Gardening where the sidewalk ends

Insist on Cistus June 3, 2009

Filed under: shrubs — greenwalks @ 1:26 pm
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The one-gallon Rockrose (cistus) I planted at the end of my parking strip that’s furthest from the house (and hose) a couple of years ago is at least three feet wide now and fully established. I highly recommend this drought-tolerant shrub to anyone looking to add a little height and a lot of width to a dry spot – I barely remembered to water it at all when I first planted it, but it seems not to have minded. Now it’s covered with blooms like this:

First rockrose (cistus) bloom

I still don’t water it much and have never fertilized or otherwise done anything to it. It blooms once in a single and fairly short profusion and then goes back to being a green clump, which is a bit of a drawback, but it keeps the weeds away from that area and is evergreen in my climate, Zone 8. This is probably the last year I’ll be able to just let it be before I have to figure out when and how to prune it.

Cistus Nursery on Sauvie Island near Portland is beloved of some of my favorite garden bloggers, Megan of Nestmaker and Loree of Danger Garden. They seem to focus more on agaves, yuccas, and other desert-y plants but maybe they have a nice collection of their namesake plant too. I hope to visit there someday and bring home some cross-border beauties.


10 Responses to “Insist on Cistus”

  1. Aerie-el Says:

    Beautiful Bloom! Anything that keeps the weeds away is a winner in my book!

  2. Ah thanks! That flower is a beauty, and hope I’m not spoiling the surprise but they do usually have a good selection of their namesake and lots of other not desert-y plants too. In fact my friend Denise was surprised at how many plants they had that were not spiky and spiny. Hope you make it down to visit and that you’ve got a biggish car!

  3. Grace Says:

    I can vouch for this fabulous plant. Mine started as a cutting from a friend’s garden–they root easily. Its flowers are exactly like yours. My friend said hers will bloom intermittently throughout the summer… this is the first summer for mine so we’ll see.

    One of my fantasies is to visit Cistus. Not that I need any more marginally hardy plants or even more plants at all. I tell my husband it’s my “continuing education.”

  4. Sue Says:

    That’s the kind of plant for me! I love that bloom!

  5. Catherine Says:

    I really like them, and the bloom on yours is very pretty. I like how tissuey the flowers look.

  6. Darla Says:

    Beautiful bloom, a weed choker is a plus for sure!

  7. easygardener Says:

    I like Cistus – very summery and showy, especially the ones with larger flowers. A pity they don’t flower for longer but they are ideal in a dry hot spot.

  8. The Rockrose sounds like the perfect plant for me- garden challenged! I have a bed that is far away from the hose and it even has a soaker in it! I still forget to water it- this plant would be perfect! Have a great June!

  9. Megan Says:

    You would love it at Cistus Nursery. Talk about your Greenwalks! Well, not exactly hell strip planting, but their driveway border garden is incredible. The whole thing is incredible.

  10. Jane Says:

    Love cistus! It’s possibly my plant of the year in my new (year-old) garden. I need a white one like yours, though. The one I have has intense, bright fuchsia pink blooms. I recommend that color, too!

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