I am Clueless about the garden, but not entirely clueless about how the gods strike down folks infected with garden hubris. Kvell about the peonies and the bouquets, or brag on about the teensy bit of die-straight edging one has done, and --smackdown. I am spending these couple of glorious early summer days inside, slightly sick, missing the last Festiva Maxima bloom, and it serves moi right. So whilst sitting up by an open window that's whooshing in magnificent, low-humidity, blue-sky air, I guess I'll do some random commenting [read, "whining"] on subjects green.
Throughout this planting season, I've grown increasingly peeved with how the mass-horticulture company Proven Winners is infecting all my local garden centers. Every year it's harder to find locally-grown, genuinely interesting annuals [I'm talking flower gardening; no veggies here] that are sold in 6-packs. Instead, on the sales benches are masses of Proven Winners white plastic four-inch pots containing a handful of their latest idea of innovation in annual 'color.' Is it that the increasingly rare 6-pack was intended for a bedding-out mentality of annual planting that is mercifully out of style? Is it that local growers can't afford keeping up greenhouse facilities when PW can drive the market so skillfully? Is it that nobody wants much variety past the few new introductions that mass horticulture can throw out in the multiple-thousands? Condo patios are the target market, I imagine, and I have nothing against container planting in the least [all my early gardening efforts were in pots on an urban roof], but surely some wacky plants are in order here, please! Something taller, something with different foliage, something to shock and surprise.
This mini-rant is due to my inability to locate starts of Nicotiana alata, my favorite annual, an annual I have never been without before this year. Local growers usually do this for the local garden centers, because alatas grow too tall too fast to be in shipping commerce, I'm guessing. My only mail-order shipper of such, from a lovely quirky nursery in Connecticut, ran out way early this year, and I cannot get my hands on it. I have other nickis to substitute, but the sylvestris "Only the Lonely" is a bit too primeval looking, and can't be a cut flower. I do like mutabilis, but again, it's very different from the classic white starry flower I'm hankering for. Blah blah blah, bitch, bitch bitch. Enough...
But wait, there's more. I also am having a tough time finding browallia, even though it appears Proven Winners has glommed onto its existence. Only I want the white one, not the 'Marine Bells' blue one, because it will show better in shade, it has a pretty simple flower, and it is NOT impatiens.
Lesson here is for me to capitulate and set up the gro-lights and start all the seeds right next year. I thought my bright upstairs window would do the trick, but the seedlings are all very pathetic and leggy due to dim dreary days in multiples this spring. Ok, ok, I get it.
I hear an ice-cream truck. Wouldn't it be wonderful if it squawked like a catbird instead of wailing on that poorly-recorded Mr Softee jingle? No, guess not, but that's my mood today, inside.