Wednesday, December 9, 2009

I love a plant nursery that delivers. To wake up this morning and have plants waiting for me -- big, beautiful, fresh plants -- is definitely worth getting out of bed for.
I've had relationship with this particular grower for the better part of nine years. Seldom have I ever had to turn down something they brought. I do have that option, but why would I? Their plants are big, well-rooted, pest-free, and if they are not, the salesmen let me know so I can decide how badly I need that particular thing.
Every now and then I get brave and order an 'unknown' from their incredibly good catalog. I'll ask one of the salesmen first what they think of it, and I always get an honest answer. Today I got heuchera americana for the first time, and I'm in love with it! Beautifully scalloped leaves, nice silvery color, great veins, thick, full, and sure to make the shady area where I'll use them come alive.

How many times have I passed over this beauty in favor of the fancier hybrid cousins?
Yesterday I removed five hollies that had become a nuisance to my customer and her husband, both of whom get their cars scratched by those shrubs when pulling in and out of the garage. The plants had been there for over fourteen years. They were boogers to get out, too. The one on the right was a large single shrub which threatened to take down the gutter when we started pulling on it... turned out the roots had grown around some drain lines that attached to the gutters and took the runoff underground under the driveway. It took a little extra time, and digging, to restore the lines to their proper position. The other four hollies had been planted in a narrow bed in front of a nice brick wall, which I had never even noticed until the hollies were removed. When someone plants a shrub that wants to be six feet wide in a two foot space, there is lots of pruning involved to keep them contained. The plants were under a lot of stress from so much pruning and did not look good.
Today we put in the new plants: a 15 gal. tea olive, and against the wall, four three gal. canna lilies. The tea olive was big, full, and in full flower... what a glorious scent! The cannas -- a yellow-blooming 'King Humbert' -- look amazingly good for this time of year, too. No blooms, but the foliage is perfect. Perfect!

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