Saturday, February 7, 2009

My Favorite Mail Order Plant Catalogue

Yesterday I mentioned that I prefer to buy plants locally whenever possible. I have had mixed success with mail order plants. The big potted plants you can buy at local nurserys cannot be shipped in the mail, the cost of shipping would be astronomical. So the plants that come by mail are bare root or small.
Even with small plants shipping is expensive. It is hard to part with a $10 or $15 shipping fee for a $10 plant. But nurseries can't ship for less, plant material and dirt are heavy. I tried selling plants on Ebay one spring and found I was losing money with most sales because I underestimated shipping costs.
But I do order from one mail order catalogue regularly, Gilbert H. Wild and Son. They send me sale catalogues several times a year and the prices during these sales are unbeatable. For example, Stella de Oro daylily is always $1.oo, Happy Returns $2.00. And the plants are always strong and good sized. I have bought most of my daylilies from their sale catalogues and they have all been excellent plants.
I also buy my peony roots from their sale catalogue, very reasonable prices and their roots are larger than several other catalogues I have tried that sell roots for two or three times the price. I like to buy three roots of a peony variety and plant them together to get a big plant quickly so a good price is very important. I don't have the patience to wait for a little $30 root to grow into a decent sized plant in five years.
I think I will try their iris this year, World Premier with dark purple falls and white frilly tops is calling out to me.

Find of the Day:
Joy in Mid-Air, what a perfect name for these lovely, ethereal earrings. These fiber, wire creations are quite large (4 1/2 inches) but almost weightless . Dancing blooms to brighten up a winter day. They are available in a variety of colors from Hypho on Etsy.

Friday, February 6, 2009


Another very cold stretch of weather, it did not get above 14 degrees yesterday. I am taking solace with seed and plant catalogues. Last summer one of the most successful additions to my garden was one of the new coneflower hybrids. These new coneflowers come in lovely colors with lovely names. Sunset, Sundown, Summer Sky, Harvest Moon and many more.
I bought Sunset last year and it was great, it is much shorter than my other purple coneflowers which grow to three or four feet. Sunset stayed less than two feet and flowered all summer.
These new coneflowers are available from many mail order catalogues though I prefer to buy locally when possible since the local plants are bigger and stonger. I bought mine last year at Bay State Perennials in Hadley Massachusetts, a wonderful local nursery with a large and interesting selection.

Find of the Day:
Despite my dreams of flowers and summer gardens it is still winter and wouldn't it be lovely to have this lush scarf to keep you worn? This is a Las Lopez design hand knit by the artist in Argentina. But despite its exotic origen it is available with a click on the Etsy shop Laslopezlas. What a wonderful extravagance to wrap yourself in pure luxury.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

I Bought Myself a Bouquet

I took my daughter back to college a week ago and stopped at Atkins, a great produce market in Amherst. Of course instead of buying vegetables i bought a bouquet of pink striped amaryllis, a huge bouquet of three stems with many flowers on each stem. Only $9 for the whole bouquet.
I have had wonderful fun photographing these flowers everyday all week long. Of course the bouquet changes each day as new flowers open and others mature.
Today there is only one perfect bloom left and I think I will destroy it scanning it on my flat bed scanner. A week of entertainment for $9, less than the price of a movie or even a cheap restaurant meal.

Find of the Day:

Doesn't this pretty necklace look like a flower? I am constantly amazed by the creativity of artists. This necklace is made by a fabric artist in England but can be purchased easily from her Etsy shop Tinctory. It is made from off white silk smocked with white cotten thread. A beautiful new use for a traditional sewing technique.

Feverfew, Classic White Daisies

Feverfew, Tanacetum parthenium, is a popular herb but also I think a lovely garden flower. Some people may scorn it as a weed, and it does self sow quite readily, but I think the little white daisies are a always welcome in the heat of summer. And they are beautiful in a mixed bouquet or by themselves in a jug.
But it is early February now, no need of cooling flowers. However, if you want them this summer February is not too early to sow them and grow them on under lights for blooms this summer. Feverfew is very easy to grow from seed, just put the seeds in little pots of dirt and they will grow.
Feverfew is a perennial but not long lived though you will probably have them forever unless you are a more diligent weeder than I am as they sow themselves around the garden. Small plants, they can fit themselves in most anywhere and do no harm.

Find of the Day: Not quite a daisy but these lovely petals make a unique and beautiful lamp. This lovely lamp is the ultimate in recycling since it is made from plastic bottles hand cut into petal shapes. Each petal is also hand painted with pretty designs. Amazing, actually astonishingly creative.
This lamp is available from the Etsy shop Gulguvenc.