Mini-Splurge

Haven't been able to buy many new plants this season, but this weekend was the annual spring sale for the Rhododendron Species Foundation. I planned for certain only to buy a couple more "Gigha," a dwarf groundcover rhody with bright pink flowers, as one by itself was too small to be noticed, but an array of four is amost substantial. They were only $6 each, pretty good deal, so I had the one thing I had long been planning to get, & still not broke the bank.
Being on a terrible budget we had to pass by a lot of odd shade plants that were in the $25 range for mere starts, but we could not resist a local wildflower we'd seen in the Olympics last year & were tempted at the time to steal a start but resisted evil impulses -- suddenly there it was seed-grown in a gallon pot, a big healthy leafy thing, & legally for sale for a pittance. Corydalis scouleri. Right now it's just a tall bundle of greenery, but later it will toss up stems with fish-shaped purple flowers, to three feet height or higher, it'll be our tallest corydalis by far.
We weren't shopping for shrubs other than the teency tiny "Gigha," but some were so inexpensive this year, so we grabbed a "Koromo Shikibu" strap-flower azalea which doesn't even look like an azalea flower the petals are so separated, & R. racemosum which has half-inch flowers in big pompom racemes, again very unlike rhody trusses, a nice thing to add to a rhody collection without redundancy. The R. racemosum leaves occur along upright stems one at a time, quite a different arrangement than any other small evergreen rhody I've ever seen. These were both substantial young shrubs for a pittance each -- the racemosum was only $8 already two feet all (it only reaches 3' in ten years), the Koromo Shikibu" $12 very well bushed out, & that was the most "expensive" thing we got, so bargains really are possible. And since the woman who grows exotic jack in the pulpits wasn't there this year, we weren't able to be tempted by the most expensive things we can't resist.
A few other interesting things included a couple additional trilliums, a variegated solomon's seal, a pot-bound dwarf bearded iris that already needs division, a Rhododendron stenopetalum "Linearifolium" spider azalea from the same vendor who had "Koromo Shikibu," the "Linearifollium" is far more strappy & spider-like for BOTH leaves & flowers where as "Koromo Shikibu" has normal leaves & strappy flowers. We already had one "Lineaifolium" & it's always been a favorite, & it's unique enough to justify having it two places in the gardens.
Suddenly Granny Artemis shouted out "Time's up! We gotta go!" which meant she'd figured out we'd just spent one-hundred dollars. Pretty neat stuff for a prety low total! But if we'd wandered about for another half hour it would've been $200, & we could barely afford the $100, so off we went. On the way home we realized something we'd gotten smelled WONDERFUL as the car was filled with a pleasing perfume. Turned out it was the "Koromo Shikibu" so that has to go right on a path edge to appreciate its scent every year.
-paghat the ratgirl
--
"Of what are you afraid, my child?" inquired the kindly teacher.
"Oh, sir! The flowers, they are wild," replied the timid creature.
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snipped-for-privacy@netscapeSPAM-ME-NOT.net (paghat) expounded:

Sounds like my kind of plant sale, Pag, and you're lucky to have a budget watcher to help you stay away from too many sticky pots! :o)
--
Ann, Gardening in zone 6a
Just south of Boston, MA
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