Going on Now: Labor Day Sale at Cistus Nursery

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Gorgeous Hedychium met us in the parking lot.
This summer has been lean and mean for me financially. So when Cistus Nursery posted that they were having a 30% off Labor Day Sale I knew I was in luck. What a great opportunity for me to save some pennies and head on out to Sauvie Island with my friend Billye.
Admittedly, I hadn’t been to Cistus since June so that made this visit a bit more special to me. It looked lovely as usual and I was so happy to be back.
While walking around with all the prickly things I thought about my friend Loree over at¬†Danger Garden. I can still hear myself thinking, “Wow, there’s no reason why I shouldn’t take a picture of one of these things for my blog. I can talk about these things.” Then, just as I leaned in with my camera to get a closer look at the gorgeous¬†Agave americana ‘Yellow Ribbons’ on the top shelf, the¬†Agave aff. macroculmis T73-99¬†just beneath it on the bench poked me in the leg. Oops! When will I ever learn? (Both are great plants. Don’t let me give any of these plants a bad name.)
I admire those of you out there who can live with these plants and not hurt yourselves. Maybe I would do better with the Nolina macrocarpa¬†sitting beside ‘Yellow Ribbons’? Hmmm, I think not. No. Let’s be positive. Maybe now is just not my time.

It really was a beautiful day and I loved looking up above the nursery to see all of the textures from the plantings. I’m so in love with green texture these days.

I was a little bit disappointed that Sean Hogan (the nursery’s owner) wasn’t around that day, but I hope to catch up with him this winter. He is a good plant friend and very much understands and encourages my seed habit. I like talking to him a lot about seed collecting adventures.

Canary Islands Juniper, Juniperus cedrus.

During this visit I looked at things differently. Sure, I don’t have room for this tree, but I liked it so I took a picture. I’m branching out a bit again, learning a few new things, paying attention.

My friend Billye with her new Italian greyhound Tango.

When you visit Cistus Nursery it’s often quite relaxing. This is the kind of retail environment you like to sit around in while you enjoy the sights.

Than again, if you’re like me, you can park people in the shade while you shop. Billye went for the plants but we all know that we’re not always so lucky and sometimes we end up dragging people with us to nurseries. Cistus is friendly for those folks.

While we were there, birds swirled overhead.

Chilean lantern tree, Crinodendron hookerianum.

As we walked back to pay for our plants I saw this Chilean lantern tree blooming. Mine is still happily growing along but it’s not blooming right now. I think I might have pruned it when it didn’t want to be pruned. I can wait.

Ashe magnolia, Magnolia macrophylla ssp. ashei.

My friend and I ventured back into the corner we’d missed. It was fun seeing a big leaf magnolia. These trees really make me smile with their big huge leaves.

Giant Cape Restio, Rhodocoma capensis.

There were other treats.

Lysionotus pauciflorus.

Up at the register I found temptation after temptation.

Lysionotus pauciflorus.
This one was really difficult to say “No” to but I did. Maybe next time…

Salvia buchananii ‘Velvet Slipper’.

I liked this one too.

Looking around it felt great to be back. I wish I could have purchased more but planting all of these plants takes time. I don’t have a lot of extra time nowadays. It’s good though because I’m staying busy with my garden coaching client.
Sometime soon I’ll be back. I highly recommend you go too if you can do so before now and Monday. The sale was really quite a treat. It’s worth the trip.

In the end I walked away with a few things I’d lost in the garden: Sedum divergens, a pine-scented rosemary, and a Melicytus crassifolius.¬†I also added a few new friends: Carex testacea ‘Prairie Fire’, Mahonia gracilipes, and my first Dahlia. (It’s a Dahlia ‘Fascination’ and I’m so excited to finally have one.)

Who knows what I’ll end up doing this weekend, oh wait, I know:¬†Annual Dahlia Festival. Maybe I’ll see you there!

 

Back Home from San Francisco, Back to Reality

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Back in our super quiet house (eerily so), with no foster respite children this weekend, I am dealing with the onslaught of rain, an elderly unwell feline family member, a pinch of jealousy that my husband is in New York City, and then there is this huge 20 pounds of furry feline in my lap that is the cat we call Maurice. He is stuck to me like glue! I guess that’s my punishment for leaving him here.
On the bright side, at least I was able to see my eldest niece this weekend, her boyfriend, and one of my nieces’ oldest childhood friends who spent many nights with my husband and I and both of the girls when they were kids. How I love their never-ending need to make things! How I couldn’t stop laughing when our niece and her boyfriend discussed picking out some houseplants for their new place together. Then came the immense amount of pride I felt when they were excited to hear about Uncle P’s successes this year.
Morning Glory growing in a planter near the San Remo Hotel in San Francisco. 
Unpacking went well, but packing up to return home was not easy. My bags gained several extra pounds apiece and lugging luggage, I’ve realized now, is not my favorite activity. That being said, in the future, I plan to drive back down there. It is so less stressful than flying and the adventure of it is a great deal more fun.
Closeup of the amazing Morning Glory in the alley near our hotel in San Francisco.

This is a post of some odds and ends from the trip, and it’s a bit about my state of mind I suppose. As I told my husband, it is odd to be constructing a Californian identity. Sure I am still a tourist crashing at a friend’s house, but at what point does that change? I don’t really know, but it obviously has something to do with my husband’s being down there all of the time.

I think this is the strangest pruning job I’ve ever seen of an Asparagus fern.

Walking the streets all over the Bay Area you see so many amazing plants. Driving I saw even more but I couldn’t take as many shots as I’d wanted.

Trailing Rosemary creates a great effect if you can pull it off correctly.
Ok, so here’s the real deal with this post. It’s a confession too. I stuffed my pockets silly with seeds whenever I could and I am posting the evidence.
Some of these seeds are new to me, and others I have grown before.

My daily Ikebana project also added to my luggage.

Arranging the seeds and drying them really did slow me down but I am thankful many of them are ready to go.

Using origami envelopes made the picking much more convenient.

Back at home, unpacked, but still getting back into gear, I took this photo while sitting out back under the willow arbor with the kids young adults. I love them for not teasing me about all of the envelopes with seeds stuffed into them that are all over our house. It makes me happy to know that to the girls, what I do is somehow normal, and is expected of me.

I am Auntie Annie‚ÄĒthe seed snatcher! Oh yeah, and welcome back autumn. Now let’s get on with this so I can get back to springtime asap.