Monday, July 31, 2006

A Gardener's Rationale

Well, I caved and bought the $50 phormium. Actually, I bought two.

I know, I know...but those of you reading this who don't suffer from plant fetishes (and honestly, I don't know why you're here, in that case), let me give you some reasons why I plunked down that much moolah for two plants:

1. I didn't actually pay $50 each. The Calloway's down the street now has "Happy Hour" every Friday from 5-7 p.m. whereby you get 20% off your entire purchase. So that, my friends, means I "only" paid $40 for each phormium...

2. ...which is still a helluva lot, in my book. But to further rationalize, both of these plants are huge and ready to be divided. So I figure that I might actually get three additional plants from each one. Now we're down to $10 per plant.

3. Dutch Gardens recently refunded about $45 to one of my credit cards for some dead plants I reported. Using that credit means we're down to under $5 for each plant. Excellent!

See how easy that was? You too can rationalize your way into overpaying for plants you're obsessed with.

By the way, the two phormium cultivars I got were 'Jester' and 'Pink Panther' - both gorgeous. I just couldn't choose between the two of 'em. *wink

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Gardening on

Just a little plug for my favorite local nursery, Northhaven Gardens...they now have their own MySpace page.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

High On Dry

The new issue of Horticulture Magazine has an interesting article about a lady in Washington state who turned her front yard into plant-land. What was really fascinating was the true point of the article: plantings for dry climates.

I was like "WTF? Washington state is dry?" But apparently, outside of Seattle, they get less than 1" of rain during the summer. That's a head-scratcher, isn't it?

There are some truly drool-worthy pictures too, the kind that send me off to the nursery in a plant-buying frenzy...which is what I did today at lunch. I loaded up on perennial herbs, sedums, an Achillea 'Paprika', a Penstemon 'Huskers Red', a 'Mordens Pink' loosestrife, a couple of ornamental grasses, a couple of artemesia, and a really cool-looking green santolina.

Lastly, I am suffering with "phormium phetish" at the moment. Unfortunately, few of the nurseries around here carry phormiums (i.e. New Zealand flax), and when they do, they're $50. The best online source seems to be Heronswood.

A guy at the nursery talked me into a Dianella tasmanica, which he called Tasmanian flax or a Variegated Flax Lily. The foliage was nice, and a bit softer than some phormiums, so I took it.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Ain't Nothin' Goin' On...

...but the heat, to paraphase the old Gwen Guthrie song.

I refuse to garden when it's 103° outside. Spot watering is about all I'm doing at the moment. I spent Saturday afternoon in our swimming pool scrubbing at spots with a steel brush. If I have to be outside doing physical labor in this heat, I'd better be boob-deep in cool water, that's a fo' sho'.

My community garden plot looks pretty good - lots of tomatoes, a couple of cantaloupes, a couple of eggplants, and a watermelon are all developing nicely. I've started seeds of Kaika pumpkin, Delicata squash and some Bright Lights Swiss chard, just for kicks.

I've noticed that the Lemon Cucumber in my plot is starting to kick into gear and that it is pretty much the only cuke doing well for anybody; I'm glad I handed out some of those transplants. Rust or some kind of virus has overtaken the other cultivars, and rust ruined everybody's beans too. While I don't have it in my space, the okra is getting big and beautiful in other plots.

I took several pictures while there on Saturday morning and will post them soon.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

The Old Man is Snoring... in, "It's raining, it's pouring" etc.

Actually, it's rained on and off for the past two days. July Fourth BBQs be damned. I (and that black snakeroot I just planted) couldn't be happier.

Hubby and I had pizza last night and watched Mother Nature's fireworks: a full-fledged supercell thunderstorm to our north around 9:45, while somebody's lame holiday display fizzled out to the south.

Speaking of the snakeroot, my order from Garden Crossings arrived in absolutely outstanding shape. Huge, huge plants. And who knew Ligularia was so cool? I sure didn't. Mine came out of the box a full 1-1/2 ft. tall. It too is loving all this rain.

Also included in my order was Echinacea 'Hope', a new pale pink coneflower cultivar developed to honor breast cancer survivors. What's nice is that a portion of all proceeds from Garden Crossings' suppliers has been donated to the Susan G. Komen Foundation for each plant sold.

I left a review on Garden Watchdog if anyone's interested. Somebody just left a bad review for GC, though, which is a shame. My experience with them has been exceptional.