Monday, October 2, 2023

Plant Give Away...

That was the subject line of the email; Plant Give Away, it certainly caught my attention. Reading on... "You don’t know me, for we have met only once during a party at Sean Hogan’s house 7 years ago or so.  I read your blog and I admire your inexhaustible enthusiasm for all things plants - especially those plants that are more unusual."

Inexhaustible enthusiasm, I'm still musing on that phrase, it's a good one.

Actually I did remember him, and of course I wasted no time in replying. It turns out he (Robert), had decided it was time to simplify, and that meant giving away non-hardy plants in containers. I made an appointment to stop by and was flabbergasted by what I saw. There were so many wonderful plants up for grabs, and he was asking nothing in return—he simply wanted his plants to find good homes. After I took what I wanted he asked that I send a few plant loving friends over to take more.

I filled my car; aspidistra and pyrrosia on the floor of the passenger seat...

Yucca, ferns, aeonium, more aspidistra, agaves, cactus, and on, filling the back seat and cargo area.

Then I sent a message out to my plant peeps, and the ripples began. First was Eric, of the agave and yucca capers, he shared a couple photos of his haul.

Matthew was the next to visit and share.

Matthew even took magazines!

Tim mixed it up well with plants and pots.

Evan picked up a lotta pots...

And shared the haul with Ann.

The final installment was late last week when Tim went back and took his friend Shane (on the left, Tim was taking the photo), that's Robert sitting on the back of the car. I believe they were there with the intent of cleaning up what was left, so Robert was able to move forward with a clean slate.

Pretty amazing hauls all around, am I right? 

Back to what I ended up with—for my record books if nothing else. Here's a video I took once I had everything unloaded in my driveway...

Later that afternoon I received an email from Robert with a pant list, complete with where he bought the plant, when, and how much he paid. Here are just the names:
  • Aeonium pseudotabuliforme
  • Agave attenuata 'Ray of Light' 
  • Agave schidigera 'Royal Flush'
  • Aspidistra guangxiensis 'Stretch Marks'
  • Aspidistra minutiflora 'Leopard'
  • Aspidistra typica 'Old Glory'
  • Iris (japonica x wattii) 'Nada'
  • Neolepisorus fortunei 'Green Ribbons'
  • Pyrrosia hastata
  • Pyrrosia lingua 'Ogon Nishiki'
  • Pyrrosia polydactyla 'Taipingshan'
  • Pyrrosia porosa
  • Pyrrosia sheareri
  • Sedum palmeri
  • Stapelia grandiflora
  • Tephrocactus articulatus var. inermis
  • Yucca nana
He comes by his record-keeping naturally, Robert worked at both Longwood and Chanticleer cataloguing their plant collections. This was pre-GPS, when locations were mapped by measuring, by hand with a tape-measure. My meeting with him took place before the Philly Fling, so it was extra fun to get a little backstory prior to my seeing the the gardens, from someone intimately involved with them. 

Thank you Robert, for sharing your plants, your time, and your stories. You made me and a lot of my friends very happy with your generosity! Plant people really are the best and plants are meant to be shared.

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  1. Now that's a plant giveaway for the record books! You got quite a haul. And it included lots of your favorite Pyrrosias to boot! Getting their IDs was gravy. (You're wondering if I'll throw in yet another catch phrase but, no, that's enough for one comment.)

  2. Do you think he'd share tips on how he cataloged his collection? I need to do a better job keeping track.
    (Also, I really want a pyrrosia polydactyla!)

    1. I bet he would, but he's also a busy guy so tracking him down might prove difficult. I think it was all in a spreadsheet, by name. The hardest part must be the doing. That is remembering to sit down and add to the list whenever you make a purchase. I was quite impressed that he remembered to take photos of each of the plants I took, so he could go back and remove them from the inventory.

  3. Thanks again for letting me know about this! There were more plants I would have liked to adopt, if I'd had the right space for them. So many great plants!

    1. It was hard for me to pass up the gorgeous eucomis—but I knew I just did not have a spot with the sun they needed to thrive. Glad you were able to get a few things.

  4. Thanks for connecting us! Robert is so fun to talk to and more important than the plants, we feel like we made a new friend! (Okay, equally as important as the plants...)

    1. Ha, you had me there for a moment! Seriously though, the connections we make through our plants and gardens are so very important.

  5. Thanks for posting about this. Robert is such a wonderful person and had a really cathartic experience giving away his collection. I acquired a gorgeous decade old tree fern that fits perfectly in my sunroom art studio. Super excited and grateful! ☀️🌿✨🥳

    1. Looks like the tree fern found a great home! Robert is indeed a special person, we're all so fortunate he has great tase in plants too.

  6. Struggling to comment again. Can't comment on my own blog! No matter. Robert's plants have undoubtedly found a good home with you. Another good gardener connection made, too. :)

    1. I was frustrated to learn I could not comment on my own blog while away during the Fling. Another of those unnecessarily barriers thrown up making blogging more work than it needs to be.

  7. I feel Robert. My plant collection isn't quite so unique, but we are downsizing soon and will need to pass along the plants and many pots. It will feel better to give them to peeps who love them. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks for commenting. I hope the process is a rewarding one for you.

  8. Plant friends are the best!


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