Friday, May 24, 2013
Like Christmas in May
My spouse and I have cut way back on starting plants from seed for a number of reasons (time and energy being a major reason. Perhaps, laziness is another.) I suspect that when we retire, we will get back to starting plants from seed.
We generally purchase plants from a couple of local nurseries who grow their own plants, Nanticoke Gardens and Tioga Gardens. We also buy (too much!) from the Ithaca area annual extension sale, which I will blog about in June. Thankfully, my spouse and I are both working right now, and can afford this obsession.
But sometimes, we find ourselves mail ordering some types of plants we find hard to get locally.
It's fun when that package arrives - almost like Christmas in May, except (unless you are forgetful like me and forget what you ordered!) you know what you are getting.
This year, I decided to treat myself to some flowers from Burpees-an impatien that is a Burpees exclusive. I also ordered a type of basil, Cardinal basil, that I've grown the last several years (except last year, when I skipped my annual Burpees order due to extreme disappointment- a rarity - with my order of 2011).
The plants arrived yesterday, in a plain cardboard box with some ventilation holes. I've ordered plants from several mail order growers and it is my observation that Burpees provides the best shipping of them all.
Impatiens are a gamble this year. A nasty downy mildew threatens to imperil the commercial production of impatiens. (Thank you, Kathy Purdy, for giving me a heads up about this condition earlier this year.) I decided to buy these plants, nevertheless, and will see what happens. We have ideal impatien conditions in our yard, and impatiens are one of my favorite flower.
Salmon Splash plants, taken out of the box. They look good now but the trip they take does stress them, and they need about 48 hours to recover before they can be planted.
What is so great about Cardinal basil? They have thick leaves, bush up nice, are slow to bolt, and when they do bolt, the flowers are red - yes, this is one of the most ornamental basils I've ever seen.
I am still, in a way, amazed that non-dormant plants can be sent in the mail. Like Christmas in May, the gardener can't wait for the growing season, and the goodies that await.
Do you start your own plants? Do you travel miles to buy them?