I am not one of those people—and you know who you are—who are very organized. Ask anybody. The spring trip to the local plant sale usually goes like this: “Plants for the vacant spots in the front flower bed? Ok, this year,” I muse to myself, “we’re using ______ colors, and I don’t have one of _______, yet. “
Not this spring. This year, I’m going to have a PLAN. The real deal: down to the ¼- inch, drawn on the drafting board with the compass and scale ruler kind of inspiration. And from the plan, I’ll have a plant list. Clutching the plan tightly, I’ll march into the spring plant sales that lure gardeners much like the waft of ribs from the barbecue joint seduce ‘cue lovers. No impulse purchases for me. I’ll have something I’ve never had before: a shopping list. Not on the list? Not in the checkout line.
I did get the plan drawn up. It took several weeks of looking at the favorite plant books, doodling around on the computer, and checking on mature sizes of plants.
Each plant had a circle drawn to scale representing its place and size in the grand scheme. I finally had the shopping list.
Things began to unravel within minutes at my first plant sale of the season. Blame the perfect spring day. Chalk it up to cash burning a hole in my pocket. Proceeds go to four charities? Oh Lord, help me now.
Needless to say, I emerged from the check out line with two unplanned Eryngium ‘Blue Glitter’ that promise a cool purple thistle-looking bloom. Cardinal Flower Lobelia cardinalis wasn’t on the list either. But how else was I going to have “dense spikes of brilliant red blooms that are a hummingbird magnet?” Just put “hummingbird” and “magnet” in close proximity and I am a goner. I bought three.
Chiding myself, I shopped at the Texas Discovery Garden plant sale the following week. Russian sage, black-eyed Susan, asters, and Mexican sunflower went on the cart. Each of those was on the Shopping List.
But then I fell for Miss Huff lantana. The “BEST of the lantanas” says the plant description. I bought two. I overlooked that it grows 3-6 feet high. The Best of the Lantanas needs to be moved to the side yard.
It was getting easier to tally what purchases were not on the Shopping List: Bridal Wreath vine, “Peter’s Purple” monarda, Louisiana iris, Mountain sage……
Husband Mike’s only request was for something to shade the brick wall of the house from the hot west sun. I snagged dwarf pomegranate ‘Nana’ at a sale in Collin County. Perfect plant: 3-6 feet tall, orange blooms and fruit from spring to fall, gorgeous color next to the brown brick. The next day as I popped it out of the pot, I noticed a slight discrepancy: the tag said ‘Wonderful’ which grows into to a small tree.
Oh bother. Is it 3-6 foot ‘Nana’ as the plant list specified? Or have I planted a really, really big ‘Wonderful’ pomegranate? Time will tell.
Loved Elizabeth’s “Plant Sale Musing” I can relate to her experiences. Jane