Tuesday, March 21, 2017

There Is *Almost* No Limit To What a Determined Gardener Can Fit Into a Minivan

Except for the big pot at the top left,
this all fit in the minivan today
The big plan today was to drop the dogs at the groomers at 8:00 when they opened and head to the Medina Nursery Garden 2-3 hours down the winding back country highways west and south. They pulled an order of plants for me on Sunday, I was going to pick them up, ask if there was anything else I shouldn't miss, pay and head home to arrive by 3:00, give Baxter his meds, unload the plants, go get the dogs, and pick Jessie up from school. Best laid plans of mice and gardeners...

I dropped off the dogs at 8:30 which put me down in Medina about 11:15. I got home at 7:00 tonight. Zaga saved my butt *again* by both giving Baxter his meds at 3:00 and then picking up the other dogs at 4:30 when it became apparent there was no way I was going to get back before the groomer closed at 6:00. Heck, at 4:30 the wonderful guys from the nursery were still trying to figure out how to fit all the plants I got in the minivan (we failed at that, but it's okay). Total plants acquired today: 249. Total plants before today: 108--and that was two pick-up truck loads. Today was the minivan, and I hadn't even taken one of the main back seats and the little middle back seat out.

That nursery is incredible! They specialize in rare natives that they propagate themselves and trade with other small native nurseries. Their main clients are the native plant societies, but they also work with mainstream gardeners showing them how they can integrate natives into a conventional garden without sacrificing looks and gaining ease of maintenance and tolerance of Texas weather and soils.

Unless you are a serious native plant specialist (way more than I am), you can't effectively shop there without one of the guys holding your hand and showing you plants. Ishmael held my hand for five hours. Without him, I would have come home with my list, made all my appointments, and been much the sadder for it. If you look in a lot of the pots there, they have drab, spindly, weedy-looking little plants. That's because many of them are just coming up, and they don't have robust foliage or any flowers at all yet--often they aren't even labeled. But all you have to do is say, "I'm looking for a white flowering plant that does well in poorly drained, heavy clay and full shade," and they'll lead you right to one (White American BeautyberryCallicarpa americana var. lactea). I got three.

Just to get me home they had to take one of their long, short-legged, black plastic plant tables and put it in the minivan over the fully-covered floor. Then they had another layer of plants on it. All the seats were filled, the passenger foot area, the running boards inside the back doors (I had to force both doors to close on the pots and squish them a bit to get the doors to close). I'll take their table back to them when I go next week. I don't mind the trip at all as they managed to find one of the really rare (in this area) plants for me at another little place and they'll have it for me next week along with all the ones I bought today and couldn't fit in the van (probably about 20). I'm tempted to get Bobby and Devon to make me a two-tier table set-up for the back of the minivan so I could stack plants three-high. But then again, how many more trips like this am I going to make down there? Hey, maybe I should get a trailer and have plant racks built into it...

I got home to a large mulch pile in place of the last brush pile, but no dirt. They couldn't get the skidsteer today so the dirt--and the skidsteer--will be here first thing tomorrow morning. There had been, however, someone working in the backyard as there was serious damage done to the weeds around the stream. I can't wait to see it running! Now off to bed to dream botanical dreams  and recover from my very exciting day.

1 comment:

Bill said...

Have you considered renting an eighteen-wheeler?