viewed through the lens of the Wayside Gardens Spring 2007 catalog, which came today.
I got on their list soon after I started gardening, but before I became serious. (Serious gardening to me means buying locally with an emphasis on natives, or growing from seed.) I bought a really crappy Hydrangea petiolaris from them that I eventually ripped out when it finally became clear to me what a dud that specimen was. WG has a very seductive print catalog. Their prices are on the high side. I'd rather be buying seed. I shouldn't even look inside...
But I had a beer and leafed through it while I rode the exercise bike tonight...
Coneflowers. Okay, I like them. But do I want them in my garden? I go back and forth on coneflowers all the time. They do well here. I like self-sowers. I like purple. Beneficials like them. They're not so overused I can't stand them anymore. But they're not natives. In my mind, they're kind of east coast-y, garden lady. I certainly don't like fancy-schmancy cultivars of anything, except maybe roses and Japanese maples--and even then I have limits. I'm a species guy whenever possible. I'm not going to buy any of Wayside Gardens' $15 coneflowers, but the coneflower conundrum continues for me.
I like this Climbing Rose 'Night Owl'.
$20 for a bareroot. I like the purple, I like the yellow stamens, I like climbing roses. I especially like climbing roses that might be expected to top out at 14 feet like this one. And I just said I need more flowers in the garden. This pruple climber might be nice planted behind my pink-flowering Brugmansia that I also bought from WG last year when I was drunk. The one I go back-and-forth about. I'd be so grossed out having a "Wayside Gardens" corner in my little San Francisco garden, it would drive me freakin' nuts. And we San Franciscans have to be very careful with roses. The right ones do fantastic here, everything else is a mildewy horrorshow. Still, it's very pretty. The catalog says this is a purple version of 'Sally Holmes'. I'll look this Sally up in my SF rose growing resources and give it some thought.
They're selling Paris polyphylla and they say it's very rare. Not that rare...I've heard of it. I think they're calling it rare because the flower is so subtle and so not over-hybridized it doesn't really make sense in their catalog!
They have three pages of Japanese maples that don't excite me much. Still haven't made my choice on them, but I've already got enough information to work with, thankyouverymuch.
Several pages of hideous, over-determined Cornus sp., Hamamelidaceae, magnolias, Pieris, daylilies.
In the middle of all that ick is Poncirus trifoliata 'Flying Dragon'. This would look really cool in a succulent garden.
Note: Photo credits for those pictures go to Greenwood Nursery.
Two pages of lovely Buddleia [sic]. Is that an east coast spelling? We go with Buddleja in California. I'm a huge, huge Buddleja fan. I never have a bad word to say about Buddleja. I don't want one of my own tho'. I'd be overwhelmed managing it.
Then several more pages of atrocious plants...occasionally interrupted by something nice...
A gardenia. Love them, but don't do well in San Francisco. A rather fastigate Berberis thunbergii cv. atropurpurea. Interesting, but no thank you.
This lurid Guara.
The most vulgar Cortaderia I have ever seen. Are you with me?
Wait, am I going too far here? Is this terrible? Should I stop? I'm just blogging, right? This is of no consequence, right?
I'm glad people get satisfaction, and even better, income, breeding plants. I really am. For the most part. But that doesn't mean I can't be honest in my assessment of the results, right? I can express an opinion about art; I can do it about plants. Yes. I'm fine. At best, they can knock me for grabbing pictures without asking. But I gave links and credit. That's good, right?
Because I'm going to end by saying I love all WG's clematis. Every single one of them looks absolutely beautiful. Go see for them yourself.