Thursday, May 1, 2014

"You Want to Buy My WEEDS???"

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.

Snoqualmie Falls
We spent two days on Vancouver Island, home of Butchart Gardens, where I took over 900 photographs over the course of about seven hours.  Even then, photos can't truly capture what a magical place it is. Back in Washington, we also went to Deception Pass, Snoqualmie Falls, Chocolate Flower Farm, and the Saturday Market at Bayview Farm & Garden on Whidbey one Saturday morning, among other places.

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.


Commonweeder said...

What a great story. I was just visiting the beautiful Leonard J. Buck garden in NJ. Wonderful rock garden plantings around some lawn that was filled with bluets and some pretty little yellow daisy like flowers. When we asked a staffer what they were she just gritted her teeth and said they were invasive weeds they couldn't get rid of. I wouldn't mind having them in my flowery mead of a lawn.

CanadianGardenJoy said...

You must have been in heaven with all those gorgeous places to have visited Kylie girl!
I am laughing about the "weeds" .. I was so ready to read that he gave them to you for free! .. funny how once he realized you were more than willing to pay for his "weeds" he came up with a price.
I was hoping it would have turned out for free .. for two nice women not from the area that loved his plants. Oh well ... when there is money to be made some people intend to make it ? LOL

Lona said...

What a wonderful story and those weeds are looking so pretty. LOL!

Rose said...

What a funny story, Kylee! I wonder if someone in another part of the country would like to buy some of my Creeping Charlie--I could make a fortune:)

Beth at PlantPostings said...

How interesting that it was growing like a weed in the Pacific NW! It's a beatiful plant and looks great atop its burgundy/purple foliage, and with your fuchsia flowering plants in that last photo! Butchart Gardens is on my bucket list! I can only imagine how stunning it must be!

Diana said...

Hilarious! And so true. I love euphorbias - I have three kinds throughout my garden. They’re drought-tolerant, no care and the deer don’t eat them. Do you think 3 counts as the beginning of a collection?!

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