Living With Limitations: It Was a Sign

Delphinium New Millennium series photo: Walters Gardens

It Was a Sign


What could I do?

I had an early morning doctor’s appointment and my wife did the driving so she could join me in the consultation which included previous test results. Overall, we were both pleased with the results of the tests along with doctor’s final instructions. However, we did spend considerably more time waiting than normal. Which was a part of the sign.

Timing was perfect for a favorite garden center across the street was opening as we left the doctor’s office building. My wife turned to me and asked if we could stop by the garden center so she could purchase a seaweed fertilizer for her seedlings under light. Could I say no to her? No.  Could I deny the timing of the morning? Nooo. You can see how I had no choice but to follow the flow of the signs.


While my wife browsed possibilities, I headed to the greenhouse section to stand in the warm humid atmosphere and gaze at the seas of annual cuttings freshly potted up. Standing there taking in sights and smells of a greenhouse with all its promises was as good, if not better, than the new prescriptions in my wallet. I was being inoculated for, not against, the coming spring.

Aster Kickin series Carmine Photos: Walters Gardens

Follow Through

The specific sales person I wanted to speak with was available and I began with my hunt for perennials in my list of spring garden projects. Again, the timing was perfect. She was in the process of completing spring orders for perennials. I talked her into an email address so I could send her my list of must-haves for spring of 2020. Now, not only was I on the hunt, I had had help.

Perennials for a Project

I will be working on the western edge of my garden where sun sets. Over the past two years I have been transplanting small shrubs with colorful foliage. Now I want to set them off with some late blooming perennials inserted between the shrubs.

Little Bluestem Smoke Signal Photo: Walter’s Gardens

I was able to locate one Little Bluestem grass last year, but not the exact cultivar I was fascinated by. My heart was set on ‘Smoke Signal’ (Schizachyrium scoparium ‘Smoke Signal’). Foliage is tight growing, blue-green until fall when it becomes deep red-purple with feathered tan seed heads. It has a home between two gold foliage Spirea.

Asters are back on my list. I see a need to weave three cultivars among the shrubs. They will also look great with the little blue stem grass. I will begin by ‘borrowing’ a start of October Skies from my wife’s shrub border. Then perhaps a Kickin Aster Sapphire from the series. The third remains a mystery as yet.

I am a big fan of Delphinium, but so many of them do not perform well in our hot humid summers. My researching says Delphinium New Millennium Series is the answer. This was verified by a nearby garden buddy who swears by their performance. I can envision three tall stately clumps supported by the shrubs and picking up the colors of the asters and grasses.

And More     

There was more on my list, but for a different project in shade. A perfect location for ferns. This time I have made up a list of ferns with color in addition to the color green. That project is for a future blog.

Surely you can see I was guided by a power beyond my control. In this instance there was little or no free will. It was push on my tush all the way.

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