Monday, Monday ...

It's a cool and windy Monday morning here on my corner of Katy. But the sun is shining and the sky is blue, so like Dear Prudence, I hope to go out to play in a bit. I thought I should spend a little time here playing catch-up first, not having posted since Bloom Day. I have every intention of posting more frequently in the months to come since I know my readers are crushed each day that passes without my posting. (Humor me, people, and play along with my fantasy.) It's not that I find myself at a loss for things to talk about ... it's more that I don't have the time to spend writing a lengthy post each day. I should have been an editor: to write, refine and rewrite each post takes at least 2 hours. I'm always thinking of a better way to say something (I just rewrote this sentence twice). I'm approaching my first blogiversary and so I'm setting a goal for my 2nd year to post more often and use fewer words! It's occurred to me before that I don't always have to write at such length ... I tell myself that shorter, pithier posts are possible. Are they probable? I suspect oddsmakers would say not!

At the risk of being accused of Egregious Garden Gloating (EGG ... see this post by Carol of May Dreams Gardens), I can account for my absence by saying that we've had some beautiful fall weather here recently. I've been so busy gardening that I've had no time to write about what I'm doing. And before I get more EGG on my face, let me also say that the spells of good weather have been rudely interrupted by a return to heat and/or humidity several times during the last 12 days. Each time the temperatures drop, I think we're finally done with summer ... only to be stunned within a couple of days by 85 degrees, high humidity and mosquitoes that put Dracula and Lestat to shame. I'm optimistic that by next week, however, the 80s will be behind us. Note: the '80s, however,
appear to be making a comeback: I saw legwarmers in this week's Target ad. A whole new generation gets to be embarrassed by their fashion choices.

I hope I will not be similarly embarrassed by my plant choices when I look back upon this fall's purchases. A trip to Houston's annual Bulb Mart on October 9th netted a Clerodendron wallichii (to replace the one I dug up that took grievous albeit not fatal offense at the indignity); an Alice Staub Toad Lily, pictured above; a Callicarpa dichotoma, Dwarf Chinese Beautyberry; Pipit jonquils; Kronos hyacinths for forcing; and 100 Ivory Floradale tulip bulbs (there's a story behind those, which I'll tell in a forthcoming post.) On a visit to Enchanted Forest Saturday I picked up another Aster oblongifolia (Symphyotrichum oblongifolia). Below, a picture of my aster.

I snagged not only the last aster they had, but sitting amongst a group of shrubs, I heard the plaintive cries of a misplaced plant and discovered Agastache Black Adder. I've not had much luck with Agastaches in the past, although most of them have been the more drought tolerant A. cana varieties. I'm hoping this one will be be so grateful to me for having rescued it that it will settle in and reward me with a profusion of blooms to be enjoyed by the butterflies and hummingbirds.

Yesterday my mother and I took a little trip to Tomball to visit The Arbor Gate, which I've not visited in several years. As it turns out, the directions I found online routed us the VERY long way, taking us 38 miles via I-10 and TX 249 to the nursery's location on FM2920. We learned from a nursery employee that we could take a much more direct route to return home to Katy: Cypress Rosehill Road, which eventually becomes our own Fry Road, intersects 2920 just a couple of miles from the Arbor Gate. I will be making much more frequent visits to the nursery: not only is it closer than I realized, it's an absolute treasure trove of plants. What's more, the nursery staff is friendly and knowledgeable, and kind enough to allow us to overstay our welcome past the stated closing time of 5:00 pm! A bounteous bevy of beauteous botanicals now await planting here at Wit's End.

Clockwise from the bottom right, you see:
  • a Creme de Cassis Hollyhock
  • an Aristolochia fimbriata, Dutchman's Pipe Vine. Pipevine swallowtails, please take note, I bought this for you!
  • two Proven Winners Agaves, Blue Glow and Reggae Time. Both of these pots have multiple plants in them, so I'll be able to divide them and trial them in several different spots ... woo hoo!
  • Phlox Pilosa 'Forest Frost'. The tag says it's pink, but local plantswoman Heidi Sheesley says it's a pure white variety. Dang it, I wanted the PPPP so beloved by Gail of Clay and Limestone. Now I have to buy another plant. I might even have to make a return trip to Arbor Gate this week. Dang.
  • Stokesia 'Peachie's Pick'. The Peachie's Pick I planted last year bloomed so well that I knew I needed more. If I divide it carefully, this one gallon pot should provide me with at least 2 good-sized clumps of Stokes' Asters.
  • Holmskioldia tettensis, Chinese Hat. I looked this up to find out what the species was and had a bad moment when I feared I'd inadvertently bought H. sanguinea, which has bright red blooms. I wanted the pink and purple blooming variety, and fortunately this is it.
  • White Mist Flower, labeled Eupatorium havanense. My blue mist flower is doing so beautifully this year, I decided I'd take a chance on the white one.
  • Salvia Regla, Mountain Sage. I have one plant already, bought either at a fall sale at Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center or at the Corpus Christi Botanical Garden. It looks lonely by itself ... in fact, I think maybe I should get one more. I can't plant in even numbers, it violates a cardinal rule of gardening!
  • Not pictured are one Black Prince pansy and a Silver Lace artemisia. I'll stick them in pots somewhere.
It's 11:09 am as I wrap this up, 2 hours since I started writing. What'd I tell you?


Kathy said…
If I had that many new plants, it would take me the whole gardening season to plant them.
Gail said…

I have a hard time distinguishing between having Egregious Garden Gloating and sounding celebratory;-) Call me on it if I cross the line!

I like your posts...and I totally understand the two hours of preparation. I edit and re-edit and what should be a simple post becomes a major rewrite! Then adding photos to it on blogger is quite the treat!

A bounteous bevy of beauteous botanicals, that may be my favorite sentence of the blogging week! They are good looking plants and I can see how they ended up going home with you to Wit's End!

Please, let me dig up PPPP and send it to you! Do not purchase any, I have plenty! I need to check to see if I can figure out the best way to get it to you alive.

I'm looking forward to those posts in the dead of winter when I need a color infusion. You know, it's much harder to write something concise than something long & drawn out. I understand where you're coming from on the amount of time it takes to do a post. Sometimes I leave 1 to write another that's easier & then try to come back to it.
I've been hoping for a return to 80s fashion, but legwarmers was not what I had in mind! I can still fit into my 80s stuff & I kept a lot of it. I fear that it may end up being worn by the girl on "80s Day."
You've picked up some nice stuff. I've been eyeing Agastache 'Black Adder' (& not just for the name). Maybe someday.
MA said…
You are very brave to take on that many new plants. I am grateful I am done for 6 months. But, gotta say, they do look good and have potential!
Hi Cindy--you have been missed. I always enjoy your post--don't stop that great style you have!
Love all you new plants. I never know what to buy and pass up this time of year. I'm cold today, but will probably be hot tomorrow...what can I say? It's Texas!! :)
Anonymous said…
It's always good to hear from you. Of course, you've been gardening. What else would a gardener be doing in this glorious fall weather we've been having in Texas?

I love the white mistflower. It'll grow in mostly sun or shade, but it does best with some sun and its roots in the shade. At least that's the one that did best at my old garden. I cut mine to the ground every February to keep it more compact.
Anonymous said…
Hi Cindy, so nice to know we will be hearing more often from you. Love your writing style and guffaw at your editing. How do you ever get anything written with all the redo? ;-> I went once to the bulb mart and was overwhelmed with plants I knew nothing about, the ladies ( and men) were in a feeding frenzy over the items for sale and I bought nothing. I needed someone with me for guidance. The naming of all those roads brought back memories, I remember 2920 well, the road to many soccer matches. Happy planting!

Annie in Austin said…
On the one hand, it's always good to hear from you Cindy...on the other hand, the explosion in garden blogs means it takes awhile to get around to new posts so I end up reading 3 or 4 at once on the blogs with frequent updates. That is not a complaint - just an acknowledgment of the richness of the garden blog world!

The time you spend shows in the density of your writing - and because you have so many wonderful and unusual plants to talk about - reading the posts also takes time so we can click on links or clip & paste names to check them out!

Going to a nursery with you looks like dangerous fun, Cindy -and how wild that Frances knows just what roads you're talking about.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose
That is a wonderful collection of new plants.. I know you're starting a new gardening season so you'll have lots to do now!
Cindy, MCOK said…
Kathy, I'm notorious for buying plants and then keeping them in a holding area for weeks or months while I decide where to put them. Then when I do decide, it's not unusual for me to change my mind on down the road! This time, I have all but one of them planted already.

Gail, I've been accused of EGG when I thought I was just celebrating. It depends on the mood of the judges, I think. As for my blogging, for me, there is evidently no such thing as a simple post! I would be delighted to have some PPPP from C&L; let's cogitate upon how that can be achieved!

MMD, I will do my best to color your world over the winter. Sing along with me now, "Blackadder, Blackadder ..."

MA, I'm a plant junkie. There's always room for more around here. If not, I'll dig up something to make room.

MT/Linda, you are so right about Texas in winter. Here we went from dire predictions of freeze warnings last night to needing to turn on the air conditioner this afternoon!

Pam, I know you've been very busy in your new garden ... don't you feel like we must take advantage of every single moment of beautiful fall weather? Thanks for the info on the white mistflower. I grew it before and lost it, so I'm going to heed your advice. I'll try underplanting it with something like pigeonberry.

Frances, I try to edit as I go along. Once I've got it written, I hit publish and hope I don't find any glaring mistakes later! I was more than a little trepidatious on my first visits to both Bulb Mart and March Mart at Mercer Arboretum. They can be tremendously overwhelming that first time. I should have known you'd recognize 2920 ... a friend's daughters played many soccer matches out there too!

Annie, you're so right about the richness of garden blogs. I wish I had time to read more of them! It's the garden blogger's dilemma: if you spend too much time reading other blogs and posting on your own, you don't have enough time to actually garden. And vice versa! I can indeed be a dangerous person to have along on a nursery visit: I actually restrained myself quite a bit this time because my mother was along!