With watering every other day and a daily check to ensure that they are all happy, the newest kids on the block are settling into their new homes in the Rare and Unusual Border and the Walk of Hidden Treasures collectively! I don’t remember if I relayed the story of how it was that eight new plants managed to find homes or not, so I’ll risk repeating myself. Anyone who has visited my garden immediately comments on the size – or obvious lack thereof. Its hard to visualize. I left on the Thursday morning of our famed nursery crawl with a list – something that I have done from a time that dates back to my earliest forays in gardening – and something that of late, is supposed to help protect me from those ‘spontaneous lust filled cravings’ that pending on where it is exactly that I am headed, can be lethal to the pocketbook to say nothing of the so-called budget.
OG [Outlaw Gardener] kindly reminded me in a recent comment that you cannot put a price on beauty, and when you take into consideration that my quest in life, as the tagline of this blog can attest is ‘Searching For the Ultimate Holy Grail Plants!’ Those familiar with Holy Grail selections realize that in most cases, most, when and if they can be located in hort commerce, can be downright expensive! There is no use beating around the bush. One nursery crawl compatriot once commented, ‘the plants you choose are usually always small in comparison to mine, and are bloody expensive to boot!’ Welcome to the life of a collector! Alas. I digress!
Arisaema triphyllum ‘Black Jack’
With 321 listings in my garden repertoire to date, I sometimes have to ponder the most dreadful question that can cross a collector’s path. When is it a case of too much and too many? I found myself pondering this same question aloud during my ‘Green Monologue’ – the closing segment of ‘Through the Garden Gate.’ Seems that this segment is a listener favourite early in my fledgling career as a radio show host [ I still have to shake my head sometimes!] and as such I have decided to forego any form of scripting and simply ‘go from the heart.’ A somewhat daring thing to do so early on, but as one of my producers said, ‘its easy to do an interview, but to lay yourself bare, that’s the sign of a confident host!’ Not so sure about the confident part, but I want to forge a bond with my listeners whereby they are afforded a personal glimpse into me, the consummate plantaholic who loves nothing better than to pontificate on plants and plant collecting!
Arisaema consanguineum ‘Perfect Wave’
If we look at a specific genus, as most collectors are wont to do, you will discover that my collection of Epimedium tips the scale at eighteen, the most within a single genus that is quickly becoming a personal favourite – a number that is likely to grow with new releases coming fast and furious such as E. ‘Sakura Maru’ shown below:
A close second belongs to the genus Polygonatum, which has been a personal favourite of mine dating back to my childhood when I accompanied my Grandparents on weekend walks through what I affectionately refer to as the ‘Darkling Wood’ of Lambton County.
Polygonatum odoratum ‘Fireworks’
How many is too many? Perhaps when I have to consider filling my mattress with soil and sharing a bed to accommodate them all! Truth be told, I’d probably be hard pressed to kick any of them out when push came to shove! In the meantime, there will always be room for one more Holy Grail plant, or two, or three.
As for how much is too much – you’ll never catch this proud collector spilling the beans about how much he paid for such and such a plant! Instead I’ll use a slightly less boastful euphemism! The summer that both Acer campestre ‘Carnival’ [above] and Larix decidua ‘Horstmann Recurva’ [below] joined the ‘family’, I never knew that there were so many ways of enjoying Kraft Dinner and Peanut Butter! Of course there’s always the compliments directed to your sudden weight loss, that regardless of the sporadic urges to chew your arm off, manage to boost the ego!