Tuesday, June 12, 2007

It's A Wonderful Life

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.


Anonymous said...

Your kitties are so cute! I grow catnip for them...only I haven't shared it with them yet! It is easy to grow from seed

Alyssa said...

Wonderful and interesting post. It sure is nice to spend a fun and leisurely day with your favorite man.

Make sure you keep a close eye on the catnip - it will reseed like mad if you let it. It grows all over our yard and if it flowers there are tons of babies next year.

It is a pretty plant - be it catmint or the wilder catnip.

The stained glass blue jay is beautiful - I'd love one of those. And the plaque is also another fine addition. Sounds like a wonderful day all around!

Kylee Baumle said...

I hope it does reseed. Where I have it located, it won't matter. And the kitties can roll around in it when it gets a little more established. For now, I've got a metal cage over it (actually a hanging plant container turned upside down).

The Blue Jay is by BirdBrain® and there's a cardinal, hummingbird, butterfly, and other 'Flappers' in their flock!

Unknown said...

I adore that blue jay! Isn't it sad that I've never heard of any of the places you've gone to? Of course, I wasn't nearly as gardening-mad as I am now when I grew up "back home." :)

By the way, if you really want to give the cats a treat, look for little herb pots of lemongrass. I once caught my cat hanging off of the top of the television in an attempt to reach the pot of lemongrass I was overwintering inside.

Unknown said...

Love the plaque--I'd like to have one just like it here in my office. Glad that romie is on the mend and that you're getting to spend some nice time together.
As for catnip reseeding...yes, it does, BUT if you have a catnip addict like the Rumtum Tigger, you don't have to worry about too many seedlings. when we moved here, there was a mondo-jumbo catnip plant in the back garden. It produced an equally mondo-jumbo amount of seedlings. Tigger (and his cohorts) ate them. ALL. Tigger ate down to the roots, dug up roots and rolled in them. this took place over the course of several seasons, but finally he had eaten ALL of them...still, six years after the last plant succumbed, he goes out and stares longingly at the place where that plant was. He goes after catmint too, but I have him sort of thwarted by having planted the catmint UNDER the pyracantha (firethorn bush). That is deterring him--slightly, anyway. We keep lots of dried, local catnip on hand for him and his cohorts, but it's funny how some of them don't care for it at all. Never a problem with Tigger..he licks the floor clean, as well as his kindred's backs, ears, heads...wherever a flake of catnip might have lodged.

Yolanda Elizabet Heuzen said...

Love that blue bird of yours, how pretty it is!

The pic of the kitties with the catnip made me laugh, it looks so familiar.

I hope Romie is feeling much better now!

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