Friday, January 4, 2008

Plant Delights and Dreams

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.


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:

Anemone hupehensis 'Crispa'

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.

Corydalis 'Berry Exciting'

Speckled Lacebark Elm
Ulmus parvifolia 'Variegata'

Japanese Wood Poppy
Glaucidium palmatum

Mallow 'Peppermint Flare'

Lilium pyrophilum

Just when I thought I was satisfied with the several hostas I've got...

Introduced by Plant Delights' own Tony Avent

Yet another Tony Avent hybrid

Tony had his hand in this one, too.

Hosta 'White Wall Tire'
More Tony!

Aching Tongue Iris
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

Hot Lips Sage
Salvia microphylla 'Hot Lips'

Striped Sedum
Sedum alboroseum 'Mediovariegatum'

Sedum telephium ssp. reprechtii 'Hab Gray'

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
Yucca rostrata
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.

So now you see what goes on in my head when I look through just one catalog of tempting plants. And there is a pile of about fifteen more sitting on the dining room table. I'm willing to bet the same thing happens to my fellow plantaholics - "Ooh, I must have that! And that one, too! Oh boy, look at this one!" and so on and so forth. If non-gardeners just realized the amount of restraint we exercise with this banquet of choices staring us in the face, they'd think we're even more obsessed than they thought.

Oh well.

All photos are from Plant Delights Nursery website, except the front cover of the catalog. That's a scan of my copy.
Photo at top of post:
Krakatau Rain Lily (Zephiranthes 'Krakatau) (zone 7b-10)


Meg said...

I love that Prairie Fire flower. That's going to look amazing.

I so totally know what you mean about finding excuses not to buy more seeds. If I had my way I'd be growing 200 varieties of tomatoes.

Good luck narrowing down your choices!

Katie said...

I can recommend the 'Hot Lips' Salvia. The thing grows like a weed in my garden! It smells so wonderful, hummingbirds and bumblebees adore it, and it's gorgeous. How can you beat that?

Katie at GardenPunks

Jessica said...

I've just started getting my crop of catalogs and ahgghghgh, it's so tempting to just buy every single seed they offer:)
BTW--the peony is gorgeous! I'm sure it would totally be worth the extra $$ (I'm a bad influence..haha)

Unknown said...

This is the most marvelous catalogue--I don't know if they'll send to Canada or not, but I'd love to have one! The fire lily is a thing of beauty, to be sure, but I will be wanting 'Chickadee' hosta, for sure. and I already had Corydalis 'Berry Exciting on my want list since last year when I saw it on the Terra Nova Nursery website.
So many little time.

Muum said...

great catalog- I boogied over and ordered one for myself. Love the peppermint flare hibiscus, among other things. It is fun to circle faves in catalogs, but easy to get carried away with too much!

Bloomin Designs Nursery said...

Hi Kylee,
Enjoyed your site, and if you are like my wife, you'll always need just one more hosta (or daylily).
Think spring thoughts.

Meems said...

Oh Kylee - if only more of those beautiful blooms would grow in zone 10... and oh how I would love to grow hostas. It is not to be down here in the tropics. But at least I can enjoy yours.

kate said...

I like the Japanese Wood Poppy and the Hardy Ground Orchid... well, I like them all. Thankfully, I suspect most of this catalogue's offerings are out of my zone range. This is definitely why I avoid catalogues ... there are way too many things that I'd love to have.

Oh that Paeonia 'Pastel Splendor' is gorgeous.

I'd better sign off ... have a good Sunday, Kylee!

Unknown said...

Oh, I should have known you were as enamored of the PDN catalog as I am! lol. I may just order that 'Hab's Gray' sedum, because I definitely have to get the 'Solar Flare' bergenia and they have a $35 minimum on mail order.

But don't buy the s. mediovariegatum because I have that--bought it at a master gardener plant sale here in Lakewood last year. I'll check the sale this spring to see if they have one (for a mere $3) for you, and if not I'll just root mine for you. (See, I'm helping you save up for that hardy orchid!!! lol.)

Kylee Baumle said...

Meg ~ Oh, I may never order from this catalog, but it will help me know what to keep my eyes open for, as I visit garden centers in the spring. And of course, it's several months before I can think about buying anything for planting, so I could change my mind by then. This whole "Want List" process has only just begun! LOL

Katie ~ I saw 'Hot Lips' when we visited Marie Selby Gardens last year and it was really pretty. It definitely caught my eye as we walked by.

Jessica ~ Oh we're all just a bunch of pathetic enablers! What is it about seeds and plants that causes us to want it all?

Jodi ~ Oh I know - it's the same with books. I will never ever be able to read all the books that catch my interest. But that's what keeps me reading and the endless supply of titillating plants keeps gardening so fun.

Muum ~ What I usually do is put things in my shopping cart, print that out, then keep it for reference for the coming year. It's just a reminder of what's out there that I might be interested in. I really don't have that much extra space in the current gardens for a lot of new things, but of course, we DO live on an acre and it's not even close to being used up by gardens! ;-)

Bloomin Designs (Mike)~ Welcome to Our Little Acre! I hope you'll come back again!

There's a difference between "need" and "want", but sometimes you "need" something so you don't "want" it anymore. LOL. I know exactly how your wife feels.

Meems ~ I didn't know you couldn't have hostas there! That would be hard for me, as they are among my favorites. Zone envy works both ways, doesn't it?

Kate ~ I agree, that hardy ground orchid is gorgeous. I'm a sucker for orchids of any kind. Most of their offerings are out of my zone range. Probably a good thing, though.

You have a good Sunday too, Kate! Thanks!

Kim ~ You know we would be so bad for each other if we were allowed to plant shop together on a regular basis. I figured that out last October! LOL!
Oh please do get me the sedum if you can! I love Master Gardener sales. Mom's group does it too and I usually manage to come away with a few things. Around here, however, there isn't usually anything all that unique because our garden centers don't have near the offerings that larger ones do. Thus, the gardeners here rarely have extras of anything that I might want or need for my own garden.

Wayside Gardens' new catalog has a few things I'd like, too. *sigh*

Ewa said...

owwww... all the new plants you have chosen look beautiful to me.
However that yucca caught my attention especially - it is really hardy to zone 5?
I have to check if there is difference between American zones and European ones :)
Greetings from Poland,

Barbara said...

How true your last sentence! "Luckily" (or is it the contrary?) we do not get as many seed catalogues as you obviously get in your country!!!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Oh My Gosh. What a lovely assortment of plants. I must get this catalog. I would try that Yucca. I bet it takes many years to look like the photo. I wonder if it would really be hardy in 5b where I live. drool...

Lisa at Greenbow said...

OOps I said I was in zone 5b...wrong... I am in zone 6b. Sorry. I usually try to get plants that are zone 5 because our winters can vary so much. I am easily confused obviously.

Unknown said...

You're SO right about that--we would be very detrimental to each other's pocketbook if we were allowed to plant shop together! lol.

Oh, and I have to confess that I am weak... I just decided to reward myself for working 163.4 hours in the past two weeks by placing a PDN order:
- 'Solar Flare' bergenia
- 'Hab Grey' sedum
- 'Sparkling Burgundy' eucomis

I will definitely look for that sedum for you at the MG sale this spring--but like I said, you can have an offspring of mine if I don't find you a larger pot of it at the sale. :)

Kylee Baumle said...

Ewa ~ I think the zones are the same. Here is a map. It shows almost all of Poland to be in zone 6, which is warmer than here where I am. There's one corner of Poland showing in zone 5, so yes, that yucca would be hardy to your zone.

Barbara ~ I actually like getting all these catalogs. Yes, I might spend a bit more money because of it, but it does keep me apprised of what's available out there.

Lisa ~ I'm in zone 5b, too, Lisa and I would try it. Maybe I will try it! Oh wait, you said you were in 6b, so it certainly would be fine for you!

Kim ~ Woo hooooo! Good choices! I tried a eucomis a couple of years ago and it grew for a little while, had great foliage, but never bloomed, then it died. I never tried one again.
I think I might do another couple posts on other catalogs I've gotten. There's so much good stuff out there! Or maybe I'm just garden-starved...
Thanks, Kim!

lisa said...

Heh...I am weak to the wiles of Plant Delights myself, and after Kim mentioned your list, I had to see. They sure have a lot of unique stuff, and they always send decent sized plants. Good luck coming to a sane total...your "fantasy list" should only run you about $400. ;-)

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