The thing I like about this tulip, besides the other-worldly colour, is that the leaves are striped with red streaks. I don’t know the name of the cultivar.
I always pass on these bulbs at planting time because they are often a bit on the pricey side, but then I see them blooming come spring and wonder why I was so cheap. And they naturalize easily, too.
The title says it all. Although, taking the Street Garden out of the picture this year significantly reduced the opportunity to spend more. I could completely disregard most flowers, bushes, or bedding plants, focusing instead of edibles and a few hardy, drought tolerant plants for the fire escape. Bringing a set number of dollars and sticking to it was another well-placed strategy — no last-minute run was made to the closest ATM machine.
The sale seemed a little less hectic this year. Maybe I was just really on top of things because of that cup of drip coffee I was given in the line-up on the way in (I never drink coffee in the morning and drip has a lot of caffeine), or perhaps it was the morning’s downpour that kept only the hard-core from schlepping their wagons and granny carts through the rain. Whatever the reason, I got in and out in significantly less time and having spent less money than usual.
And now I’m sitting here at my computer punching the air victoriously like I’ve achieved some great feat.
“The Handy Book of Gardening” (1950) lives up to it’s title.
Here’s what I scored for the 2009 growing season:
- Strawberries (hybrids): They were not on the list. I did not require more strawberries. I already have alpines (including a flat of seedlings at the greenhouse) and bunch of wild strawberries on the go. Why do I do this? Why? Because there I was, perusing the edibles section when a woman came over with this six pack that she no longer wanted, leading me to greedily imagine harvesting EVEN MORE strawberries this spring and, well, I just couldn’t resist. True story.
- ‘Purple Ruffles’ basil: I had Davin grab me 3 cell-packs of 4. I had a lot of trouble finding this variety last year, and while it is still too early to put basil out I made an exception and bought these just in case I can’t find any come June. ‘Purple Ruffles’ is probably my favourite variety. You can never have enough.
- Those Lee Valley Watery Spike Thingys: You know, I’ve been shunning these things for years in favour of my own make-shift (and FREE) version but these were only a buck and I thought, Why not give them a try and see how they measure up?
- Mexican Bean Pot: I had a really pretty little Mexican pot for years and years that I kept a hardy Opuntia humifusa in. But it broke this year. Here’s its replacement.
- Praying Mantis Egg Case: Yes, I know they hatch and then basically run off to greener pastures, but they’ve always been my first or second favorite insect and I just couldn’t resist another go at watching them hatch. I used to keep them as pets when I was a kid. They’re a fascinating little critter.
- Red Orach: I always buy this. It’s probably from the same person, too.
- 2 Fancy Sempervivums (aka Hens and Chicks) ‘Magical’ & ‘Dr. Peer Goldsmith’: For my alpine trough or succulent window boxes.
- 2 Sedums: Sedum spurium ‘Fuldaglut’ & Sedum relexum ‘Iceberg’: Also for this year’s succulent window boxes.
- 3 Different Fancy Clovers: I’ll write about these separately once I’ve planted them.
- “The Handy Book of Gardening” by Albert E. Wilkinson and Victor A. Tiedjens: From 1950 but first published in 1943. I am keen to find out what interesting little nuggets of weirdness are contained within. It also makes me realize that I’ve missed my chance to publish with a middle initial, Gayla F. Trail. Or not. If there is another Gayla Trail in the world I will be very surprised.
- Hotkaps by Germaco: I can’t find a date on these but I’m gonna say, old-ish. I’m not going to use these. They’re for my gardening ephemera collection. This was the most expensive item I bought at $15.00.
Inside “The Handy Book of Gardening” (1950) — great illustrations!
Hotkaps (date unknown).
Davin would like to draw your attention to these important features. We could have used Hotkaps in today’s hailstorms and torrential downpours.
Previous Years: 2008, 2005, 2004
The other day, while taking this photograph, I realized I had never smelled the flowers. So I did. As you can imagine they bear the subtle scent of black currants.
If you get a chance, I suggest you try it.