It's been four days since Romie's surgery, so I asked him this morning if he felt up to taking a short road trip. He wasn't sure, but since all he had to do was ride in the car and do very little walking, he decided he'd be fine to go.
Last year, when Kara and Adam got married, Mom was in charge of the decorating and the flowers. She got twenty hanging baskets of Asparagus Fern (Asparagus densiflorus 'Sprengeri') from Stratton Greenhouses near Bluffton, Ohio. She used sprigs of this in her decorating. When we went to pick them up, I saw a rustic wooden plaque that said "It's a Wonderful Life" that I wanted, but didn't buy. I've regretted not getting it ever since then, so today Romie and I headed that way. A long shot, I know, since that was over a year ago, but even if they didn't have it, Strattons's is a wonderful greenhouse and they have a fabulous home and garden gift shop as well.
We first went to Indian Trail Garden Center in Columbus Grove. Mom and I had gone there last year, too, and it's another place that's well worth the trip for us. I picked up a 'Harvest Moon' Echinacea to add to the small one I already have, and I was getting ready to buy some catnip since my rather large plant was one of our winter casualties. Then I saw nice large containers of catmint (Nepeta x faassenii 'Walker's Low') and got into a discussion with several employees about whether or not cats are attracted to catmint like they are to catnip.
After they researched it online and not seeing anything that suggested cats like catmint, I decided to play it safe and go with the catnip. Then a very nice woman (the owner?) asked if I simply wanted the catnip for my cats - I did - and she went somewhere 'out back' and dug up a nice big clump of it and gave it to me gratis! Once again, I'm amazed at the generosity of gardeners, and especially when I was willing to pay.
(By the way, I later found out that cats are indeed attracted to catmint.)
We then traveled further east to Stratton's, which is located on historic Lincoln Highway. I walked into their gift shop, which they call The Country Peddler. There are some absolutely gorgeous and unusual things there. It was here that I saw the 'wonderful life' plaque last year. And it was still there! Yay! (But it's not there anymore...)
They had a nice large selection of herbs, annuals and perennials, as well as trees and shrubs, but since I wasn't really interested in buying more plants, I just skimmed their selections. I ended up getting a couple of balloon flowers (Platycodon grandiflorus 'Astra Pink' and 'Astra Semi-Double Lavender'). I also picked out a decorative hose hanger that I put on the front of the pool house for the shorter hose we use for watering that area. It's usually strung all over and I'd been thinking of getting such a thing for storing it prior to our trip today, so finding one that I liked and could afford was serendipitous.
Just as I thought I was done shopping and was preparing to leave, I noticed a stained-glass mobile of a sort, of a blue jay, hanging over the counter. It was quite unusual and very pretty, and while I'd already spent more than I intended, I gritted my teeth and added it to my tally. When we got it home, Romie suggested we hang it just outside the family room window so we could see it while sitting in that room. Good call!
After we got home, we decorated our outdoor 'rooms' and planted the newly acquired plants. We had a fun day and while I wouldn't wish for Romie to have surgery every day of the week, I enjoy him being home like this so we can hang out and do what we both enjoy together.