After having a tasty breakfast at our hotel this morning, I gave Kim (a.k.a. blackswampgirl) a call as we'd previously discussed and we all headed towards Strongsville to meet at the Petitti Garden Center there.
Kim had given me a brief description of herself so that I would be able to recognize her when we met, but I think I was too busy gawking at the wares at the entrance to Petitti's that when she said hello, it just didn't register with me who she was! I told her that I was quite surprised at how young she looked, because from her blog posts she sounds mature for her years. I won't tell you how old she is (although I know), but not only does she sound older than she is, she looks younger than she is, too! What a great combination!
I have to tell you that I thoroughly enjoyed browsing the aisles of Petitti's with Kim, discussing foliage, blooms, habits, and other characteristics of the various plants we saw. We spent about an hour and a half together and the time just flew by. It was as if we were old friends getting together instead of just meeting for the first time.
I purchased a few things here, one a recommendation from Kim - Hakone Grass (Hakonechloa macra 'Aureola'). I'd been wanting another grass that grows well in the shade and Kim assured me this one did. I also bought a hardy Fuschia ('Cape Horn'™) and I'm anxious to see how this fares through our zone 5 winter. To add to my green Santolina, I got a small pot of the gray. Astrantia is one of my favorite plants, so I had to buy 'Hadspen Blood' when I saw it here. And finally, Viola 'Fuji Dawn' made its way onto my cart. I could have bought a few other things, including some beautifully healthy Japanese Anemones and a Beautyberry shrub, but there was no room left in Mom's car to take them home.
This Petitti's didn't disappoint me either. It had pretty much the same plant offerings as the Avon store, although the Avon store is larger in size. The staff was very available and quite friendly and helpful. That means so much when you find a plant you're not familiar with and want to know a bit more information than the identification tag tells you.
Kim and I exchanged gifts, with Kim sharing a division of one of her hostas, 'Dawn,' as well as a rock she had excavated from her yard for me to put on my cairn. It had some clay clinging to it, which is not normal in her gardens, so she said it needed to 'go home.' It will feel right at home in my clay-ridden garden, which Kim knew, since she grew up near me. As we said our goodbyes, we voiced our intentions to visit one another's gardens and trade some plants.
Mom, Sue and I piled back into the plant-filled car and began the trip home, with a stop scheduled for the Schedel Arboretum and Gardens just outside Elmore, Ohio. That visit will get its own post, coming up next.