Permission to go a little crazy

Seed catalog shopping is a dangerous business. Even for us. Even with a greenhouse for early spring sowing and 5 good sized gardens to fill we have to be careful to not buy more than we can realistically find space for. And like most home gardeners who are not independently fabulously wealthy, we have a tight budget. So as Gail and I go through the catalogs we also mentally scan the gardens and every time we find something – or are lured by artful photography with a blaze across that shouts NEW! – that we weren’t looking for, we have to figure out exactly where it will fit in the garden. (And that will help justify creating room for the seedlings in the already packed to the gills greenhouse.)

In late February-March all of these babies will have to move to the colder houses to make way for seedlings galore

The Rock Garden was short shrifted last year and the Rockettes might be pleased to know that we have been keeping our eyes peeled for diminutive annuals to spark and brighten the midsummer “holes”. The plant we’re most jazzed about so far for the Rock is a teeny Eschscholzia caespitosa (California poppy) called ‘Sundew‘ from Thompson & Morgan.

Mid August Rose GardenLast year was the first year the Rose Garden saw much annuals action – this year we’ll branch out there too. (We know there’s more to life than Zinnia ‘Profusion Orange’.) It’s always a challenge to find new things for the Cutting Garden – it’s got to be long-stemmed, prolific, clean, pretty in vase and out – but our list of favorites and good-for-cut worthies is getting longer by the year. Asclepias physocarpa ‘Oscar’ a.k.a. Gomphocarpus physocarpus ‘Hairy Balls’ in the 2007 Cutting GardenIs anyone -besides Julie!- tired of seeing Asclepias physocarpus ‘Oscar’ aka ‘Hairy Balls’ yet? New changes in the Display Garden mean new room for experiment there too.

We like to justify impulse purchases by reminding ourselves that we really have an obligation to try new plants/varieties so we can tell/show people if it’s worth the hype. What do you think about that? Do you want to see new things at your favorite public garden that are possibly difficult to find or grow yourself? Garden bloggers, are you letting yourself budget for things you might not have tried before “going public”?

4 thoughts on “Permission to go a little crazy

  1. I would rather see some new plants and a bit of daring, rather than sticking with the same plants. I like adventures, especially in gardening. Personally, I get tired of seeing the same thing year upon year.

    So far, I’ve kept myself from doing much planning, except to add some roses, climbers and a few new Scabiosa caucasica. I also have many little packages of seeds that I will be planting to see if I can continue some of Kylee’s, Our Little Acre, plants in my garden.

  2. The way I see it, you’re morally obliged to grow all the new and unusual stuff you can get your paws on as a public service. Let your visitors revel with you in those that are every bit as good as the catalogs suggest; seeing the plants that don’t live up to the hype is equally educational. Just don’t give up totally on ‘Profusion Orange’ zinnias – they’re the best!

  3. Jodi, Glad to think there’s nothing holding you back!

    Kate, Thank you for permission granted! That Scabiosa looks like a winner – might have to add it to our list…

    Nan, I’m so happy we get to provide this service. Gail corrected me – we didn’t actually order ‘Profusion Orange’ last year. She thought what we had was variations on ‘Profusion Fire’ and ‘P. Deep Apricot’ which we did order (though she did think there must have been some orange seeds in the mix). But alas, we will be taking a little break this year from whatever color that was. (boo)

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