Permission to go a little crazy

Seed catalog shopping is a dangerous business. Even for us. Even with a greenhouse for early spring sowing and 5 good sized gardens to fill we have to be careful to not buy more than we can realistically find space for. And like most home gardeners who are not independently fabulously wealthy, we have a tight budget. So as Gail and I go through the catalogs we also mentally scan the gardens and every time we find something – or are lured by artful photography with a blaze across that shouts NEW! – that we weren’t looking for, we have to figure out exactly where it will fit in the garden. (And that will help justify creating room for the seedlings in the already packed to the gills greenhouse.)

In late February-March all of these babies will have to move to the colder houses to make way for seedlings galore

The Rock Garden was short shrifted last year and the Rockettes might be pleased to know that we have been keeping our eyes peeled for diminutive annuals to spark and brighten the midsummer “holes”. The plant we’re most jazzed about so far for the Rock is a teeny Eschscholzia caespitosa (California poppy) called ‘Sundew‘ from Thompson & Morgan.

Mid August Rose GardenLast year was the first year the Rose Garden saw much annuals action – this year we’ll branch out there too. (We know there’s more to life than Zinnia ‘Profusion Orange’.) It’s always a challenge to find new things for the Cutting Garden – it’s got to be long-stemmed, prolific, clean, pretty in vase and out – but our list of favorites and good-for-cut worthies is getting longer by the year. Asclepias physocarpa ‘Oscar’ a.k.a. Gomphocarpus physocarpus ‘Hairy Balls’ in the 2007 Cutting GardenIs anyone -besides Julie!- tired of seeing Asclepias physocarpus ‘Oscar’ aka ‘Hairy Balls’ yet? New changes in the Display Garden mean new room for experiment there too.

We like to justify impulse purchases by reminding ourselves that we really have an obligation to try new plants/varieties so we can tell/show people if it’s worth the hype. What do you think about that? Do you want to see new things at your favorite public garden that are possibly difficult to find or grow yourself? Garden bloggers, are you letting yourself budget for things you might not have tried before “going public”?