Who says they don’t come when they’re called?

5 Feb

I’ve been shopping.

Plans are afoot. There’s precious little to show at this time of year, but i’ve made a few selections by mail order to add to the garden this coming season. My local garden centres are poor compared to the wide world of nurseries that provide a mail order service. I think that’s true both in terms of price and variety.

Today I received a couple of parcels. All seem healthy and well looked after. First to knock on the door was the postman with a box from Hart Canna, holders of the national collection of cannas. Their stock is guaranteed to be virus free and, unlike garden centre stock i’ve had before, correctly labelled. I’ve gone for two varieties; ‘Ehemannii’ and ‘Stuttgart’. The former described as a cross between a fuschia and a banana, a large plant with nodding cerise-pink flowers; the latter is a grown for its white variegated foliage.

There was also a large box from Beeches Nursery in Essex. I found out about this place from Alternative Eden. They only ship out in low season. It makes the plants easier to pack if they are dormant. The chap I was dealing with by e-mail said “it may be difficult to pack some of these spiny plants but it should be OK.” They are charming characters, those spiny plants.

I am now the proud owner of an Agave neomexicana, a cold-hardy agave that hopefully will not suffer an attack of the vapours at the first sign of rain; a large fascicularia bicolor canaliculata to finally replace the one that died two winters ago; Helianthus salicifolius, unidentifiable as a sunflower until it blooms (maybe I will cut the flowers off) and cribbed from Rambling towards an exotic garden paradise; two Cardiocrinum giganteum which I am told are just two or three years from flowering; long term crush Hedychium coronarium, the Butterfly Ginger; Kniphofia northiae, a fierce, evergreen red-hot poker; the American Swamp Lily, L. superbum (that’s as in superlative, showy, not as in has a . . . nice arse!?); Euphorbia rigida, cribbed from Danger Garden and another aralia, A. cordata this time.

Credit where it’s due. I have to stop spending now. Until next month.

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10 Responses to “Who says they don’t come when they’re called?”

  1. Loree / danger garden February 5, 2013 at 5:04 pm #

    Looks like your well on your way to a successful plant acquisition season, congrats! Glad I could play a tiny part in your spending.

    • thechthonianlife February 5, 2013 at 5:55 pm #

      Seeds, shrubs and trees still to buy . . . it’s going to be a good season.

  2. Mark and Gaz February 5, 2013 at 5:14 pm #

    A fine selection there! Glad we led you to Beeches, such a fantastic nursery that we so look forward to visiting again later this year.

    • thechthonianlife February 5, 2013 at 5:53 pm #

      It all arrived in good condition, with the more xeric plants in drier compost than the others, so they are seem well looked after. I’m pleased with what they sent me.

  3. Peter/Outlaw February 5, 2013 at 11:17 pm #

    I’m excited for you! Great plants to start the season!

  4. Clive February 6, 2013 at 8:58 am #

    Im glad I helped inspire about the Helianthus salicifolius….they are magnificent plants. good luck!

    • thechthonianlife February 6, 2013 at 12:40 pm #

      Hi, nice to ‘meet’ you Clive. Yes, I liked the look of them in your garden. Nice blog by the way.

      David

  5. Becca February 10, 2013 at 3:04 am #

    What about lychnis coronaria? I particularly like the red (not the fuchsia) variety. Select Seeds has it.

    • thechthonianlife February 10, 2013 at 11:46 am #

      The pink version is quite common here, I wouldn’t touch it. I do like the ‘blood red’ variety. Seems like the only UK stockist has plants but not seeds, which is some kind of a coincidence as I bought some (other) seeds from them just this week.

      I was considering growing erythrina caffra from seed (not that it is hardy here) when I found out that it is the official tree of Los Angeles.

      Maybe we should swop houses 🙂

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