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
-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.
Click to see the full signature.