Sunday, March 9, 2008

All I Want Is a 'Party Doll'

A couple of years ago, I purchased some plants from Logee's Greenhouse online. Their greenhouse is in Connecticut and is featured on Martha Stewart's daily show now and then. They carry many exotic and unusual houseplants and tropicals that you're not likely to find in most garden centers.

My first purchase from them was a passion flower - Passiflora 'Lady Margaret' - and despite my being able to grow 'Clear Sky' and grow it well, with no effort, I managed to kill 'Lady Margaret.' Twice. The first one I got didn't do well right off the bat and I talked with customer service at Logee's and they sent another one right out. It lived for a few weeks, then went the way of its predecessor.

I spoke once again with Logee's and I can't remember exactly how the conversation went, but they gave me store credit after the second one died. I felt like that was more than fair, since they had no way of knowing what the conditions were, once it left their greenhouse, except for what I told them. I honestly can't think of a thing that I did that would have caused it to die either time, but I don't blame Logee's either.

It was some time before I got around to ordering again, because I generally don't think about buying house plants in the summer, and to have tender plants shipped in the winter can be difficult. But I finally called about a month ago, ordered a couple of things and they told me they wouldn't ship until the weather was suitable.

My order arrived on Friday, just before we left for a weekend in the Chicago area. They had e-mailed me to let me know they'd shipped it, so I called our post office to let them know it was coming and to hold the box there. That way, I could pick it up and avoid the plants getting frozen. They arrived in excellent condition, and I refreshed them with a bit of water and sat them on a small plate to deal with after we got home.

Each time I'd see Streptocarpus 'Party Doll' in their catalog, I'd want it. Now I have it and I hope it lives up to Logee's description:

Shades of pink, lavender and purple create a festive yet soft expression within this multiflora hybrid. The flowers shift in color as they age, making a stunning addition to any collection. Best of all, this Dibley hybrid flowers easily, even in moderate light.

The other plant I got is an Epiphyllum anguliger, also known as Ric-Rac Cactus:

An orchid cactus with many virtues, its unique foliage, freeness to bloom, and evening fragrance are outstanding. The leaves comprised of a series of deeply cut lobes create a saw tooth effect giving it the common name "Ric Rac" Cactus. Flowers arrive effortlessly from late summer through fall and best of all it's one species that doesn't need a winter chill to flower. The pure white 3½" blooms, backed by orange-bronze sepals and petals, open over many weeks. It makes an excellent subject for hanging containers. Easy grower! Fragrant!

I've never grown this one before, or any other kind of Epiphyllum. Though its bloom is gorgeous, I find the foliage on it to be sufficiently interesting that I'll love the plant even if it never blooms.

*Photo of 'Lady Margaret' is from a larger vine of it that I purchased at a local garden center.


Aiyana said...

The Ric-Rac Cactus is really unusual. I've not seen it before, and I'm going to research this when I leave your site.
Your post title reminds me of my young teen years. This was one of my favorite songs. It was actually banned from the radio on some stations as too suggestive. What a difference 50 years has made!

Frances, said...

Wow and wow to your picks. I have ordered some violets from Logee's after reading someone's post, don't remember which one, and await their shipping. The passionvine was beautiful, too bad it didn't make it. I have one that was dug up from outside and brought into the greenhouse as a gift for someone and it died, I thought, and then grew a new leaf. Maybe it was overwatered, but it looks pretty good now. To the point, I love that zig zig thing, can grow orchids, and might have to get one!

Frances at Faire Garden

Melanie Chopay said...

Kylee, I'm so glad I saw your blog this morning. Two years ago I fell in love with a planting at Chanticleer gardens but didn't know the name of a plant in the container. It was a ric rac cactus. Now I know what to call it when I look for one.

Maybe one day I'll drive up to Logee's.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Gorgeous plants Kylee. I can see why you wanted them. Just looking at the pictures I thought the ric rac cactus was a fern.I am drawn to ferns of any sort.

beckie said...

Sounds like a fair deal from the green house. Sometimes they are not very concerned once the plants leave them. I, too, like your choices. Especially the cactus. I think I will check out Logee's site. Thanks.

Kerri said...

They're both fascinating! I hope they do well for you. I have a Streptocarpus (blue) growing from a couple of cuttings a friend gave me. I'm excited :)
That Ric-Rac Cactus is so unusual!

Anonymous said...

Oh my! I may have to get a ric rac cactus--it's stunning. I love succulents, and I've been looking for something to go in a hanging container. *swoon*

Unknown said...

I am TRYING to stay away from the Logee's site... you and this adorable Ric-Rac cactus are NOT helping, Kylee!!! lol. (Wait until I confess to how much trouble I'm already in with High Country Gardens--I may have to blame you for that, too! ;)

Anonymous said...

I used to have over 40 varieties of Streptocarpus, I'm now down to 5 and searching for more to replace all those I lost. I have one called Party Girl, which is also pretty. Love your site, I'll be back to visit more!

Kylee Baumle said...

Aiyana ~ I thought it was unique, too. I hope I get to see it bloom someday!
We're giving away our ages by knowing that song, aren't we? ;-)

Frances ~ You'll have to post pictures of your violets when you get them! (Assuming they have a bloom or two on them.) Which ones did you get?
My mom gave me her 'Lady Margaret' to overwinter and it's in the basement greenhouse, doing well. Hopefully once I can get it outside, it will take right off. It was all over her gazebo last summer.

Melanie ~ Glad I was of some help! :-) can drive to Logee's. I can only imagine what it would be like to see all their wonderful offerings in person.

Lisa ~ I have a fern that has alternating leaves on its fronds, which also makes it look like ric-rac - Tatting Fern (Athyrium filix-femina 'Frizelliae'). And it's hardy!

Beckie ~ Be will find all kinds of things you want there!

Kerri ~ I hope yours does well for you, too!
I agree, the Ric-Rac Cactus is unusual and that's what drew me to it!

Brianna ~ There are so many unusual succulents, aren't there?

Kim ~ Logee's always had such wonderful eye candy, it's hard to stay away!
Okay, 'fess up about High Country Gardens, and I'll see you my Great Garden Plants order! LOL

Blue Fox ~ Thank you, and please DO come back!
I think Streptocarpus are so pretty, and I figure if I can grow AVs, I can grow these. I sure hope so!

Anonymous said...

I love streptocarpus and I've always wanted 'Partydoll' too. Maybe I'll wait and see how yours does :)

Shady Gardener said...

I didn't know Passion flowers could grow in zone 5...

What a beautiful variety of plants! And flowers! I've never seen such a cactus. I may have to check that out! ;-) And add to my slowly growing number of indoor plants. ha.

Anonymous said...

I just got a catalog in the mail today from Logee's! I leafed through it but I think that it is going to take a serious sit down with my credit card!

Yolanda Elizabet Heuzen said...

Streptocarpus is one of my favourite houseplants and that spanking new Party Doll of yours looks a treat!

verobirdie said...

Logee's seems to be a very fair nursery! And I'm supposed they would not ship abroad, which is a good thing for my credit card (anyway, I'll go and have a look at their site);
This ricrac cactus is beautiful, I'll will look for one.

Anonymous said...

I ordered a catalog from Logee's several years ago and practically drooled over everything in it. Thanks for the reminder. I'm going to check it out again. I have a streptocarcus that is slowly biting the dust ~ have no idea what I'm doing wrong? Your new one is beautiful.

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