After attending the Garden Blogger's Fling in Seattle in 2011, Mom and I stayed an extra week with a family friend. Jim, who has a home on Whidbey Island, was a first-time Pacific Northwest visitor's dream host. He took us to see so many wonderful things in the area, indulging us with visits to places of particular interest to two obsessive gardeners.
While we were running around on Whidbey Island, we stopped at Hummingbird Farm Nursery and Gardens near Oak Harbor. The gift shop had some unique things, and we found the owner working in the gardens out front. We strolled through and noticed an interesting plant growing randomly here and there, and having unique, feathery foliage. Mom and I were both somewhat taken with it.
We called the owner over to identify it, which he did - a Euphorbia of some sort. Then we did the unthinkable. We asked him how much they were. He just looked at us for a few seconds and then he stifled a laugh, and said, "You want to buy my weeds?"
Once we convinced him that we were indeed serious about wanting to purchase a couple of these plants, because you know, we were from Ohio and all, and we'd never seen this particular Euphorbia before and we just love euphorbias, he said he'd have to think about it.
"How does eight dollars each sound?" Suddenly his weeds had value.
We bought them, brought them home and planted them, and right now they're in their spring blooming glory and I couldn't be happier. I still love this plant as much as the day I first set eyes on it three years ago.
Its lime green blooms are characteristic of other euphorbias - but tiny - and almost glow atop purplish foliage (which will later turn green). While it has spread a bit, it's not invasive for me like some other euphorbias I've grown that seed themselves around. (Not that I'd mind if it was.)
You know what they say - "One man's trash is another man's treasure." But I have to wonder if he's selling his weeds now that he knows there's a market for them. Or maybe he just has a funny memory of the day two Midwestern women walked into his garden and fell in love with his weeds.