Friday, July 8, 2011

Bobbing along

julyparade 063

“Bobbing along, bobbing along on the bottom of the beautiful briny sea.”  For the life of me, I can’t remember just where I heard that song.  After taking my ginkgo infusion, I seem to remember that a crusty old man was singing it in a movie, but the title eludes me.  I believe it must be a rather older Disney movie, but won’t swear to it. 

I seem to be just bobbing along this summer, not really doing any “serious” gardening.  By serious, I suppose I mean pulling weeds and occasionally fertilizing/watering my containers.  Have I dead-headed a single plant?  “No,” my petunias resentfully lament.  “Not once,” opines the Cosmos, littered with spent flowers rivaling moldy lettuces in attractiveness.  And my poor Alyssum needs the horticultural equivalent of a crash cart after three days of sun and not a drop of water.  I’m a horticultural serial killer this summer.

After cruising by some home improvement stores (who am I kidding?  I spend an enormous amount of time at the paint counters there.  We’re down to Behr’s “Rolling Pebble” and “Elephant Skin” for our home exterior.  Do cast a vote!) I noticed that most of their plants for sale are still full price.  This illustrates to me just how out of touch the rest of the country’s retail schedule is with Alaska. 

We are practically a different country here: call us Canada West or Southern North Pole.  When July rolls around, Alaskans start that resigned sighing known as “it’s practically the end of summer”.  The desperation doesn’t start ‘til August, but the cooler temps start then also.  Don’t smirk, you’d be desperate if summer was only 3 months long, too!

So here we have only two more summerish months and Home Depot still wants $30 for a dahlia?  I gasp at paying $12 at the beginning of summer for my favorite orange dahlia every year.  Spending $30 on one annual might push me into the “society page heiress” category of plant purchasing. 

I’m wondering just what the plant spending habit break down is for avid gardeners.  Do most buy full price?  Only on discount?  Sow their own?  I tend to buy annual cell packs full price, but look for deals on anything bigger than a 4” pot.  Of course I occasionally splurge on the bling, like my $12 dahlia or a really unusual perennial/shrub/tree, but not often enough to call myself a plant heiress.  Good grief, I can’t even be bothered this year to water what I have, I shouldn’t be thinking of acquiring more victims.  “Christine, you’re needed in the plant ER, STAT!!  And bring your watering can and felcos, woman.”

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(Rolling Pebble on the left and Elephant Skin on the right. Adventurous, no?)

How much is too much, for a plant?  Would you pay $30 for an annual?       

22 comments:

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I doubt I would spend $30 on an annual. I say doubt because I have spent almost as much on a hanging basket for a gift. I have spent that much on a group of plants but just one. Naw,not for me. At least I have never seen an annual I would pluck down $30 for. I have learned never to say never.

Marguerite said...

Bedknobs and Broomsticks. Angela Lansbury and David Tomlinson. and yes it was Disney. I'd pay $30 for shrub I really want and consider it a bit excessive, never in a million years for an annual. But then I tend to shop for $1 plants at community plant sales.

Sue@G.L. Allotments said...

In short the answer is NO

garden girl said...

I just can't imagine living here. How do you cope with no sunshine for so many months? If I were you with such a short summer, I would buy no matter what the price!

Grace said...

Definitely "Rolling Pebble." Spend $30 on an annual? Not unless it had some kind of seriously long term attribute. Like if it reliably reseeded or I could dry the flowers...even then thirty is pretty darn pricey. Your petunia baskets are gorgeous despite your self-admitted less than stellar gardening practices this summer. :)

Elephant's Eye said...

Greige, and what, for the doors and window frames?

Christine B. said...

@Lisa at GreenbowNever say never has turned out well for me too. How else to explain all the skinny jeans in my wardrobe?

CB

Christine B. said...

@MargueriteI knew someone would come through for me, thanks! Angela L. was a treasure. I loved that mystery tellie show she did for years, which I, um, can't seem to remember the name of. I'm hopeless.

CB

Christine B. said...

@Sue@G.L. AllotmentsGlad to hear I'm not the only one who thinks thirty bucks is akin to highway robbery for an annual.

CB

Christine B. said...

@garden girlThere is that argument, of course. Most that can jet off somewhere warm in the winter months. I took up cross country skiing, which would be a tad more fun if I knew what I was doing.

CB

Christine B. said...

@GraceThat's what I voted for Grace, but I am now realizing that the gray color looks better with my plants. What to do? And the petunia baskets are residing at a downtown hotel, far from me and my neglectful watering.

CB

Christine B. said...

@Elephant's EyeThe colors would be on the main body of the house. Not looking forward to painting the place, other than covering up the orange with forest green trim that currently adorns it. We hope to finish up before the snow flies...so we're in kind of a rush. I wonder if people can paint year 'round where you are...I'm jealous.

CB

Calgary Garden Coach said...

Murder She Wrote!
And if I had to choose between grey and grey, I'd choose Elephant's Skin because it's slightly less grey.
;-)
Janice

Christine B. said...

@Calgary Garden CoachThanks for reminding me about that show, maybe I'll netflix it. Another vote for the gray tallied. At least we've whittled it down to just the two grays, right? I hate picking paint colors.

CB

Birds, Bees, Berries, and Blooms said...

If it was an Etain viola I may consider it. Good luck gardening. I'll have to tell my husband about being a horticultal serial killer. He think that about me when I fail to water dying plants.

Christine B. said...

@Birds, Bees, Berries, and BloomsNow I'm heading to google to figure out just what an Etain viola is. Three cheers for the hortie serial killers, I think I'll style myself The Hillside Hacker. You?

CB

Faith said...

I would spend 30 bucks on really great compost but not a plant. Unless it was a blue tomato! So I lie.

Christine B. said...

@FaithI would spend 30 on a blue tomato, too! Don't know what I'd do with it after that...blue spaghetti sauce?

CB

Cathy and Steve said...

I never say "never"... but I can't recall ever paying that much for an annual and haven't met one yet that would make me plunk down that much, even for a large pot.

I don't envy you your short growing season. July for us is the early part of summer... not the beginning of the end. That is what September is like. The climate must be really hard on a dedicated gardener!

Christine B. said...

@Cathy and SteveWe get used to it, or move. Whining helps a good deal, too.

CB

Cathy and Steve said...

We whine too, about the heat and humidity! Go figure!

Indoor Fountains said...

$30 for a shrub- not an annual

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