Sunday, May 17, 2009


A quick inventory of the plants I have purchased to use at the house in an outdoor and/or container-gardeny capacity:

6 Ageratum, some blue variety
1 Bracteantha bracteata, yellow
3 Bracteantha bracteata, orange
1 Caladium 'Gingerland'
4? Caladium bulbs (don't remember the ID; unplanted)
12 Capsicum annuum (jalapeno pepper)
1 Centaurea montana NOID

Centaurea x 'Montana.'

1 Colocasia spp. (elephant ear)
3 Dichondra 'Silver Falls'
1 Euphorbia dulcis 'Chamaeleon'
1 Fragaria 'Fort Laramie' (strawberry)
8 Gazania 'Tiger Mix'
1 Geranium 'Rozanne'

Geranium 'Rozanne.'

1 Lantana 'Rose Glow Improved'
1 Lysimachia 'Goldilocks' (moneywort, creeping jenny)
1 Matteuccia struthiopteris (ostrich fern)
3 Osteospermum 'Bronze Charmer' (African daisy)
60 Portulaca 'Tequila Mix' (moss rose)
1 raspberry cane (Rubus) of unknown cv.
1 Salvia elegans (pineapple sage)
3 Scaevola 'New Wonder'

Scaevola 'New Wonder.' All three of the plants pictured in this post are very close to being the same shade of purple-blue, as is the Ageratum (unpictured). So at least that much will look co-ordinated.

1 Sempervivum 'Red Beauty' (hen and chicks)
1 Solenostemon 'Kong Aline' (coleus)
6 Zinnia 'Profusion Fire'

plus, seeds for:

blue morning glories (Ipomoea 'Flying Saucers')
more marigolds (Tagetes patula 'Jaguar')
some variety of sweet corn (Zea mays)
cypress vine (Ipomoea quamoclit) and hyacinth bean (Lablab purpureus) (thanks, Zach!)
nasturtiums (Tropaeolum majus 'Cherry Rose Jewel')

plus a fairly large number of plants which could wind up inside or outside (coleus, Tradescantia pallida, Cordyline fruticosa, etc.). And I'm not even necessarily done buying stuff: there's been some thinking about which things to plant with which other things, and I'm realizing that most of this doesn't go together especially well, so I may "need" more. Plus, there was already stuff planted at the house. I predict that my "garden" is going to be a mess, at least this year.

The moral of the story is probably that known plant obsessives should be strongly discouraged from exploring new forms of plant-buying, and/or shouldn't work in a garden center during spring when many, many new plants are available all at once. Both of which are things we kind of already knew.


Phantom_tiger said...

Plant obsessive! I think I might have that.

How do you stop buying plants when you know there is no more room?

sheila said...

But if you are a plant obsessive, you are constantly exploring new types of plants, whether or not you've just bought a yard. Short of a 12 step program, I don't think there is much hope.

The only thing that has curtailed my plant buying at times has been extreme illness or busyness over an extended period of time, to the point that I start killing plants by neglect. And even that only stops me for a while.

jodi (bloomingwriter) said...

I'm not going to try to curtail you, Mr. Subjunctive, because I'm being almost as name is bloomingwriter and I'm definitely plant obsessive...

Karen715 said...

Have fun with it. You'd be surprised; things you'd never think would go together look smashing in outdoor containers, and in the garden.

Nature doesn't care much about the concept of clashing colors.

Nancy in Sun Lakes AZ said...

I'm so happy I'm not alone in my plant buying habits. It seems I'm either thinking of my next purchase or out looking for a purchase or on the computer researching a purchase!

Curmudgeon said...

I'm exhausted just from reading the list! But what fun.

Anonymous said...

Welcome Hortiholics Anonymous! I've grown and sometimes killed all the hardy plants on your list. And as a plant obsessive, my personal list of plants bought-but-not-yet-planted sometimes dwarfs yours.

I know first plant love all too well, and there's no arguing against it. When you gotta have it, you gotta have it. But you should know:

In Boston, Lysimachia nummularia and Centaurea montana are invasive, the latter only in the garden sense, but the former in the ecological sense as well---its sale is now illegal in Massachusetts as an invasive exotic weed. It does look great draped over the edge of a planter. The centaurea's flowers are terrific, but it never seemed to put out enough of them to justify all that foliage. Morning glories all too easily become a weed in the garden, too.

What's a weed? A plant that will make it hard to grow anything else in its vicinity.

Your climate is a little different from ours, with colder winters and hotter, more humid summers, but similar enough to make comparisons reasonable. Any experienced gardener can look back with regret on plants s/he bought that have become permanently established weeds.

Euphorbia x dulcis 'Chamaeleon" is a terrific performer here as a foliage plant, and the bracts make the flowers look like something out of the first Star Trek. It would look great in a planter with your Lysimachia, except it needs sun to bring out the purple tones in the foliage, and the Lysimachia burns in summer sun.

Geranium x 'Rozanne' is a terrific performer, blooming straight through till fall here in New England, but she's unlikely to survive your winters, and the heat and humidity of your summers may give her pause.

Ostrich fern looks fantastic at the start of the season, but looks tattered and self-destructs in summer without going dormant, always the first of the ferns to do so.

Unfortunately, what looks great in pots as it comes from the grower all too often looks very different under garden conditions. And there are a lot of terrific garden performers that give a very poor impression in pots, especially the big summer and fall bloomers. "Pretty is as pretty does."


Andrew said...

I've found in a shady enough and evenly moist enough spot ostrich ferns can easily last through the summer.

"The moral of the story is probably that known plant obsessives should be strongly discouraged from exploring new forms of plant-buying, and/or shouldn't work in a garden center during spring when many, many new plants are available all at once. Both of which are things we kind of already knew."

^^ I feel the same way about houseplants sometimes ;)

I sorted out my plant buying habits by doing a bit of landscaping in my spare time - gives me all the space I need to try new plants essentially for free.

Paul said...

Couple items, Jas -- things you most assuredly have considered, but just on the remote chance you haven't ............

Morning Glories can become invasive pains in the derriere. So do plant in an area in which it won't reseed amongs a bunch of other desired plants until you can see how rambunctious it is in your area. In a large container might be wisest.

Raspberry cane -- You won't get much in the way of fruit off one cane (though I realize you're just experimenting at this stage) and the birds will likely get to the ripe fruit before you do. Canes tend to get quite long and have a cascading habit and form quite the tangled, vicious thicket. Plant where you can get to it but don't HAVE to do so to get to other plants -- unless of course you enjoy getting impaled on thorns. If you don't mind the wild unkempt look, just let it do its thing. If you are more interested in a practical usage of the plant, then plant by a chain link fence or cage so you can train the canes up and apart for easier access (though removal of said canes in the fall from said cage or fence could be a pain -- literally). In any event, raspberry bushes do not lend themselves well to the "neat" look if that is of any importance to you.