Skip to comments.Dreaming with the Winter Gardening Catalogues-With Pics!
Posted on 12/28/2004 4:23:27 AM PST by Fishtalk
Raise your hand yon gardeners who have never perused the mid-winter gardenings magazines and gone bezerk with the ordering?
In this gardening missive, one gardening Grandmother, now choosing plantings for her new gardens, must choose the new perrenials that will solidify the garden structure.
It's fun, there's gardening gossip, and pictures of the plants finally chosen.
In Quotable Notables we have a quote from an actual transcript between American and Canadian "forces".
Check it out, because the Canadians win.
The Canadians Win
When the world is too loud and raucous, retire to the gardens of Grandmother's world
Garden Magazines and Flowers to Come
Indeed, the glossy magazine of my current fantasy, very late in this year of our Lord, 2004, is from Wayside Gardens. But my snail box is filled with many others, from Holland, from England, from the great growers of the United States.
They send out the handsome rotogravures deep in the mid of winter when cold and snow clouds our gardening common sense. For as my pupils widen with each turn of the page I determine that THIS, -whatever 'this' is that I currently regard, generally some beautiful plant in full bloom- is just what I need in my gardens to come soon should spring ever return.
For a hoot, I shall now peruse my un-culled choices for garden purchase. But I must begin with my methodology for choosing plants for order and how credit card debt forces me to be rational.
First time I go through a gardening catalogue I rip out half the pages. Said rip being my quick way of pulling out pages with those garden items for which I have an interest.
A week later, when the flooding pulse of garden dreams abates, I return to the torn pages and cull them down. I then wait another week when even more common sense returns and carefully select new additions to my gardens.
Used to be a time I didn't do this and when the plants arrived I was beside myself with where to plant them, what was I thinking and why did I ever think a giant evergreen would enhance my tall oak-tree studded lot.
At this unveiling of my garden choices, I am at stage two of my culling process. Which means there's a lot of torn pages filled with beautiful plants that should be in my garden and not in this picture book.
It becomes a bit of an intrigue what with a torn page full of plants that on the second perusal seem alien and unreal. Because the torn page is my only reference and I sometimes don't recall what specific plant allured me during the initial appraisal.
The page I now regard has a series of small trees and I suspect I was going after something called an "ACER-Japanese Maple".
I remember why I want it. Once upon a time I had the most delightful weeping crab apple tree. I bought it and planted it myself. It lived three years but only did okay on that shady, sloped lot I lived on in the state of Merryland. Now transplanted to Delaware, my gardens receive full and glorious sun all day.
My little weeping crab apple met a horrible fate. In that one day it was there and the next day, poof, it totally disappeared from the planet. Of course the huge earth moving machines all about that day to install a new septic tank on the lot might have had something to do with the tree's disappearance. Whatever and however, the thing was gone and no one I queried claimed to have ever seen the thing.
With my Delaware lot of full sun I want another weeping crab apple tree.
Except in all the gardening magazines to cross my snail mail, I've yet to see a miniature weeping crab apple for sale. I ponder that the bulldozers might well have wiped an entire species off the planet with their plundering monster machines.
This ACER Japanese Maple is a little tree that would work in that center garden plot in my sunny lot, the same spot I dreamed would hold my miniature weeping crab apple. It would seem I am compromising. If miniature weeping crab apple trees are now extinct then I must find a substitute. Or so I figure my logic was the day I tore out that page.
The ACER Japanese Maple is wadded and trashed. The culling has begun.
The second torn page, YES! It's a winner. Popping out as if a bulls-eye is a picture of a lovely stand of "Elijah Blue Fescue Grass". On my Merryland lot this plant grew nicely but I knew it wanted more sun. Here on my Delaware lot, the dreams I have of a well-behaved border plant to encircle my center lawn garden will soon come to fruition. For the Elijah Blue fescue grass will be perfect. Torn page set aside for a later elimination process.
Another torn page and now I don't remember what intrigued me enough to tear it out. On one side are pictures of painted daisies, Autumn Joy, Butterfly blue scabiosa. The other side of the page features purple salvia or meadow sage. Also I see Lamb's Ears and Hollyhocks.
I have no idea. Except perhaps the painted daisies caused me to tear the page. They are beautiful, bright red flowers. And there is now SUN in my gardening life. Such a plant would never have bloomed in my Merryland shady lot. What with the Delaware sun blooming my roses, I suspect I felt a stand of painted daisies was my birthright.
Surely I didn't want the salvia. Not that this isn't a fine plant but my lot in Merryland DID grow this plant. I doubt it caused me to tear out the page in pre-order joy.
The painted daisies sell for around 3 small pots for $15.00. I recall last season I planted a stand of Shasta daisies. Crush. The page gets tossed. I'll wait and see how the shastas do before trying the painted.
Next torn page brings another winner!
Indeed. I love Canna, those huge red flowers that bloom in late summer. That old shady lot would never allow Canna to bloom.
The page makes the cut.
The next torn page features, well I don't recognize any of the plants on this page except the Hardy Boxwood. A bush I would never buy as it is entirely too boring for my sensibilities. The rest of the flowering bushes have Japanese names. Nothing rings a bell.
The other side of the page features something called a "Berberis 'Helmond Pillar'".
This rings a distant bell.
The bush is a very tall type of thing with a purple hued leaf. In the picture it looks stately and columnar and I pondered if it wasn't yet another consideration for my center lawn garden which desperately needs plantings with height. Which, I must remind, was reserved for the miniature weeping crab apple tree that I cannot find.
A quick wad and the page doesn't make the cut. As handsome as this bush is, it could never replace that weeping crab apple.
First thing I see before regarding both sides of the page is the page containing many pictures of lilacs. Goodness, did you know they now have yellow lilacs? Yellow? The word lilac connotes a color for God's sake. Whoever heard of yellow lilacs?
For sure I would never plant lilacs in my new gardens. Yes these are lovely bushes and indeed there is one bush on the new lot, way over in a corner. It's a small affair and planted directly under a tree I've yet to identify. Why on earth someone would plant a lilac under a tree is beyond me.
I had a gazillion lilacs on my shady Merryland lot. They drove me nuts. The bushes do not behave, spreading their thick roots everywhere, rooting everywhere, growing everywhere. Not that they bloomed or anything under all that oak shade. Which caused me to spend many frustrating afternoons hacking at errant roots and digging the things up. One bloomless lilac was quite enough as I saw it.
Nope, I didn't want the lilacs, let me flip the page.
Ah, I see another tall miniature tree/bush type of affair. The plant of my intrigue is called a "Salix 'Weeping Sally'" and as I recall it was another tall plant that I considered for replacement of the irreplaceable miniature weeping crab apple. The "branches" of this thing are adorned with what looks like pussy willows. It's cute but get this, it costs $59.95 each. No way I will pay that for a plant I'm not even sure of and have never grown before.
Another page hits the garbage.
Final page and I see the plant of my desire. For sure I have no interest in the many hardy geraniums on the other side of the page. Hardy geraniums being fine plants I am sure but I've never grown them before and for now, for my new gardens, I want to stick to the plants I've tried and tested. Later there will be time for experimentation.
Last year I filled the gardens with pretty annuals and they did a splendid job. Now I begin the pain-staking job of carving out a more permanent garden scape.
The plant I desire is called "Gaura 'Crimson Butterflies'". Indeed I had one of these plants in my Merryland scape and thought it was one of the prettiest plants to hit my admiring eyeball.
In the garden catalogue picture this plant is featured in a container. In Merryland I had it in the ground but I always like to have options for container plants. I do have an impressive whiskey barrel garden here in Delaware, just as I had in Merryland. Container plantings can be wonderful affairs to brighten up a spot with no access to dirt.
For now I will plant the Crimson Butterflies directly in my center lawn garden. I suspect they will enjoy the increased sun on this lot. Then, depending on how they do, perhaps I will consider them as addition to the now empty whiskey barrels.
So that's it. Down to three desired plants: fescue grass, Crimson butterflies and canna.
Still no miniature weeping crab apple tree.
I shall keep looking.
TOMORROW: Fish Giggles provides creativity from the Washington Post Contest with the challenge of making new definitions of existing words. Example:
Circumvent (n.), an opening in the front of boxer shorts worn by Jewish men.
And surely there are times you look for a sarcastic phrase to effectively summarize a situation then upon.
Well we have a list for you. Example:
Wrinkled was not one of the things I wanted to be when I grew up.
Does anyone remember the DC Sniper?
Well this missive was written by me during the height of that terrifying time.
It's a fun retrospective in that I was very, very wrong in my speculation on the identy of the DC sniper. But to read the account written as it was happening and affecting me very personally, well someday Kaitlyn will read my accounts in this very same manner.
But hey, I was right about the Merryland Governor's race!
I've gone hog-wild ordering seeds plenty of times. :')
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Leave it to guy to google melons.
The worst that could happen if you color coordinate your garden is all the neighbors will suspect you're gay. Tell them you googled "melons" and they might hush up.
I'm going to start some Gazanias, and some Convulvulus (fake morning glory), for transplant, along with some veggie plants. Usually there are also marigolds, and often zinnias.
Ogled? Ohhhh, googled... ;') I plan to grow the crops out here, on the old homestead, rather than in the city. At home I plan to cover everything with plastic, then haul in shredded bark or something. Sick of dealing with my city lot.
Dreaming of gardens has got to be easier than this:
zzz... tomatoes... cabbages... eggplants... zzz...
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Is it bedtime already?
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