Snowy days can lead to trouble!

Too many snowy days can lead to trouble!  The indoor job list has no appeal.  It’s too nasty to venture outdoors.  The lure of the computer beckons.  Temptation fills page after page.  “I’m only going to window shop,” one assures oneself.  But, before you know it that “Add To Cart” button has been pushed!  It began innocently enough, searching for the Hesperis matronalis alba…the lovely white Dames’ Rocket that graced the edged of the woods at my former farm.  I should have dug some and brought them home, but in the rush (and the fact that it was finished blooming) it was forgotten. white dames   I love it for its sweet scent, for its long lasting phlox-like blooms that fill a vase so quickly, and the white form goes with all other flowers so well.  The butterflies and bees love it as well, and it self-seeds easily.  Obviously, I needed it.  white lunaria  However, seeing it reminded me that I also neglected to transplant the beloved Lunaria alba also known as “Honesty” or “Money Plant” or “Silver Dollar.”  It self-seeded nicely along the edges of the woods as well, brightening the dark shadows and attracting bees and butterflies.  It’s a biennial, but easy to grow and I enjoy not only the flowers but the pretty stems of “coins” that are often used in dried bouquets.  Normally it’s that garish purple-magenta.  The white form is harder to find, so I should just get it.  Well, as long as I’m here, I should just look through to see what else they have.  Of course, I should begin with the “A’s.”  Oh!  Wait!  There’s a single yellow hollyhock!  Remember how pretty those looked near the Cook’s Garden?  yellow hollyhock  Yes, I know I’ve already seeded some single hollyhocks, but there might not be any yellow ones, and they’d look perfect against the Lady Cottage and along the back fence of the potager.  Better add those, just in case.  Oh, my!  Do they really have Allium obliquum?  I remember seeing that in Beth Chatto’s garden!  That certainly brings back some lovely memories.  I should have those in my garden, just to remind me of that visit.  allium obliquum  Besides, it’s so cheerful, yet subtle.  Not a screaming yellow, rather reminds me of another plant Beth had…an anemone…what was it called?  Oh, yes, Anemone multifida.  I wonder if they have that as well.  Well, isn’t that lucky?  There it is!  anemone  Surely it can’t be that hard to grow from seed.  Won’t hurt to try!  And while I’m in the “A’s”, let’s just check the aquilegias.  I’ve seeded the “Mellow Yellow” but they haven’t germinated yet.  What if they don’t?   Maybe I should get another columbine.  One can never have too many after all.  Aren’t those stunning?  columbine  Columbine “Oranges and Lemons!”  Just my colors and I haven’t had that bonnet form in years.  Won’t it be fun to see what various blends and shades there are of orange, apricots, and yellows?  All right…that’s plenty, way more than I intended…but I’ll just scroll through the site quickly to get an idea of what else they have.  Here’s the “B’s”…..nothing really interesting here, almost to the end, but wait!  What’s that lovely bronze?  bupleurum  Bupleurum “Bronze Beauty.”  I’ve never grown bupleurum.  Wouldn’t that look lovely in a vase with all my other shades of orange, yellow and apricots?  Worth a try in the Cutting Garden, and I’m certain there’s still space.  On the the “C’s”  and there are a lot of them.  Campanulas…I can skip through those as so many are aggressive spreaders, but not the graceful and stately “Peachleaf Bellflower.”   bellflower  They were so pretty at my old herb farm.  I miss them.  You know, the Front Island bed actually needs some more white, and the North Island could use more tall plants as well.  Let’s just add those to the cart.  Oh look!  Isn’t that sweet?  I’ve been thinking of a small white daisy for the fairy garden.  erigeron  The bellis is so prone to aphids, and usually it’s the pinks and roses that show up, when all I really want are the white ones.  This dainty erigeron might just be perfect!  Okay.  Restraint.  Just hurry through the rest and resist temptation.

“The newest sensation, and just as reliable as ‘Husker Red’!”  That certainly jumps out at me.  Penstemon “Gold Foil.”  Easy from seed.  Penstemon gold foil  Wouldn’t that foliage brighten up any area, and it can tolerate drought and full sun.  Perennial, loved by butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds.   And Husker Red was a good cut flower, too but that burgundy foliage just doesn’t fit my current color scheme like “Gold Foil” will.  Gotta have it!  Where is this company, anyway?  UK?  Oh, no, what are the shipping costs from the UK?  $6.95…..

Oh, my!  Just look at that yellow poppy!  That definitely belongs in the potager’s interior borders, after all poppy seeds are edible and I’ve only a few orange ones at present.  yellow poppy  Peony poppies are so full and fluffy, so different from the single orange, and who knows, maybe they didn’t self-seed well or survive this wretched winter.   I’d better get these just in case, and after all I’ve never had these yellow ones, and if I’m paying $6.95 for shipping, might as well fill the packet.

THAT’S IT!  I’m not even going to scroll through the rest of the alphabet.  Maybe next year, when I’ve saved up more pennies.  “Proceed to Checkout!”

And, that’s how you can get into trouble on a snowy day, a simple visit to


About carolee

A former professional herb and lavender grower, now just growing for joy in my new potager. When I'm not in the garden, I'm in the kitchen, writing, or traveling to great gardens.
This entry was posted in seed catalogs, Uncategorized, winter planning and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Snowy days can lead to trouble!

  1. Chrystal says:

    Thanks for the inspiration. I don’t know if you are a good influence or a bad one!


  2. A very slippery slope. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  3. bcparkison says:

    Oh dear . Sounds like going through the craft blogs.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. sounds like a perfect cure for the winter blues

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Bonnie Carrell says:

    If I ordered every plant or seed that I wanted, I’d have the whole city park planted and then some. I get my catalogs piled up (at least those that still get sent out in the mail) and go through them to pick out what I must have. I know I won’t order more than a very few of them, but the dreaming and wishing is the fun part. We’d better not do this when we get together as we’d be terrible influences on each other. Just tell me your 4-5 (NOT 45) favs!

    Liked by 1 person

    • carolee says:

      I can’t order everything I want either. Maybe we should do some plant swaps. Are you planting your veg beds this year? Yes, the dreaming and planning stages are definitely some of the best parts of gardening. 4-5 favorite seeds, flowers, veg, plants, bulbs??? Hard to pick as I love them all but couldn’t do without Durango marigolds, daffodils of any sort, daylilies in my color scheme, French Baby leeks, lavender….that’s five, but it was painful!


  6. Helen says:

    I can see why you got carried away! I love Honesty once the flowers have turned to seed pods. But the yellow and orange Columbine is amazing – not seen that before. Or the one below it in your post (can’t access that in order to check the name whilst commenting on my phone).


  7. There is so much to grow! My husband asked me if I was going to do Hollyhocks – when I said no he said I had to, then he suggested Four-o’clocks….I said no…he pouted! If I do the grid as suggested by the book – it will be 1,400 plants, I’m not entirely sure I have time for the holly hocks and four-o’clocks. About how many plants do you grow Carolee?


    • carolee says:

      I normally do about 4,000 transplants, plus all the things I direct seed for my gardens, with 200 or so plants donated to our local garden club plant sale. Keep in mind that this is a drop in the bucket from when I ran the herb farm, and even less than when I was doing flowers and herbs for farmers markets. I didn’t start out doing everything. Did you know four o’clocks actually produce a “bulb” like a dahlia, which can be dug and stored for next year? But neither hollyhocks or four o’clocks are good cut flowers, so maybe you can add those next year to a flower border near a deck or porch where your husband can enjoy them.

      Liked by 1 person

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