The plight of temptation, and the scourge of the Easter Bunny’s abundance …

I don’t smoke, and I usually do a reasonable job of staying sober, but there is no need for me to get all haughty about any particular virtues I might possess. I believe most people are addicted to something, and I’m certainly no exception – I suffer from a pretty severe addiction to plants. Which is why having first dibs, and discounted access to a nursery can be such a grueling experience. This past week the Easter Bunny came early, and we got no less than SIX plant deliveries to our little place. Because we run a landscape design-build business out of the same location, some of the plants were already destined for one project or another, but still… there was a veritable avalanche of such cool things, that I admit I wet myself just a little…. Oh, dog help me – this will be difficult!

As you can probably imagine, it took a will of steel to walk away for the weekend without bringing even a single thing home. The only thing I committed to was to split a variegated Iris japonica with my friend and co-worker Gina. Until there is a crack in my resistance (this is likely not an ‘if”, it’s a ‘when’ – we all know resistance is futile), I will seek your support group sympathy on my blog instead. Don’t you DARE be enablers – I need you to tell me NO! (Even if you secretly feel my temptation is justified…)

For the last few months has been more focused on making the place look good, and on revamping internal systems, but hey - it's spring, and we needed to get some plants in.

Just to give you a little background… For the last few months we have been more focused on making the place look snazzy,  and on revamping internal systems and processes, but hey – it’s spring, and we really, really needed to get some plants in. So, we did.

Orange pots go so well with dark foliage. This Astelia has a burgundy metallic sheen instead of the usual silver. Kind of like the Grape Jelly Dyckia.

Dark foliage goes so well with orange pots. This Astelia has a burgundy metallic sheen instead of the usual silver. Somewhat similar in both color, sheen and form to the Grape Jelly Dyckia, which we also got in, but I didn’t manage to get a photo of.

Pittosporum 'Marjorie Channon' looking fab in a blue green pot. Too bad it gets so big - I have been drooling over this one for a while.

Pittosporum ‘Marjorie Channon’ looking fab in a blue green pot. Too bad it gets so big – I have been drooling over one of these for a while… Oh, to have the space!

I had hoped to use a bowl in the same green for this shade arrangement,  but we must have sold them. The next best pot was one of the yellows.

I had hoped to use a bowl in the same blue-green for this shade pot, but we must have sold them. The next best pot was one of the yellows. I’m starting to be really enamored with chartreuse and yellow foliage, especially when it is mixed with steely blues.

Gunneras make me weak in the knees, but I have no room for something that big. Besides, I don't have the perpetual wet spot they require to thrive. This one's just a baby in a three-gallon pot. Isn't it the coolest?

Gunneras make me weak in the knees, but I have no space for anything that big. Besides, I don’t have the perpetual wet spot they require to thrive. This one’s just a baby in a five-gallon pot. Isn’t it the coolest?

Check out the leaves of this miniature Wisteria (Millettia japonica 'Hime fuji') - I put the dime there for scale. I just yanked a big one out of my garden. This has a decidedly better scale, but I'm not sure it flowers all that often. Cool foliage, though...

Check out the leaves of this miniature Wisteria (Millettia japonica ‘Hime fuji’) – I put the dime there for scale. I just yanked a big Wisteria out of my garden. This has a decidedly more suitable scale, but I’m not sure it flowers all that often. Cool foliage, though…

I do love that Acer campestre 'Carneval', but even a small tree like that is not likely to fit comfortably into my cramped quarters. But in my next garden...

I do love that Acer campestre ‘Carneval’ – especially in the fall when its leaves look like little yellow Azaleas. Naah, forget it! Not that logistics ever stopped me before, but even a small tree like that is not likely to fit comfortably into my cramped quarters. But, a definite mental note for my next garden… Acanthus spinosa in the foreground – a plant I do have – and LOVE!

The colorful cones of the Celery pine (Phyllocladus aspleniifolius) are so cool...

The colorful mini-cones of the Celery pine (Phyllocladus aspleniifolius) are so cool… And they do grow with a distinct vertical direction. The small footprint of this plant is especially appealing…

Kangaroo paws and the glossy green leaves of the Giant Himalayan Lily. I want them both.

Kangaroo paws and the glossy green leaves of the Giant Himalayan Lily. No surprise there – I want them both.

In my next garden, I will also plant a Tree-peony. Can't get enough of their silky poppy-like petals...

In my next garden, I will also plant a Tree-peony. Can’t get enough of their crinkly, translucent, silky poppy-like petals…

I hear this one has a yellow flower - Peony mlokosewitschii - or Molly the Witch - if you have trouble pronouncing that first one. (And, who doesn't?) I loved its leaves for starters, but probably don't have a spot for that one either. Damn!

I learned this one has a yellow flower – Peony mlokosewitschii – or Molly the Witch – just in case you have trouble pronouncing that first one. (Jeez, who doesn’t?) I loved its unusual, rounded  leaves for starters, but  don’t have a spot for that one either unless I start taking other things out. Damn! Changing your mind is so much work…and expensive!

Echium 'Red feathers' - to my astonishment the tag says it's hardy to Zone 3, or -40F!!! I have successfully killed two other kinds of Echium, but I just might have to take one of these home...

Echium ‘Red feathers’ – to my astonishment the tag says it’s hardy to Zone 3, or -40F!!! I have successfully killed two other kinds of Echium, but I just might have to take one of these home…

Sweet little Rhodohypoxis. I have a white one, courtesy of my friend Matthew - the Lent's Farmer, but this one is pretty darn cute too.

Sweet little Rhodohypoxis. I have a white one, courtesy of my friend Matthew – the Lent’s Farmer, but this one is pretty darn cute too.

Chocolate scented little flowers with a crazy name: Zaluzianskya capensis. I like it's two-tone coloring.

Chocolate scented little flowers with a crazy name: Zaluzianskya capensis. I like it’s two-tone coloring.

I absolutely adore these! Geum 'Prairie Smoke'. My resistance just might break down over this one...

I absolutely adore these! Geum ‘Prairie Smoke’. My stoic resistance just might break down over this one…

The blue of Magellan wheat grass, contrasted against Mexican Feather grass and 'Goldfinger' Libertia. It is becoming one of my favorite grasses - that blue is just stunning!

The blue of Magellan wheat grass, contrasted against Mexican Feather grass and ‘Goldfinger’ Libertia. It is becoming one of my favorite grasses for planters – that blue is just stunning!

Salvia argentea  - my fave pettable plant. I'm pretty sure the one I planted last year died, so I might have to bring one home.

It’s back!!!  Salvia argentea – my fave pettable plant. I’m pretty sure the one I planted last year died, so I might have to bring one home.

Can anyone ever have enough Seafoam? I have one. It was a birthday gift from Gina, our talented buyer, but I left it in its pot for too long, so it is still convalescing. Not dead, though - so I think I'll wait awhile...

Can anyone ever have enough Seafoam? I have one. It was a birthday gift from Gina, our talented buyer, but I left it in its pot for too long, so it is still convalescing. Not dead, though – so I think I’ll wait awhile.to give it a chance to recover…

I really like the spotted stems of Dranunculus vulgarism, but I think I still have some. I haven't seen it emerge yet, though, so this will be Plan B.

I really like the mottled stems of Dranunculus vulgaris, but I think I still have some. I haven’t seen it emerge yet, though,  which worries me a little. This might just end up being Plan B.

This is what the leaves look like. Pretty sweet, huh?

This is what the leaves look like, except they get much, much bigger. Pretty sweet, huh?

It might be my Swedish genes, but I LOVE birches! Of all kinds... This is a dwarf and tops out at about 4'-5'. I'm deathly tempted...

It might be my Swedish genes, but I LOVE birches! Of all kinds… This is a dwarf and tops out at about 4′-5′. I’m deathly tempted… Another pot could totally do it.

One of the best looking Euphorbias, to my taste, at least. This is E. robusta.

One of the best looking Euphorbias, to my taste, at least. This is E. rigida.

I'm really drawn to this, but not sure where I would put it. Wonder what my neighbor would say if I asked her if I could plant up her yard as well...?

I’m really drawn to this, but not sure where I would put it. Wonder what my neighbor would say if I asked her if I could plant up her yard as well…? She has nothing but an exquisitely manicured lawn, and a few tortured Camellias. Wonder how much she would object…

Adorable silvery foliage of Tanacetum. Planted one last year, and am still biting my nails to see if it will come back. If not, I have options, I guess...

Adorable silvery foliage of Tanacetum. Planted one last year, and am still biting my nails to see if it will come back. If not, I have options, I guess…

The whitest of the white of all the Lambs Ears - at least to my knowledge. Planted one last year, and haven't seen it yet. Probably didn't give it enough sun. Stachys 'Bella Grigio'.

Stachys ‘Bello Grigio’ – to my knowledge the whitest of all the Lambs Ears – except you can’t really tell here, as the leaves are wet. Planted one last year, and it seems to have disappeared. Probably didn’t give it enough sun, or time to get established. Will definitely try again… at some point.

On, and on, and on…But for now, I must resist. Yes, I got my variegated iris start, and I will get a Poppy ‘Royal Wedding’ that will provide sharp contrast to my black poppies, but other than that, I’m going to sit tight, and wait my urges out. Help me out here –  I need you all to tell me NO. You can say that there simply is no more room. Remind me that I already have a disturbing number of plants in nursery pots waiting for a home – buying more would only exacerbate the problem, and delay any notions of having a garden to enjoy – not just work in. Also, gently pointing out that some of these plants need more sun than I can realistically give them, might work too. Ask me to explain how this one is different from the two I already have, and remind me again how excited I was to have those. Help me rekindle my love for what is already growing and adorning my garden. And so on… A nursery is indeed a torturous place for a plant addict – especially when it is beautifully restocked. As with most anything, if I can hold out for a few days, the initial excitement dies down a little, and – if I’m lucky – the candidates kind of edit themselves out of my obsessive mind. But, considering the stuff we just got in and how the hoarder in me is going hog wild, I do have to wonder why the Easter Bunny so wants to see me squirm. What did I ever do to him? Furry little fictional bastard…

 

 

 

 

 

 

About annamadeit

Born and raised in Sweden, my aesthetics and outlook on life are strongly shaped by a culture rich in history and tradition. I care a great deal about environmental responsibility, and my aesthetic reflects the visually clean, functional practicality and sustainable solutions that are the hallmarks of modern Scandinavia. I was trained as an architect at the University of Cincinnati and as a color specialist at the Scandinavian Colour Institute in Stockholm. I'm obsessed with plants and gardens, and aim to take my skill set a step further by designing gardens as well as interiors. As someone so aptly said: " Architecture is the skin that separates the exterior from the interior". So true - you can't successfully focus on one without incorporating the other. I'm also an avid cook, and I love to ski. In addition, I put time and efforts into trying to rectify things that I feel are wrong in my immediate community. As you will see, The Creative Flux will touch on all these things, and more. For sure, it's all over the map, but then again - so am I! Welcome to my blog!
This entry was posted in Cool plants and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to The plight of temptation, and the scourge of the Easter Bunny’s abundance …

  1. Alison says:

    The need to get more and more cool plants does get fed by the enabler-gardeners in our lives. Lately, though, I have been feeling the urge to stop. I eventually get sick of digging holes to pop plants into. They need to be planted, and even if they’re hardy, so many die over the winter if they just sit in their pots, which makes them a waste of money. You should definitely sit tight.

    • annamadeit says:

      Thank you, dear Alison for your wise words. It’s true – you have to be able to enjoy your garden – not just work in it. (Even though I do enjoy the work part too…) 🙂

  2. mattb325 says:

    I suffer the same affliction, and like you, my home becomes a temporary holding spot for plants destined for clients gardens. It is so tempting when organising the purchases especially when they are all in 8″pots or larger….that is why I have limited myself to tube-stock and seedlings for my own garden.

    • annamadeit says:

      Well Matt – you are a better man than me…such stoic discipline – I’m impressed. Me, I’m a hopeless vignette addict. I’m constantly testing new combos, to the benefit AND detriment of my garden. I hardly ever leave anything alone long enough for it to develop. Add to that a salvage mentality. If it doesn’t look good enough to sell, three guesses as to where it ends up? 🙂

  3. Don’t buy anything unless you have a spot for it. You may just end up editing them out when your beds become too crowded. But if you truly have empty spots, then go shopping!!

  4. rickii says:

    You are asking US to stop you from buying plants? Don’t you know that’s what husbands are for?

    • annamadeit says:

      Haha – they most definitely are, but only if you let them in on your affliction… But yes, occasionally I do get “the talk”. Wouldn’t be surprised if soon, I get an intervention…

  5. Kris P says:

    As a fellow addict, I can empathize. I expect I couldn’t handle working in a plant business – instead of collecting a paycheck, I’d be racking up debts each week. Drought conditions and water restrictions are keeping my buying in check here for the moment (or mostly in check, anyway). I agree with Tammy, make yourself find a spot for anything that calls to you before you buy – dig the hole in preparation before you hand over your credit card! Making a list of what I “need” for specific area before I go plant shopping has helped me (a little). One day at a time…

    • annamadeit says:

      I think at this point, the only spots left are pots. We have a really good buyer, and oftentimes some of the stuff she brings in is totally irresistible. The only consolation is that she is just as addicted as I am. Haha – we even compare techniques on how to hide it from our husbands… 😀

  6. Peter/Outlaw says:

    Need is such an ugly word. What do you want? The Easter bunny loves you and wants you to be happy. O.K. enough. Just say NO. Your garden is beautiful and needs nothing more to make it a happy place for you. Except maybe that yellow pot with those yellow plants. OMG that’s a winning combination and that cute little birch would look amazing in a pot. Maybe that’s the answer, get more pots… Oops, sorry, I slipped. Anyway, the answer is NO. The new rule is that you can only bring home one plant a month. Although rules are made to be broken. I mean, really, you come into a barroom swinging around a gallon of vodka and expect us alcoholics to tell you to stay sober?

    • annamadeit says:

      Oh Peter – you just made me laugh! You sound exactly like the bantering going on in MY head. It is so hard to resist… Yes, pots – indeed more pots…

  7. Loree says:

    Where’s the fun in not buying anything? And you’ve even hinted that some things aren’t coming back which means there are empty spots!

    I need that Gunnera, mine finally gave up, I let it get too dry last summer. Do you remember how much it is? Oh and I’ve been hunting for A. seafoam…pestering poor Greg at Xera for weeks.

    • annamadeit says:

      Who says I’m not buying anything? Yes, you state a good point, you enabler you… Bummer about your Gunnera – I think the ones we have might be around $35. Will verify tomorrow when I’m back at work. As for Greg, I’ve been pestering him too – mostly about another Lupinus albifrons – which I also apparently killed. Like you said – there ARE some spots after all… Want me to hold one of those Seafoams for you?

      • Ah…word is that 3.5″ Lupinus albifrons may hit Xera retail tomorrow (Thurs). Keep an eye out! Maybe I’ll swing by your place today. I am going to be out and about…

        • annamadeit says:

          Cool! Thanks for the heads-up! Is there a baby yet? Adina said she would grab a couple for me when they came in, but I’m worried she may have her arms full of baby by now. If so, I’d better get down there… See you later… maybe?

  8. Benjamin says:

    We need a 12-step program for plant addiction! Although it’s not necessarily a problem I want to fix 😉

    • annamadeit says:

      I agree about the 12-step program. I don’t really WANT to fix the problem, but I probably should. Mind you, generous gardener friends keep me off the wagon, for sure. 🙂

  9. Sharon B says:

    beautiful photographs. I especially liked the texture of the Tanacetum. That photo reminded me of trees in a winter storm all covered in frost. Thankfully we didn’t really get a bad storm this year.

    • annamadeit says:

      Thanks, Sharon! I adore the Tanacetum leaves for that very same reason – they look like swirly frost flowers on an icy window pane. We had one Arctic spike in early November, but breezed through the rest without hardly any cold. It was strange. Glad you were spared too. Those big storms are scary…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s