Monday, 15 April 2013

How to buy plants with a clear conscience ...

I only went into the shop for these ...

but suddenly, across a crowded shop, I felt the instant attraction of these ...

Sometimes when plants are packaged like this,  the picture on the front gives a message which is very much at odds with the condition of the plants themselves, but not in this case. I have seen people buying them without even examining the actual plant, so convinced are they by the photo on the front! As the season wears on, plants sold in this way tend to lose condition quickly, as they can be kept in conditions which are unsuitable for them, often kept on shelves where it is far too dark. It is best to move with undue haste and buy them as soon as they appear in the shops. Yet another reason to feel virtuous for buying them !

They needed a drink badly, but they were lovely, healthy plants, just dying to get free of those wrappers !

I have a very warped sense of conscience when it comes to plant buying, as I can justify spending all my salary on them , if they are a BARGAIN ! My guilt only kicks in if I pay full price for them. No worries with these little beauties, clear conscience all the way as the climbers were 4 for £10 and the Hardy Fuschias were well under £2 each. I felt positively virtuous !

The Hardy Fuschias are  'Amy Nurse' and 'Display'. ' Both have an RHS Award of Garden Merit and 'Amy Nurse' is pink and mauve, whilst 'Display' is a single, pink bell-shaped flower.

The clematis are 'Margaret Hunt' (summer flowering pinky lilac), 'Polish Spirit' (summer flowering purple) and 'Hagley Hybrid' (summer flowering pink), and I bought an Abutilon Megapotamicum too. For the exciting and rare varieties then a specialist nursery is the way to go, and I believe in supporting these, as the free advice given along with the plants is priceless. But for filling a few more corners in the garden with colour, my megastore finds are absolutely fine. The Abutilon will be tender in my part of the world, so I am tempted to plant it against the back wall of the greenhouse, which is made of old limestone.

If I am totally honest I have not even thought where they will go, but there is always room in any garden, whatever the size for another clematis ... or two ... or three !

We have lots of stone boundary walls and although I have lots of climbers, there are always gaps where I can squeeze in another.

The Hardy Fuschias live up to their name, as I have several already, which have survived through the toughest of times. I protect them for their first few seasons, but then they are on their own ! A very cold spell will set them back, and they can be ones of those plants that is is tempting to dig out, thinking that all hope is gone, but like all other aspects of gardening, patience is all. From those withered brown stems will spring new green shoots, when you least expect them . It was nearly July, last year, when one of mine was kick started back into life. My mum had a good adage in that she always advised leaving things for a whole season before outing them as dead. Good advice indeed.

I will whisper this, as I don't want to alter my current good fortune, but I may be able to plant them out today as the sun is shining and the birds are singing...


  1. I agree with your Mum about leaving things for a whole season. Sometimes they spring back to life! Your new plants look like they are in good shape. I think they send subliminal messages to all the gardeners in the shop. "Please come here. I want to go home with you. Please plant me in your garden. Pleeeeease!" :) Who can resist?

    1. Why can't I tune out of those subliminal messages ? Why do I always have to obey ...

  2. So interesting! I've never seen plants packaged in such a way before. I feel sure they will be glad to be free from the wrappers and do you proud! I agree with you, too. There's always space in the garden for another lovely plant or "two or three." Enjoy!

  3. Thanks Anatsasia. It is a very odd way to pack plants and not something that they enjoy ! It fools some people into believing that the one inside the pack looks just as good as the one in the photo !

  4. I can't believe how cheap those clematis were! Here they are always an extravagance, never less than $20 and often $30, but I do have a few, including Polish Spirit, which is very spirited indeed and wanders everywhere if allowed(I allow it).

    1. I couldn't believe it either Lyn ! I have one Polish Spirit already, and, as you say, it likes to wander, and I like wanderers too . It is a lovely colour. Gosh, your Clematis are expensive and I always worry about them when they are first planted, until they 'get away' they seem quite fragile and I have lost a few. Clematis wilt I think.


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