you haven’t lived until you have been told you bought too many plants at a plant sale…

Seriously, it’s sad but true. You have not lived until you have been chastised for buying too many plants at a plant sale given by a plant society that you are a member of. That happened to me this spring.

I like to try to support national horticultural nonprofits as well as local plant societies either by membership or by buying at their plant sales. This spring I have found some fabulous plants at the herb society plant sale, my friend’s plant sale, the azalea and rhododendron society plant sale, Jenkins Arboretum and more.

But for the groups I belong to, there is one group I have struggled with since I joined. I’ve tried so hard. I’ve offered my garden for one of their tours, I offered last year to volunteer on their tour at a garden that was close to me, and so on. When I go to events I try to buy what they are selling in order to support the group. Yet it is not a group that plays well with others.

This one group that is very insular for lack of a better description. And that starts the top with the board. It’s like you’re suspect for being friendly, and I just don’t know where to go with that in my head so I avoided a couple of events until the recent one I attended.

I arrived late at the event because I had another obligation. They knew I was coming late because I didn’t want them to think I was just being rude, and I told them. When I arrived the person at the sign in table who is also the group head kind of cut me dead. They didn’t look at me, didn’t say hello to me….nothing. That was really awkward and uncomfortable. And my name tag didn’t have a little plastic thing to put it in so I couldn’t even wear that. I had the urge to turn around and leave when I first got there and I should’ve listened to that inner voice.

When they announced that the plant sale was opening up, I told the person who told everyone that that I didn’t get a number so I didn’t know where in the order I was for buying plants. (You see, they give out numbers and every number that called gets to go in order. ) So that person said oh go ahead just buy plants so I picked out six little plants.

Now when I say little I mean little. These plants were the size of plants that you usually buy in a six pack of plant cells early on in the season. These plants were basically not much bigger than starter plugs. I don’t normally buy starter plugs. I prefer to buy plants that are a little more established so they stand a better chance of success. But I was trying to support the group it’s a nonprofit.

I paid for my plants, I took them home and planted them. Flash Forward to a conversation with someone in the group. I was chastised for buying too many plants. The person who was supposed to hand out the plant numbers at the meeting and plant sale told this person that I was there for some announcement where it was said people could only buy two plants. I wasn’t. I wouldn’t have bought six plants if I had been told only to purchase two.

I’m sitting here thinking to myself should I take them out and return them? They’ve barely grown so I probably could. The other thing is what I bought wasn’t particularly unusual or even rare. I had a hard time finding things to buy but I was trying to be supportive. My mouth is still kind of hanging open with this one. Nobody has ever accused me of buying too many plants except my husband and that’s been after some trips to Black Creek in East Earl when I fill up the porch!

I’m thinking I’m kind of done with this group. I have tried my best for a couple of years and it’s just not working. And that’s fine — not everybody on the face of the earth has to like you. But if they think I’m going to be chastised for buying too many plants when I didn’t know I was buying too many plants, pay my membership dues and go to events were people are kind of rude to me, sorry not sorry I have better things to do. And no, no garden tours in their future either.

But odd situations like this are not just limited to this group, sadly. A lot of groups have core membership that’s been entrenched for in some cases, decades. I know friends who have tried to volunteer for other kinds of groups who have run into other kinds of odd roadblocks, and it’s all because the old guard of whichever group doesn’t want to let anybody NEW in yet they are conflicted because they need to have new membership in order to survive.

But I just didn’t think this would happen with the group that is related to one of my favorite things — gardening.

Live and learn! Well I am off to plantaholics anonymous now! Cheers!

japanese mountain hydrangeas from gardens oy vey

Can you feel me doing the happy gardener happy garden dance? (and no it’s not because of the third straight day of crazy thunderstorms ,either)

When I went on my mad mission of cutting back forsythia (otherwise known as the great forsythia massacre 2019), I discovered yet another garden space that didn’t have forsythia growing in it but forsythia had grown over it. So I have this new planting area. It is completely weed free and the soil is in decent shape.

After I had cleared out the forsythia, I lived with the space for a couple of days. Then it dawned on me: mountain hydrangeas and mountain laurels. And I could also move ferns and hostas that needed splitting from other areas of the garden.

So the hostas and ferns went in, and I have a fern order of more specialized ferns coming from New Hampshire Hostas and Companion Plants, and mountain laurels coming from another source.

But when Lazy S Farm in Virginia closed it’s doors due to retirement, I had lost my source for Japanese and Korean mountain hydrangeas. I love hydrangeas in general, but I like the offbeat varieties like these mountain hydrangeas because they do very well in our Chester County winters. I also think they lend an undeniable elegance to woodland and shade gardens. I want my garden to reflect me and I don’t want to have the same plants that everyone else has.

Anyway, when I was doing my search for these hydrangeas a listing came up on Etsy of all places. From Gardens Oy Vey in Tennessee. Their prices were good and the plants looked good so I thought I’ll give it a try.

My three hydrangeas arrived today. And they arrived in perfect condition beautifully wrapped and when I undid the packaging they sprung to life almost immediately even before I gave them a drink of water.

The hydrangeas I ordered were:

Hydrangea Serrata “Blue Bird”

Hydrangea Serrata “Little Geisha”

Hydrangea Serrata “Beni”

I will also note that the plants arrived with among the best planting instructions I have ever seen and a nice note about the type of hydrangea I ordered from the owners of the nursery.

I am not planting the hydrangeas today because I always try to give mail order plants at least a day to recover from their travels. And today I am looking at the sky, and hearing the low rumbles of thunder in the background and I don’t want these plants to get smashed to bits after traveling from Tennessee to Pennsylvania.

Gardens Oy Vey has a terrific website and I’m going to check out their other plants as soon as I finish this post.

The sky looks quite ominous right now and I look forward to weather that’s a little more settled. But the reality is what we are saying is climate change. It does exist no matter how some quarters would try to make you think it doesn’t.

When I plant these hydrangeas I will also be planting Caladiums in that planting area. They are coming from BloomBox and will add fun color and vibrancy to a new shade bed. I don’t know if I will plant Caladiums going forward in this location, but until the plants I purchased like the hydrangeas get established, it’s a nice way to fill in.

Anyway that is it for me, I am inside waiting for it to rain. The last photo in this post was the sky a few minutes ago.

one development that is looking good in chester county

I am not a fan of the color scheme which was chosen (too blah beige) but the new apartment building on King in Malvern Borough really looks good. It’s not quite done as you can see from the lawn that isn’t a lawn yet, but I like it.

They put a lot of time and attention into architectural design and detail. And it’s all the way around the building not just a false front, which is the case most of the time.

Everyone always thinks I hate every bit of development. The truth is, I don’t. When you have people like this who are thoughtful about what their finished product is going to be I totally respect that. These people put a lot of time and effort into trying to make their building blend with the surrounding area and structures. It’s a modern building with homage to the past.

no thank you.

Dear “Chris“,

I got this in the mail. Everyone who lives around me got this in the mail. I hate getting things like this in the mail. I find things like this offensive.

So I called the number on this post card, (which was very cheap by the way.) I got “Gary” on the phone. So I asked Gary why would I want to sell my house to him.

“Gary” said something along the lines of oh no offense but we send these out to everyone when we’re working in the area. Funny thing is I don’t know anyone in the area that sold a house to you recently, or at all.

I looked at your website and I looked at your Facebook page and my house is not the type of house that you are picturing. My house is not run down and it has a terrific garden. So why would I want to leave that? The answer is of course I wouldn’t.

I have a lot of friends who are realtors and have known a few real estate investors and real estate attorneys in my day. I kind of have a problem with people who say “here take the easy way out and avoid all the people who are the professionals.”

All you did was buy a mailing list somewhere. If someone is going to sell their home, I suggest a licensed realtor. Period.

Sign me,

No Thank You.