You should really see Cistus Nursery in the winter if you’re in the area. It’s transformative and paradigm-shifting to walk in one dreary Pacific Northwest day, where you might be used to seeing bare branches and bald spots where dormant plants lie sleeping around town, into a lush abundance of foliage and textures that are in no way diminished by the dormancy of deciduous plants. Cistus feels like California in Oregon, like summer in winter, like a magical loophole where the rules do not apply. It’s where I learned there need not be boring seasons in the garden. As usual, the latest catalog is full of plants to sprinkle some of that magic.
The Gossler Farms fall 2020 catalog is out with some brand new plants and restocked favorites. Gossler Farms’ plants typically have all that heart-melting green lushness and fiery fall drama ??? that feel like classic Pacific Northwest gardens, with plenty of hard-to-resist collectors’ plants sprinkled in for good measure. I’m not one to resist the urge to do a little fantasy shopping of my own while updating our catalog with the latest. Why fight love? (more…)
If you’re anything like me, the summer itch has hit. That’s the point where I’m itching to rearrange the garden to cover the bald spots, hide the plants that are past their peak, and adjust for conditions that turned out different than I expected. But it’s hot. Not all plants appreciate being transported and planted in the heat. I miss the spring freedom to plant, move, or divide whatever might need it. So I asked our longtime collaborator and reliable planting expert, Evan of The Practical Plant Geek what’s good to order and plant when we find ourselves in the dog days. These heat tolerant plants will do quite nicely.
It’s been a few years since I’ve felt like showing off my garden, after multiple forces converged and took it from a wild lush jungle, to a big sad mess, with the occasional interesting plant hinting that a gardener used to tend these parts. Not the way I like to think of my garden.
Last year was a rebuilding year with some good progress, but it didn’t really reach my vision of a garden bursting at the seams with mature, happy healthy plants with fabulous foliage.
Starting over was a bit daunting at first, but with spring erupting, things are starting to look up. For the first time in a long time, I look out there and see potential.
Somehow, this plant escaped my notice, and boy do I feel silly. It has everything I love in a plant. Dramatic, cascading, pendulous, prolific, foot-long green flowers! Which is quite enough for me. But it’s fragrant, bee-friendly, and evergreen to boot? I am dying.
Since starting plant lust six years ago, it has been our dream to help independent nurseries sell their plants online. While most nurseries have their own websites, many don’t have online shopping carts. Even fewer work just as well on a smartphone, even as we see more and more online shopping happening on small screens. Building these things can take resources small nurseries don’t always have. Time, money, the desire to spend hours in front of a computer.
We hoped to give small nurseries a hand with a mobile friendly shop, sparing them the time and expense that usually comes along with building such things.
Garden nuts that we are, we also wanted a nice place to ogle all of the plants, and place our catalog orders all in one spot, without filling out a dozen different order forms. We wanted an online marketplace for plants that’s just as easy as shopping on Amazon.
Until today, the plant lust site was window shopping only. To buy plants, you had to do the leg work to order from multiple nurseries to get all the plants on your wish list. Today is different. Today is big. Today we are finally opening the plant lust store and shipping our first plants!
One of the lovely things about the Lan Su Chinese Garden is the space outside the walls for passers by to enjoy. Like the garden inside, the mini-gardens bordering the block are full of plants that remind us that the garden is always changing. At the garden now, blooming Edgeworthias herald the approach of spring. (more…)
Could you use a little break from cold wet winter weather where you are? We’re approaching what I consider the “power through” part of winter in Portland. I get the winter doldrums later than some people, because I love it up through December, and clouds and rain feel right to this native Portlander. But I feel a twinge of impatience coming on. I want to clean up the messy plant skeletons and fallen leaves they tell us we should leave in the beds until spring, and get planting.
It’s plenty warm right now. Tomorrow’s forecast is 62°F. We’re headed into February, where we always seem to get a false-spring where you see people standing motionless on sidewalks soaking up the sun. It’s hard to believe that we’re still in for the late frosts that always hit. But be patient, we must.
This is the time of year I’d borrow a little sunshine and visit the non-dormant plants with a quick sunny vacation down south, if I had the opportunity. But it’s not in the cards this year, so I’m going to revisit some old photos I didn’t share from the desert garden outside of Las Vegas a couple years ago. Think warm thoughts. (more…)
I love giving gifts to gardeners. They can be so easy to please, as long as you know a little about their style. Miniature roses for the cactus lover would be a miss (but the cactus called miniature desert rose could do the trick). But when you’re talking about people who are happy playing in the dirt, you get to skip the mall, and never even change out of your muck boots if you don’t want.
One of my favorite presents I ever received was a piece of bark. Let me explain.