Yesterday we received an inch of snow that’s still hanging around. For about a week now, a pair of mallards has been visiting the pond, rain or shine, snow or ice. Duck visits are one of the signs of spring I get excited about.
It’s the time of year when gardeners all over the world dream big, colorful, fragrant dreams and then shop for promising seeds, enticing plants, unbeatable tools, and more. I own my share of big, colorful, fragrant dreams, so made sure to do my share of shopping at the Northwest Flower & Garden Show last week in Seattle.
In this era of online shopping, I know it’s possible to buy just about everything with the click of a button, but it’s a really great thing to discuss ideas with knowledgeable tradespeople, getting valuable input from individuals in the green business, and to support them at the local level. I was at the garden show to enjoy friends, view the amazing displays, and attend educational seminars, but I managed to stop and shop at a few sales booths on my way to the other events. 🙂
My favorite purchases:
Astrantia! Or, sadly, also know as Masterwort. I’ve been wanting to add these shade-tolerant, moisture-loving, star-shaped perennial blooms to my garden since I saw them featured in last year’s area garden tours. These are so popular and almost common in the UK, but not here in the US. I purchased five bareroot plants.
I use a beautiful set of Felco shears from one sister for the hard pruning, but these lightweight shears/secateurs are unbeatable for the price. I bought this exact type four years ago at a lavender festival and still use them almost daily, sharpening them regularly. This second pair will allow me to always keep one pair down in the shed for the lower gardens and one pair in the garage for the upper gardens. What a splurge.
My first tree peony. This photo shows flowers I hope Paeonia suffructicosa ‘Kinkaku’ will bear in the coming years. (Photo from a blogger near London — http://experiments-with-plants.blogspot.com/2013/06/tree-paeony-20-jun-2013.html) More on that fun purchase another time.
Like all gardeners, I’m a sucker for a great pair of gloves. I tried on many and selected these beauties. They are wonderfully soft and fit, well, like a glove.
Other items that wound up with me on the return-trip ferry include onion sets and a dahlia tuber. Predictable.
But that’s not all. When I returned home I decided to check out our local general store, Swain’s, to see what the garden area buyers had added for spring. That went well for me. I picked up a few gifts and a few new dahlias. I’m still trying to keep my total varieties the same number as my age — a challenge for the dahlia lover I am.