Meet my new garden additions, ‘Chocolate Chips’ and ‘Porcupine’…
Last month Pam from ‘Digging’ included a photo of Manfreda undulata 'Chocolate Chips' in a post on an Austin garden tour. WOW, instant plant lust! I knew this would be the next Manfreda added to my growing collection, if I ever found it. Later Nicole from ‘A Caribbean Garden’ commented on the same post, including a link to the very plant on Plant Delights website, it was just too easy! It was mine within the night.
Mail-ordering plants is not typically for me. Wandering the nursery isles, touching the leaves, smelling the flowers, comparing the plants and making sure I’m getting the best one for me…that’s what plant shopping is all about. Don’t get me wrong, I love looking at catalogues and websites, gathering information and getting inspiration, but when it comes time to hand over cash for a plant I’m an “in-person” shopper.
That said, occasionally I come across a “must-have” plant that isn’t readily available here in Portland. When this happens being able to turn to a website, or catalogue, is wonderful, and…instant gratification!
As much as I’ve enjoyed pouring over the Plant Delights catalogue in the past I’ve never ordered anything. Now that I have I can say they make ordering easy and the follow up communication from the nursery staff is excellent. They do have a minimum order and the single ‘Chocolate Chips’ was not cutting it, so I had to add another plant (darn). Just recently I realized I was without an Agave victoriae-reginae so I quickly clicked on that and my order was complete.
I was curious about what condition the Manfreda would be in when it arrived. All Manfreda share the common trait of very brittle, easily broken leaves. How could they ship this plant and have it arrive looking good? How big would it be? Would it look anything like the picture? I was pleasantly surprised! 'Chocolate Chips' arrived with a few broken leaves but all-in-all much better than I feared. It’s good sized and has great color. Nicely done!
I was a little disappointed in the small size of the Agave victoriae-reginae 'Porcupine' but it certainly looks healthy. I think come spring it will go in the ground since it is reportedly hardy to zone 7b. Uhm….maybe this online shopping thing could become addictive, especially in the winter months when the pickings can be slim at our local nurseries.