Thursday, May 8, 2008

Siren Call

I had to run a spate of errands Monday, and everywhere I went seemed to have plants for sale. Plants call to me just like the sirens called Odysseus, but no one has yet tied me to the mast to keep me from buying just one, or a dozen, more.

At the hardware store I bought half a dozen lemon thyme plants, some tri-colour sage (red stems, green and white pebbly-textured leaves), several summer squashes and four tomato plants.

A little bit later I found myself at the grocer's (well, I hadn't lost myself but you know what I mean), where they had a rack of - plants! Most were of no interest, but I did buy a half dozen "rainbow" coleus. Four are bright red and orange, two are green and yellow.

Tuesday we had to go to Penticton. I wanted to buy a storage cabinet at Canadian Tire, and noticed they had a large greenhouse and plant set up in the parking lot. My pocketbook and I were goners. Under the heading of, "I've always wanted to grow those" were heathers, purple Heuchera (coral bells), and best of all, hellebores. I bought several heathers, some burgundy mums, a large Heuchera, and a large Helleborus orientalis called "Pink Lenten Rose". It's in bloom now, with half a dozen green and pink bowl-shaped pink-edged flowers. The long-lasting flowers start off entirely green and gradually turn white with pink edges and pink-veined petals.

Other finds were a couple of fantastic "Dead Nettles" which have yellow-lime leaves, and look as if they are sunshine, even in shade. I planted the Heuchera toward the back, on the "Buddha Mound", with a dead nettle beside it. The contrast in colour, leaf shape and texture is gorgeous, though the contrast between the Heuchera and dead nettle confuses my poor digital camera.

I also got ivy geraniums, lots of pansies, mums and "sapphire" trailing lobelia. My hanging baskets should look wonderful in a few weeks! I still haven't found a single fern.

I put the squash and tomato plants into some large pots at the back, but the thyme, sage and coleus plants went into the bed to fill in some empty spots. I put the hellebore near the door (so much for avoiding flowering plants in the long bed). The heathers and mums went up at the front of the trailer in a bed and I planted some seeds for green leafy things - mesclun mix, rainbow chard and red and green lettuces in between and around the heathers and mums.

A little bamboo fence sets off the front edge of the garden bed and discourages foot traffic. I set a section of the same small fence at the back end of the bed, where it acts as a visual link between front and back. I leaned my plaque which says "Welcome" in Chinese against the fence at the front. I have a few more things to plant, but not many, unless I find some of those coveted ferns. I also have edging to place along the garden bed, again to discourage the feet which keep treading on my thyme seeds.

Tomorrow I will go into Summerland to pick up the round stepping stones I ordered earlier, and Linda ( One of the park managers) says they have brought in a load of gravel, and will bring some to cover the stretch of sand which now serves as the footpath.

Now it had all better grow. :))

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