Search This Blog

Saturday, May 10, 2008


(The van I rented was saved for the smaller plants, lots of Sempervivum and adorable things like them. I was worried that people wouldn't like them but they sold like hot cakes at 2 for $5)

This is a half finished posting. (now finished :-))

We are sold out.

By 1:30 there were slim pickings

At 2:30 we loaded the last "left over" 20 plain green hosta into the rental van and declared

(At the last minute Ronnie was able to get us a big box truck. Thank goodness because the van I rented was a joke. It would have taken us 10 trips with that little thing. Here's part of the floor of the box truck, with Hosta and almost 200 pots of Daylilies)

Thanks to all of you, those who came, those who worked, those who bought and those of you who sent all those good wishes.

When I get back in the house later I'll add some photos to this post.(This was the double rack in the box truck. It was chock full of Sedums, Liriopes, and mini daylilies)

Plant Sale 2008? It was a smashing success and we broke the bank!

Friday, May 09, 2008

Plant Sale - NEWS FLASH!!!

(Photo from Plant Sale 07)


A few minutes ago, as the rain poured down, a truck drove down my driveway. Ronnie Pasquini of Pasquini Landscapes just offered a huge donation of top quality perennials.

Not only are they already potted up, he will personally deliver a full truck load tomorrow morning directly to the sale.

Plants he mentioned were Ferns, two types of gold Hosta, Lamium, Lamiastrum, Sedum 'Autumn Joy' and more.

Do you believe in "pay it forward"?

I do.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

In the middle of the night

I learned several important things tonight.

First of all, I learned that if you try to take photos of Hosta at 10:00 p.m. in the dark with only a flood light shining, every moth in the neighborhood will dive bomb your head.

Secondly, I learned that when you least expect it, an angel will step forward and deliver big fat juicy clumps of Hosta at the last minute. These luscious clumps just arrived and will spend the night in our breezeway.

We are under severe flood warnings for tomorrow. 2 to 3 inches of rain plus more in many areas are expected along with strong winds. There's even a special warning to expect basement flooding. I just finished moving as many pots as possible under some kind of shelter. Tomorrow is the last day for me to prep everything for our big plant sale on Saturday. I have my husbands white water rafting outfit (slicker and matching pants) waiting for me to wear. Still, for the first time ever I might be potting in the garage.

The last lesson I learned tonight was a tough one. I had to run to the school to speak to the band parents about the sale and give some instructions. I was running late and ended up not cleaning my nails nor even remembering to change out of my muck shoes. The meeting was half over when I got there.

I talked about the plant sale. A parent asked if it was ok if her son worked the afternoon shift instead of the morning shift. I didn't understand what difference it would make and then realized she was concerned if her child worked in the afternoon and we sold out by 11:30 that he would not get credited at all. I assured her that no matter what time we sell out, children that arrive for the afternoon shift would get full credit just as the morning shift students.

My phone just rang, quite late for here. It was a friend who was at the meeting and she told me that the whole time I was speaking there were several parents snickering and saying "she actually thinks she's going to sell out...she'll be lucky to sell half that stuff".

I'm heartsick...

but I'm also a gardener and I'm one of the most optimistic people I know. My mind is still whirling trying to come up with other plants I could dig at the last minute. My mantra is, "it's for the kids".

It can be dark in the middle of the night.

Here's looking at you...

On Tuesday I saw this Hosta when I was leaving the home of one of our garden club members. It struck me as such a odd sight, I was thrilled that I had my camera in my bag.

In my own garden I have been noticing Hosta that are getting that "donut" shape. Lots of ring but no jelly in the middle. That was my thought when I took this photo.

Downloading it onto the computer the first thing that struck me was the way it looked like lots of little eyes peeking out of the foliage. Does it look like that to you too?

This was an immaculate garden and it seemed like almost everything was in a perfect ring. This was the Astilbe.

Of course when I got back home I found no perfection, just lots of Old Country Gardens tumble (that I so adore). I wish I had pulled that silly dandelion before taking this photo.

Plant sale craze is in full swing, sorry for the sporadic posts. I'm off again to buy a mini-blind to cut up for more tags.

Till later,


Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Do you do Daylilies?

There's something about being a plant collector. Something that we can be oh so proud of when we are surrounded by similar collectors and yet somewhat embarrassed about when with less understanding folk.

I began gardening as many people do, with vegetables and a few simple flowers. Then I was bit by the perennial bug. I was hampered by a limited budget but I tried hard to get my hands on all kinds of perennials. One day a woman at work gave me a hybrid daylily and the fever took hold of me.

The opening photo is of a darling little daylily named 'City of Sin'. I don't know what it was about being a daylily collector but it drove my life and the lives of those around me for more years than I care to count.
Finally though the fever broke, there was a light at the end of the tunnel and it wasn't this luscious 'Starlight Serenade'. I never totally gave up my perennials and slowly but surely they called me back to the mainstream gardening world.

It's taken me years but I think I've finally found a balance in my garden between daylilies and perennials. One thing about daylilies though, they increase like the dickens and you have to do something with them.

It's one thing if you have a big clump or two of a beautiful plant like this 'Tuscawilla Princess' but what happens when you have 450 different varieties? Ok, they don't all clump up at the same speed and time but chances are that every year you are going to have 50 - 75 clumps that need to be divided.

I will always be grateful to my daylilies. Through them I've met a world full of wonderful people. Now that I'm less active in the daylily world, they continue to give to me by allowing me the chance to share them with others.

'Paper Butterfly' seen here is one of the first daylilies to bloom in my garden. Isn't it lovely?

If I could have more of one daylily it would be this amazing 'King's Golden Treasure'. This daylily bloom is the size of a dinner plate and was hybridized right here on Long Island by an extremely talented man by the name of George Rasmussen. I would love to have drifts and drifts of this shocking bloom interspersed with clouds of Rudbeckias.

The deep purple's are fabulous but for some reason I couldn't find one decent photo. 'Bela Lugosi' is much richer than this photo shows. I'll have to work on taking better photos in the future even though I will be in Germany this summer while it's daylily season in my garden.

If you had told me I'd fall in love with a brown daylily I would have laughed at you. That is, I would have laughed before I grew 'Brown Witch'. This photo doesn't do this daylily justice, it just glows in the garden.

There's lots of award winners such as this 'Custard Candy' that do so well here on Long Island.

Check out these pie crust edges on 'Embroidery Plus'. Guess it was well named :-)

Whether they're big, medium or small like this adorable little 'Laura Abdallah' they're all beautiful in my eyes.

Best of all, most of these will be available this Saturday at our Plant sale. The information is on the sidebar for any local readers to check out.

Oh don't run out and buy a plane ticket here, 'King's Golden Treasure' won't be on that sale table and I haven't yet decided to divide up 'Brown Witch' because I couldn't stand seeing people snub her.

So what about you? Do you do daylilies?

Monday, May 05, 2008

Perennials in Containers

When I have a bit extra money, I like to buy concrete containers for my garden. The best thing about these types of containers is that I can keep them out all winter and not worry about them cracking or breaking. My oldest pair is 22 years old and I love them as they are all aged and mossy.

This container is one of a pair. I've had them for 3 years now but the color of the concrete is still too white and new so I moved them to a shady location in hopes they moss up quicker (I've also heard buttermilk would help the process).

When I got these containers I put a small Hosta and a small piece of Astilbe in each pot. That was it, I left them alone for three years other than an occasional watering.

Today I popped out those plants. They had grown all together and the only way to get them out without damaging the foliage was to roll those containers onto their sides. The "plant balls" slid right out, kind of like getting a big muffin out of a muffin tin.

Here's a close-up of one of my plant muffins. The Astilbe had already leafed out but the Hosta was still tightly furled.

One simple starting slice with my trusty root knife and the pieces almost fell apart (well, almost, with a bit of elbow grease). Here you can see them, the soil was nice and black and still crumbly (it was compost, not potting soil).

I was able to cut each Astilbe into three large pieces and each Hosta into three large pieces too. At the same time I had a nice size chunk to put back in the pot while those other pieces were potted up for our sale.

The Hosta variety was Hosta fortunei Aurea marginata and the name tags were still easy to read. The Astilbe is a lovely tall lavender one that I've had in my garden for years.

This is what the Astilbe looks like in bloom with daylily 'Mokan Butterfly'. This photo caused these two plants to sell like hot cakes last year. I don't even care that I don't know the Astilbe name, it's so beautiful and increases so well that I never want to be without it in my garden.

Off to bed, tomorrow is a long day. Tonight I was carrying a platter of weisswurst and Hamburgers in from the grill and tripped while coming in the door. Rather than drop the meat I twisted my back and landed on my knee cap (hard tile floor). All the while a little voice was shouting in my head "Save the Hamburgers!". I already know I'm going to be stiff tomorrow but mmm dinner was delicious.

Sunday, May 04, 2008


How to you say "I'm sorry" to somebody you hijacked?

Oh woe is me, I think I hijacked somebody today. I was expecting one or two people to stop by and help me with some plant sale things. Somebody was supposed to drop off five clumps of Hosta (they never arrived). I also knew a delightful woman named Chris (a student from my class) was going to stop by at some time to check out the plants for the sale.

Well, my fried brain thought that Chris was here to work when the poor gal was probably just here to buy. I barely let her get out of her car before I handed her some gloves and steered her over to the potting area. Two minutes later she was stuffing daylilies in pots as fast as I could divide them. Not a single complaint but my head kept telling me something was wrong.

At that time another woman arrived. This woman has come here several years now and buys like crazy. I have a secret suspicion that her goal is to grow everything I grow because she buys almost one of everything I have potted up (unless she bought it last year).

Poor Chris, every time she picked up a pot to question me about the plant the woman would take it immediately and add it to her pile.

Most of the plants weren't labeled or priced yet, the photo above shows the bloom on the Stokesia seedlings I had potted up. I don't remember if Chris got one, the other woman surely did.

This hardy Geranium was given to me years ago. One day when I divided it I found a name with a tag but I'll be darned if I can remember that name since then, all I remember is it was a persons name, not a word like "Orion". It seeds nicely in semi-shade and I know Chris got a pot of this one.

(Oh wait! Hooray!! I just checked out a Geranium site and as soon as I saw the name I knew it, this is Geranium oxonianum 'Claridge Druce'.)

There was only one pot of Polygonatum humile and I made sure Chris got that too. Calie had just knocked it over earlier and we had plopped them back in the pot.

This is Centaurea montana. Both Chris and the other woman chose these plants even though they started wilting in the pots. We had such a nice misty morning and all of a sudden the sun came out full force. Almost everything was wilted and I mentioned that the plants would be happier in the shade. Chris took my hint and moved all of her choices to the shade but the other womans poor plants started to look like spinach that was in the frying pan too long.

It wasn't until Chris left that I realized I had hijacked her. I am so embarrassed, I can't believe I made her work here. I've got to think of something to make it up to her. She was really admiring this Hosta 'Whiskey Sour' but I only have a small piece in my garden.

Maybe a pot of Corydalis and a pot of Iris cristata? I forgot I potted up a few of these darling Iris and they were tucked in a shady corner. Also a piece of the nice Epimedium that's finishing up out front. I promised her a piece of that as soon as I get to digging it.

What a way to start out a new friendship.

Boy is my face red (and it's not a sunburn either).