Re: [gardeners] Chat

penny x stamm (
Sat, 9 May 1998 00:20:28 -0400

I think Costco must have a contract with their yuppy greens supplier.

At our local upscale gourmet shop, everything is so expensive that 
I have to pinch myself -- but last week they had a mound of 
magnificent HUGE artichokes, priced at 99c each, and so I bought
four. Ordinarily, the only thing I do buy there is a half a pound of
lentil salad, once a week. Unfortunately, the artichokes were more
or less tasteless. What a frustration! I saw them again yesterday, 
now priced at $3.99 each ....  hahaha, you can fool some of the people
some of the time, etc., etc. 

Braving the rain today, I made a trip up to my favorite garden nursery,
just to get one item. I figured that I'd be in and out in 5 minutes. No
way, Jose -- first of all, they were mobbed. And they had 7 extra in 
help. Plus their greenhouses and outdoor racks were crammed with
plants. How could I resist? 

First, rather magnetically, I ambled over to the ferns. I had it in the
back of my mind that I would fill a certain empty berm which sits in
total open shade, with ferns. Well, they had about 6 varieties, 
including a very interesting "Japanese" something, a dull green and
brownish combination. I hand picked 4 of those, and then wandered 
some more, past the hostas, and up to the astilbes. 14 varieties,
ye gods! I put back the ferns. Do I want light pink, carmine red, white,
June bloomer, July bloomer, even an August bloomer..? Ummn, no,
much as I adore color, I prefer to pick a single color theme each 
summer for the back yard (which is large). Therefore I chose white,
and hand picked 4 healthy ones. This year's color will be red with
some white accent, which means there will be a big bed of mixed
red and white impatiens (total shade, under a big redbud tree); 
another bed of red New Guinea hybrid impatiens, still another bed
of red pelargoniums (geraniums). Against the house is a big bed of
anything goes, different each year. 

Loading up my 4 astilbes, I headed for the main indoor desk and 
my favorite guru, Mike. I drew him a picture of that vacant berm, 
and he sent me in to a glass greenhouse to see their new Caladium
'Miss Muffet' -- wow! what a beauty! They are white with cranberry
colored stems, and cranberry colored polka dots all over the white
leaves! I chose 6 of them. Not only are they very unusual but also
very handsome, and what's even better, we won't have to rebuild
the underground water soaker system over there, because it is
set for once a week shrubbery watering, if it does not rain~! 

OK, I'm all ready to check out. Not so fast, Penny -- what was that
little pot the lady was walking with...? Oh dear, I forgot that I had
used that plant on another berm, and I'd better buy them right this
minute or risk losing them. They look like traditional tiny blue asters 
with yellow centers, but they are not asters at all. Can't remember 
the name, but they bloom ALL summer, in the sun. I chose 6 of 'em. 
Last summer I planted them in an "S curve" up on a small berm, 
with  2 cultivars of blue ageratum in a mass planted directly below
them. They provided color the entire season.

NOW, if it ever stops raining.........     We do have to drive down to
mid-Pennsylvania tomorrow morning at dawn, for 48 hrs. The five
adjacent counties in New Jersey are all on a flood watch. The super-
highway Rt 80 is totally closed to traffic -- massive oil spill and bad
accident. The alternative roads Rts 40 and 3 are at a complete
standstill. The tunnel has a 25 minute delay and no moving traffic 
once you get across the Hudson. And the rain won't stop all week-
end. It's gonna be some picnic ...

Penny, NY zone 6  


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