Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Plant Buying Must Stop

I'm serious. I have no empty spaces needing to be filled, no new beds waiting to be developed, not even any empty pots needing a new look.
But when a gardener is foolish enough to go to the San Francisco Flower and Garden Show and is then faced with booth after booth filled with plants, bulbs, and seeds, well, some plant buying is inevitable.

For instance, when a plant is hyped as an "Italian herb much sought after by top chefs" how can a gardener resist? And, although I have several apps to help me, did I even stop to check whether I could grow agretti? Luckily the original information I found post-purchase, the site where it mentions that agretti grows in salty marshland, was not the only information available. Because I don't think any part of my garden qualifies as salty marshland. Other sites clarify that it does not require marshland, salty or otherwise, that it is a spring crop so will not be taking up valuable summer crop space, and that I can start harvesting, by trimming the tops which will then regrow, when it is 6-8 inches tall. It has already grown in the few days I've had it here so I had better get it in the ground quickly! I am so curious and excited to try something that every cooking site I've found raves about. Hmm..so buying this was actually not a mistake!

What about those succulents? They don't count. I'm quite sure there is a clause somewhere that says if you see a succulent you have never seen before you are allowed to buy it. Even if you have something pretty similar. Or if you see an especially healthy specimen of a succulent you are particularly fond of (such as these Senecio rawleyanus, otherwise know as string of pearls). Anyway, when there are people squeezing in to get at the plants it is almost impossible not to get caught up and join in. So I get a pass on these plants too.

The lily bulbs may have been a mistake but they looked so promising and so many gardeners/bloggers have been commenting on their lily orders and their anticipation of the beauty to come that I couldn't help getting a few. They were easy to carry, too, not a small consideration at the crowded show. I only had to move three plants out of one pot to plant one variety and temporarily plant the others in a smallish pot until I can move a few more plants and free up another big pot. Hardly worth being concerned about so, again, they don't count. Although this one was a close call.

The geraniums always get me. I don't mean the common pelargoniums but rather the hardy perennial geraniums and the specialty pelargoniums. I only got 2 which I think shows commendable restraint. Both Geranium phaeum 'Lavender Pinwheel' and Pelargonium 'Splendide' will remain in pots so I don't need to worry about having bought these since they don't need a home in the ground. Pass!

As I crossed an aisle I saw a wonderful display of perennials that included many salvias. Salvias are great: reliable, pretty, drought tolerant, long-lived.  I should buy some! Here is a pretty pink nemerosa 'Rose Sensation'. I need that. What else is there? This was the moment I told myself "the plant buying must stop." So it did. Right after I paid for the nemerosa. Which did need a home in the ground. Which I found after spending a short amount of time channeling Henry Mitchell, wandering the garden with plant in hand, looking for a space, suitable for a salvia, that wasn't already taken.

                                                  At least I didn't bring this home.


Annie in Austin said...

New Succulents Don't Count is a good rule - maybe because they're small & cute?
I did the Henry walk a couple of days ago, and Leslie - it was also an irresistible salvia. The name is Salvia discolor and so far it's been bumped up from a 4-in to find a home. It's hopeless.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Fairegarden said...

It's all good, Leslie! Those plants wanted to come and live with you and you obliged. Life is too short not to!

Gail said...

Leslie, I have a decent sized yard, but, still dance the Henry dance when I bring home plants that need special attention~Like full sun and good drainage! Love the phaem's looks. gail

Kathy said...

I think you showed admirable restraint. Thinking back to the one show I went to, I don't remember being tempted by plants. I think that's because the show was in March, and everything had to be forced into bloom. Also, if there had been plants for sale, it would not have been the right time to plant them outdoors.

Carol Michel said...

Goodness, you are my hero for the restraint you showed. Clearly, all the plants you purchased were necessary purchases.

Unknown said...

I think that your restraint was admirable, Leslie. As cute as those succulents look, I would have probably brought home at least twice as many! (And I LOVE your succulent rule--I'm definitely subscribing to that one. :-)

By the way, which crassula is that in the back? I think I'm in love...

growingagardenindavis said...

Thank you all for supporting me in my fantasy of necessity. I will be happy to do the same for you at any time. Kim...it is streyii...and one of the ones I hadn't seen before. It is just your style too!