We were sober.
We stayed under budget.
We mostly stuck to our list.
If you want to see everything we ordered and from where you can check out in the sidebar to the right or by clicking here. Now, some of you may be tempted to fill up your shopping carts and see how much we spent. (Don't be ashamed, I would do it.) Please know that most of the places had deals like spend $50 and get $25 off (shipping included) and Ryan and I are members of a gardener's discount club that get's us an 10% off in addition to any sales or promotions at most of these nurseries. So we actually spent WAY less then you would imagine.
If you're feeling inspired, there are a few things you should know about ordering plants through catalogues.
- Mail order plants always look dead or mostly dead when they arrive in the mail. I have only had two occasions where the plants were actually dead and needed to be replaced. In both cases the nurseries will replace the plants once we're back in growing season.
- They won't charge you until they ship the plants. If you use a credit card this isn't a big deal but it can reek havoc on your check book if you use your debit card. Especially since most nurseries don't send things all in one go. They break up your order based on your growing season. You get your seeds at the end of winter and your plants sometime in the spring. This isn't amazon.com people, you order and you wait.
Garden Watchdog is your friend. Check out what other people said about the nursery before buying. We bought our Che tree from Edible Landscaping and the order was filled almost 8 months after we placed it. (See #2) This is common with unusual plants and the nursery was very good about telling us what was going on. We wanted a very special tree for Riley and his honor guard of 4 chickens, so we splurged and ordered a 3 gallon pot. What we got was a 3 gallon pot filled with dirt and a tree that would have had elbow room in a 1 gallon pot. There is a BIG price difference between 3 gallons and 1 gallon. However, if you look at the reviews from Garden Watchdog this is to be expected from this nursery.
- You will buy other plants. You will stroll buy a neat salvia at the nursery up the street, or find that the farm down the road sells 4" pots of herbs 4 for $5, or decide that naked spot in the yard is calling for a blueberry bush. There will be the funny Mexican nursery and grocery store, or that guy with the pick up truck. Keep this in mind.
- Things will probably not look quite as good as they did in the catalogue,. Most of us don't look as good as the supermodels in GQ or Vanity Fair - or hell even as good as the people who show up in People. Just as those pictures are the best representatives of the human species, so are the pictures in the nursery catalogue.
- Expensive is not always better. Cheaper and more common plants for sale at the less hoity-toity nurseries may not be quite as elegant or flawless as their Cosmopolitan counterparts, but they'll wash floors, take out the trash, and make dinner. Metaphorically at least. And hey - sometimes you even get a Gisele Bundchen from a $1 seed pack.
You will get more offers in your email and mail box then you know what to do with. Hold tight and resist temptation. You just ordered plants. Wait and see how those work into your current landscape before buying more.
J's decided that he wants to add to his driveway so that he can park his police car in between our houses. While I don't understand his obsession with paving over most of his property, I don't really have a problem with the new driveway addition. He did remove a beautiful oak tree, which Ryan and I chopped up and stored for next winter, I would rather have left alone. There will be more light now, so it's not a total loss. He's also relocating a metric crapload of dirt into our back yard. We'll spread it out and use it to plant the raspberries and any viney plants (squashes, pumpkins, watermelon, cucumbers). If you missed the last 800 times I mentioned it - our back yard is a swamp. Its permanently waterlogged. This makes walking on it a challenge, not to mention it's damn near impossible to grow anything except weeds. The giant pile of dirt will turn into several informal raised beds (aka smaller piles of dirt) which will keep the plants drained enough to survive. We hope.
In other news - the girls have been dutifully laying.
We haven't been eating as many eggs this week, so we actually managed to fill up a carton. Fill it up long enough to take pictures anyway, then we had omelets. It's almost time to put in our next chicken order with the Feed & Seed. The plan is to order another 6 Rhode Island Reds to add to our flock. Two of these chicks are part of an informal, suprise, chicken adoption program. J's kids love the chickens and get a big kick out of feeding them worms and clover pulled from the lawn, so much so that they keep asking J, and his wife, S, for pet chickens. Since they've been so fantastic about our Suburban Farm, we thought it would be fun to take the kids with us and let them pick out their own pet chickens to live at our house.
Back to the plants: This weekend we're cleaning out the garage to set up our sprouting table and hydroponics rig. Unfortunately the garage needs massive reconstructive surgery. Prince Charming (Ryan) will not be happy. The following weekend we're jaunting up to PA to celebrate my mother's birthday and, hopefully, take in the Philadelphia Flower Show. (I will take many, many, many pictures. I promise.) I am slightly concerned that I will return with massive lists and be overcome with the desire to rip up all the gardens and start over. Not that it would actually happen, Ryan would stop me, but we'd probably both loose some teeth and break a few bones in the process. The weekend after that, it will be time to start the seeds.
Thus the adventure starts all over again.