18 Jul 2012

Too Much and Too Many?…… Never!


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.

DSC_0015OG [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:

DSC_0028A 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.

DSC_0010 Polygonatum x hybridum ‘Betberg’


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.

DSC_0230 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!

DSC_0621_thumb[2] DSC_0656 Someone once asked me to put a dollar value to my collection! Seriously? Its like my asking you how much your family is worth to you! Some questions just don’t dignify an answer, let alone response!


Marie said...

Let me speak of "How much is too much" in terms of dollars. I have spent my share of the grocery money on plants over the years...and then still yearned for "just one more beauty". Sometimes it was necessary to order the plant by mail, even from across the border. That is really a test too, because the shipping and phytosanitary certificates do not come for free, and you can almost count on customs to sit with it for 3 weeks until it is toast. I admit to risking it though on more than one occasion. Such is the yearning.

At some point I did actually start to say NO. When a fabu-fabu Japanese Double Flowering Hepatica is on sale for $145 before add-on costs, I said no. If I can't even guarantee its survival before I get it, then heck with it. That doesn't mean I wouldn't spend $200 on a tree the next day though. Logical? No, only by MY definition. ;)

Marie said...

Oh, by the way, I forgot to add this:

outlawgardener said...

So many plants, so little time. You continue to taunt me with that lovely Arisaema triphyllum ‘Black Jack’ and now Polygonatum odoratum ‘Fireworks' I'm in serious lust! (Lust is one of the seven deadly sins. It's a dry heat in Hades. Cacti, succulents, yuccas...maybe it won't be so bad.) Plant collector tip: generic mac and cheese is not as tasty but is quite a bit cheaper than Kraft. Have you thought about ramen?
Your pal, Bub (Short for Beelzebub)

outlawgardener said...

Is there a way to listen to your radio show via computer?

CanadianGardenJoy said...

Now that is what I want to know as well Sweetie .. can I listen to the radio program (after how many times did I ask where to dial you up on the band ??) on the computer ???
You are making me crazy .. er .. I am in love with Black Jack and since I have none of its kind that would be one gorgeous cultivar to start with ?
Betberg has me drooling ... that dark colour is beautiful ! also Acer Carnival ... and that amazing Larix has me hypnotized .. stop posting like this or I will go completely bonkers !
I would SO love to go on a nursery crawl !!!!!!!!!!!
Joy ..
Maybe if you put me in a wheel barrow I might be able to do it ???

Marie said...

The top right photo of the blog says to click it to hear the program, so if you click at 7pm Monday night, maybe that will do it?