Tuesday, April 20, 2010

If you make me drop my plants I’ll kick your fat ass

Yes you read that right… “if you make me drop my plants I’ll kick your fat ass.” This is my take-away-quote from the spring 2010 Hardy Plant Society of Oregon plant sale. You know plant people, we are rarely rude to each other, yet I actually had someone say that to me at last weekend’s sale.

I had bumped into and been bumped into by countless people by this point, the quarters are tight and we’re all carrying cardboard boxes full of our plant treasures. Normally you both smile and say “excuse me” or “sorry” not really giving it a second thought. Yet when I turned and my cardboard box (barely) hit hers she said those words. The only thing that I can come up with to explain her behavior is the fact that the Rose City Gun and Knife Show was also going on at the Expo Center on Saturday. Perhaps she wasn’t really a plant person but a gun person who ended up in the wrong show? Anyway I know real danger when I see it and simply gave her the stink eye and moved on.

As usual the sale was packed with fabulous plants; there were so many tempting things to choose from. One of the first ones that caught my eye was this Callistemon citrinus, it’s hard to tell in the picture but this specimen had to be almost 6ft tall, and only $50. Nice.Funny story…it was sold and the person’s name who had bought it was on a note attached to the trunk. I overheard a couple of ladies upset that it was sold but trying to get a picture of its name to remember for the future. That’s when I realized they were taking a picture of the name of the person who had bought it, not that plants name. I could see them hunting down this fictitious plant name (something like ‘Bud Simpson’) for years and wondering why they never were able to find it. I couldn’t have that happen, so I pointed them to the actual name of the plant. They were appreciative. Tetrapanax Steroidal Giant was everywhere, isn’t it odd how different their leaves can be?This was the second time I’ve seen Licorice logs and passed them by…even though I would love to be able to point to something in my garden and say “that’s my Licorice log…” Love this colorful sedum collection…another one of those groupings I would love to replicate as is. How do you identify an Echium addict? When she actually considers purchasing a second of the exact plant she already has simply because it is so beautiful, even though it can’t be anything more than an annual in her Zone 8 garden. Not that we are talking about anyone I know.
Eryngium 'Jade Frost' was one of the “must haves” of the sale (based on what I saw in others collections)…this one was less pink around the edges than most. I managed to just say no.So what did I buy?
I can cross Melianthus major of my lust list, I found a very healthy little specimen at the Xera Plants booth (had I not already satisfied my Manzanita lust I could have had several choice plants to chose from there too!)
I spotted a couple of Glaucium flavum in the Arizona-esque garden last week (at least that’s my attempted i.d.). So when I saw this one I grabbed it.
And since this is the ‘year of the yucca’ in Portland (so I’ve been told in conversations with nursery employees….in response to our all loosing multiple Phormium in back to back winters) I picked up another Yucca 'bright star'….how could you not with coloring this good!?
This little 4” potted Rubus lineatus was a bargain and I fell hard for the fabulous pleated foliage.
My only non-hardy purchase at the Hardy Plant Society sale (because the Melianthus will live) was an Aloe striatula, I’m still smarting from losing mine last winter and needed another. This one will go in a container, I think.
And lastly I picked up two little Echium russicum seedlings (more Echiums to love) and another Eucomis, this one a E. ‘Tugela Ruby’ (on the left) with its burgundy edged leaves its lovely even if it doesn’t bloom this year.
So…pretty good eh? And I got away for ½ of what my usual tab has been, and as a bonus checkout this year was a breeze compared to last year’s long lines.

But since I’m on the subject of lines…who thought it was a good idea to have a plant sale; a gun & knife show; a pet & companion fair; and “Portland’s Largest Garage Sale” all at the Expo Center all on the same weekend? Really? The parking lot was full; cars were being turned away after waiting in a slow moving line for a half hour or longer. I was one of the lucky ones who was let in (how did I get so lucky!?), who knows how many people got fed up and went home. Better planning next time people in charge!


  1. Oh Loree! What fun. Thank you for sharing your exciting day.

    It's probably a good thing Miss Stick-up-her-butt WASN'T at the gun/knife show or we'd be reading about a murder in the queue.

    Speaking of murder, after many episodes of killing my arms carrying those flimsy boxes, I've taken to bringing basket with a handle to those events.

    Love the Callistemon! I'm totally uh, happy about your Melianthus. I won't be jealous...I won't be jealous...I won't be jealous... :)

    Rubus lineaus is going on my list. I wonder if it is more slug tolerant that Rodgersia.

    I found Eucomis bulbs at Bi-Mart on clearance. I can't remember the exact cost but I think they were around a dollar a piece. Granted, not the fancy colored types but definitely too good to pass up.

    I look forward to seeing how you place all your newbies in the garden.

  2. I heard from a friend who worked the sale that the HPSO people in charge will have words with the EXPO people in charge about the overbooking issue. As I inched my way to the parking lot, most of the people walking by were guys carrying gun-related merchandise.

    Next time, I want to just tag along behind you. How did I miss that Rubus? I promise to protect you from ass kickers.

    Kudos for your good deed.

  3. I am in COMPLETE shock. That woman really said that to you?! How rude! I could make many comments about the Licorice Log, but I'll be an "adult" and keep it clean.

  4. I laughed out loud when I saw your title but then I read the post: How unbelievably rude! Good for you taking the high road and going on to collect some fabulous plants.

    That rubus lineatus does have great pleats. Love the yucca - and they are such troopers in the tough weather. The Glaucium flavum is piquing my curiosity for your Arizona-esque garden post (coming soon, right?)

    Thank goodness they let you in: you definitely needed another echium.

  5. Oh the things we'd say if we'd only planned for it....I'm prepared now in case anyone ever says "if you make me drop my plant I'll kick your fat ass." "Oh yeah? My fat ass will sit on your plants." Yeah. Take that.

    I'm intrigued by the Licorice Log. I can only hope that one could point it out to a visitor to the garden after crossing the chocolate river and gumdrop forest to get there!

  6. I love your yucca purchase, and your others as well. But I'm completely appalled by the rude woman who (is she really?) must also be a gardener. I would have been tempted to trip her after that.

  7. Nice haul! A Glaucium flavum seedling from last year's plant was dug up by a cat. If I knew which cat, I'd kick his fat...That line definitely has mileage. What a story! My tetrapanax is not the mythical Steroidal Giant, thank goodness. You PNWers really know how to have a plant sale!

  8. So not only is there danger in the garden, but also at the garden shows? The only show I've been to is our Cactus Show - when accidental bumping occurs there, they typically say "Yeow!"

  9. Sorry you experienced first hand the dark side of gardening. I wish I could tell you that it is a rare thing, but I have seen much ugliness in my dealing with the public. But the good out weighs the bad.

  10. Maybe it was a gun person who just really needed a begonia...

  11. Shocking! A mean gardener? I suppose it's possible, but I just thought that was an urban legend. I agree with Jessica. She could use a begonia. :)

  12. I agree, it must have been bleedover from the weapons crowd. No gardener would be that rude! Did you already have the yucca? I would have been tempted to lean in a little bit with that one on the edge, near enough for a little poke! Geez.

    Nice haul! I don't think anyone should pay $50 for a bottlebrush, they apparently grow really easily from seed. Good of you to pass on the info to the confused ladies, though!

  13. Wow - I have trouble with the crowds at that sale in the first place, but open hostility is taking the obnoxiousness to a new level. I hope she dropped her plants when she got home.
    I can't believe I missed those little echiums. I've got an empty spot in my garden that is looking lonely, another echium's exactly what I need.
    To Grace's question about the Rubus lineatus and slugs, I haven't had slugs mess with it at all, and I know they're out and about, because they eat the nearby plants like crazy.
    Speaking of slugs, boy did I find a lot in my purchased plants when I came home.

  14. I adore all your purchases, they look delicious!

    Kudos to you for ignoring the rude jerk!

  15. Wow, that sounds strange indeed. At least we had the Expo Center for ourselves for the SF Flower and Garden show.

    Glad that lady didn't drop here plants, though ;->

  16. Grace, I have a great metal basket that I used to use at plant sales...but the rubber coating on the handles flaked off and now it hurts to carry it! I need to think up a solution. I agree...those boxes are pathetic! Thank you for the Bi-Mart Eucomis tip!

    ricki, you can tag along with me anytime! Xera had a few beautiful Rubus in gallon pots...I got mine at the booth across the aisle, since it was only a 4" pot it was cheaper.

    D+N, yep...she really did.

    MulchMaid, the AZ-esque garden visit is tentatively planned for the first week in May...so fairly soon! The current Echium count is 7...yikes!

    LeLo, I want you at my side for the next plant sale! And I love the garden you describe...are we talking about Candy Land?

    Pam, she had her burly man husband with her...so had I tripped her lord only knows what he might have done.

    Denise, seriously?! That damn cat! You know you probably just solved the Tetrapanax leaf mystery... Steroidal Giant vs. not. Could it be?

    RBell, good point! Last year I carried around a plant for awhile before I realized it was poking my finger so bad I was bleeding. Duh. I wish I would have had that one with me this year.

    Les, you mean this wasn't a one time occurrence?

    Jessica, I like the way you think!

    Beth, you too...

    Karen, oh that would have been wonderful! But no, the yucca came later.

    Megan, I wonder if it was the same lady who commented on your obscene plant? I guess it wasn't likely as it was toward the end of my visit. You were probably already home planting by then. Great news on the slugs...I have enough already I don't need to be importing more!

    K&V, thanks! Do you guys have any great plant sales in Boise?


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