Living With Limitations:

Photo from Colorful Combinations talk

I’m On Fire!

On Fire!

Feeling like I am On Fire! This past week I made my trek to the frozen tundra of Madison, Wisconsin to give two presentations. I spent a month or so reviewing and updating my slides for their area, looking at photo after photo of past plants in my garden. Sure warmed my soul on cold winter’s days.

Erythronium americana and Mertensia virginica meet in the garden

Wisconsin Talks

The trip to Wisconsin Garden Expo was among the best trips ever. They gave me two joined rooms for my talk and I could not see a single chair empty. On Saturday I spoke on “Colorful Combinations for the Shade Garden” and on Sunday “Color in Shade; 9 Months of Natives”. More photos and plant talk. We must have all been starved for gardening for it was one of the most receptive audiences I have spoken to.

Vendors = Temptation

In between the talks my landscape buddy Rob and I walked the vendor booths where more gardening juice awakened prematurely. Spring was far away, perhaps on another planet, and here I was looking at real perennials and annuals in bloom. It was as though I was sleepwalking and being led from dream to dream. One dream had my favorite Primula vulgaris hybrids in double ruffled, multi-colored petals. A Campanula ‘Blue Like Mee’ in full double bloom fell from the booth into by shopping bag.  Another booth was selling bulbs and rhizomes: Lily sections drew me to photo illustrated crates of labeled bags of bulbs. Before I awoke I left the vendor with 3 Lilium Double Apricot Fudge and 2 Alba Martagon lilies with pink-purple freckles. It is a small wonder the plants did not sprout and bloom from my hot little hands as I carried them around seeking the next vendor.

The return trip home was delayed by a white-out snowstorm, but I returned home still on fire and, as my father would have said, wound up tighter than a thirty-day clock.  I am ready for spring to return. However, spring is not ready for me

Lilium martagon album photo lilylandmn


Thank the minor gods and my bank I have a greenhouse to play in. I spent a day in sun’s natural warmth playing in potting soil. Cleaned some containers, mixed some potting medium, each Lilium found its own temporary residence until they can join their relatives in the garden. The Campanula and Primula each were moved up to the next size pot. All received some fertilizer and warm water as they were moved to light on top of the bench. After time in the greenhouse there was only one place remaining to take my fire.

Lilium Apricot Fudge double: image Thompson & Morgan

Calling Garden Centers

My Lust-List folder was opened. It may have been reduced in size with only coals remaining, but with the fanning received coals were soon ignited and showing some fire once more. Many of the desired “coals” are new to the market and will take some effort to locate. Some I have located at their wholesale sources, now to locate the retailers who will be carrying the plants this spring. Garden centers are placing orders, so now is the time to strike with my lust-list. I began pestering (calling) local, and some not-so-local, centers with the big question:  “Do you have, or will you have name-your-plant this spring? If not can you get it for me”?

I may be only fanning the coals now, but wait until I get the bellow out come spring.

Coming Soon: Two new talks. “Hosta Buddies” and “Alternative Gardening for Aged & Impaired