Golden Gate.’
    The flowers seem to sparkle against the glowing leaves.
  • CSome New Zealand plants.
    Unfortunately, most of these want too much sun for us.
  • Lots to see outside but we can’t forget to check out the inside. It’s worth it, too.
  • Hey. I wonder if I could arrange my office to look like this? Why only nurseries?
  • It’s quite a smorgasbord...ry
  • ...on both ends of the greenhouse. What time was dinner, again?
  • Funny. This araucaria seems like it’s part
    of some sort of antediluvian Christmas scene.
  • The lichen on this bench makes you wonder if you should sit.
    Or just stand and admire it as art.
  • All right. One last peek for him and we’re off on another horticultural adventure.y