Cistus Design Nursery

a fine place to drink in springtime

By Kate Bryant June 1, 2011

See? There was some sunshine a few weeks ago, for a few hours.

It may be gray and chilly but just a week ago, there were a few hours of blue sky, sunshine and warmth. And I have the photos to prove it. I was out at Cistus Design Nursery on Sauvie Island that day. Walking around the voluptuous, deliciously scented display gardens and combing through the tables for interesting treasures was the perfect way to spend one of the first (okay, only, so far) days of spring, 2011.


Danger Zone: the succulent area! Not only are they poky plants, they are addictive to collect because they looks so good together… in groups!

I left with some stunning plants… and a feeling of inspired determination. This year, instead of neglecting my own personal garden, I would pot up a few dramatic plants that I adore and then find time to just lounge about and admire them.

Unsurprisingly, I found plenty of suitably dramatic and textural container subjects at Cistus. The kinds of plants I could spend the better part of a lazy summer admiring from a chaise lounge with a fruity cocktail in hand.


Looks like Echinocactus grusonii – a type of barrel cactus – to me but whaddo I know? If that’s what this is, it is likely not cold-hardy in our area but would make marvelous container subjects. (Worth bringing indoors in winter, for sure.)

Just walking around Cistus drinking in the sights and the sounds of the birds and inhaling the scent of resinous foliage and fragrant blossoms wafting through the spring air reminded me that too often I am working in the garden instead of enjoying it. Artist and garden designer Jeffrey Bale’s recent talk about pleasure in the garden, reminded me of the importance of resting and reveling in the garden rather than just doing chores. Because the sad truth is that if you don’t stop and enjoy the beauty you’re trying to create, you inevitably start to resent the work.

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Do you too get caught up in mowing, hauling, weeding, and watering, and forget to recline in your own garden? Or do you really get out in your own garden and enjoy the space – and live in it?


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