Here we go again. Every winter, as the new plant and seed catalogs make their way to my mailbox, I sit and make a mental list of those things I think I'd like to have for the gardens this year. As I turn each page, I secretly hope that what meets my eyes is mundane or even ugly. I sometimes rejoice when I find that it's not suitable for my zone. Why do I do that?
It's kind of like shopping for clothes. Sometimes I'll try on an outfit I've fallen for just so I can rule it out. If it doesn't fit or doesn't look good on me, then I don't have to feel bad if I can't afford to buy it. This applies to plant shopping as well. If it's nothing special and I can't grow it here, then that puts it out of the running for my list of wants.
That list just gets way too long every year. I couldn't possibly afford it all, nor do I presently have garden space for even a fraction of it. That doesn't stop me from acquiring a few new things, however. There's always room for Jell-O and a new plant for the garden, so I make lists and then winnow them down to something remotely realistic.
Right now, the object of my attention is the new Plant Delights Nursery catalog that arrived here yesterday. It's a joy just to look through and read this publication because those folks are very creative in the way they describe the offerings contained within its covers. Oh, and the cover itself is always pretty entertaining, too.
10 STAMPS OR A BOX OF CHOCOLATES
I had the pleasure of seeing some of what Plant Delights has to offer when Mom and I went to Garden Fair at Winterthur, Delaware in the fall of 2006. They had an extensive offering at a vendor's booth there and we both made some purchases. I feel they're a bit pricey, but they do have some unusual things and that usually means it costs more.
Here's what has caught my eye this year, with names and accompanying links so you can check them out further:
Hardy Ground Orchid
Bletilla striata 'Murasaki Shikibu'
Hardy Calanthe Orchid
Calanthe discolor (Zone 6b-9)
This one is rated a full zone warmer than ours, but I've got a microclimate on the south side of the house that I'm pretty sure would be okay for this. It's at the upper range of my spending limit though.
Speckled Lacebark Elm
Ulmus parvifolia 'Variegata'
Japanese Wood Poppy
Just when I thought I was satisfied with the several hostas I've got...
Hosta 'White Wall Tire'
Iris 'Aichi no Kagayaki'
Paeonia 'Pastel Splendor'
This is an intersectional peony, which is a cross between an herbaceous peony and a tree peony. It costs a lot, but in the peony world there are many that cost more than twice as much as this one.
Catesbey's Pitcher Plant
Sarracenia x catesbaei
Prairie Fire Catchfly
Silene regia 'Prairie Fire'
Last year, while we were out in a local woods geocaching, we came upon a native catchfly that looked just like 'Prairie Fire.' I knew right then that I wanted it for my garden. I've found a source for seeds, which I'll be planting this spring.
I like this one, too:
Silene 'Rockin Robin'
Toad Lily 'Lunar Landing'
Trycyrtis affinis 'Lunar Landing'
Beaked Blue Yucca
Now this is one that although it's hardy to our zone (5), I have a hard time picturing it in our gardens. It looks too tropical, I think, for use as a perennial in our northern location. On the other hand, if you planted the right companion plants, it could look pretty fabulous.