The Cat’s Away…

The cat’s away and the mouse did play today!

My husband and son are off canoeing this weekend and so with no big obligations on the home front a friend and I went out to a wonderful fall plant sale.

First of all, I know the ladies who run this annual event. Their enthusiasm for the plants they offer is truly contagious. Their prices are great – and they serve iced tea or coffee if you so choose. It is a great time for happy and enthusiastic garden talk! It is also a time for “ooo-ing and ahhh-ing” at the flower and vegetable gardens.

A big storm blew through the garden just before we arrived and several customers had to run for shelter in their cars for a few minutes! This only added to the excitement though. By the time we arrived it was sunny once more and the garden looked outstanding. I love the dark tree bark after a rain, and the colour of the blooms was accentuated.

There was the lady who was returning for a second visit, without her husband this time!  My friend scooped up the last Phytolacca plant. There were questions about various grasses and bamboos, about the colour of astilbes, about growing artichokes in Ontario, about the differences between Vitex agnuscastus and Vitex negundo.  There were a half dozen scented geraniums on display and the generous gardener was offering various seeds and cuttings too! I had brought my camera, but after taking 2 photos completely forgot to take any more. That’s a sure sign I was absorbed and happy!

Garden art!I Can’t name it, but I love it!

And my friend’s new birthday gift to herself!

I actually arrived with a list, having reviewed the plants the previous night on the web. Now these gals are organized! The labeled pots are on tables in the garden with accompanying descriptions and illustrations. Mature plants are usually in the garden itself to study and admire.

On my last visit I had picked up Rudbeckia triloba. ( I love this plant and like growing it around our pond with other “wild” plants like Joe Pye weed.  That time I also picked up a cardinal flower, a burgundy coloured potentilla, and a young Phytolacca americana ‘Silberstein’. (

On today’s jaunt I bought more of the potentilla,  a couple of plants for a friend, a Panicum Cheyenne Sky, silver speedwell (love that foliage!) and Hieracium Chocolate Dip among other things. Not yet sure how I’ll deal with the spreading tendencies of the Hieracium…perhaps I’ll remove the blooms! ( I am very excited to be able to buy locally and to be buying interesting plants that have been tested by someone I know. The plant that brings the most excitement now? That would be a Salix Babylon Crispa. I couldn’t find a photo of it on the web, but here’s how it looked when I brought it home:

Try to imagine this 20 feet tall. It is a fast grower, but I think it will be a few years before it looks like a tree. I adore the curly foliage! This has already been planted in a permanent home.

I am also eager to see the Phytolacca as a mature plant. Mine is only one year old.

Please tell me what plants you are eager to see develop quickly in your garden for all to admire! We all need beauty around us.

It is a rainy day today. I have new babies to plant, but my thoughts are with the menfolk, the voyageurs paddling in the wind and rain. There’s going to be laundry!


About fromourisland

Gardener, knitter, wife, mother of 2, grandmother, and lots more.
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4 Responses to The Cat’s Away…

  1. sharon says:

    cool plants..Ive never seen anything like that fungus!!

  2. Denise says:

    Fabulous beehive vase and fungus art. That salix is amazing — can’t imagine it at 20 feet but have no problem imaging it as a 5 foot standard in a pot — obviously a failure of imagination. Saw and admired phytolacca recently in the PNW. Love R. triloba too which I was hoping would self-sow but failed to note it was a biennial, not an annual. What a splendid day, ‘bug! Canoeing doesn’t sound too bad either…

  3. Oh what fun, what fun… sounds like you had a great time. It’s always a delight to spend time with fellow plant fanatics and get into serious discussions that leave non-plant people with their eyes glazed over. LOL

    I’m anxious for my Picea ‘Skylands’ to get some size to it.

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