Great Lengths

I've talked about receiving plants in the mail before -- I highly recommend it! Whether by ordering from nurseries found in other parts of the country, or by trading plants with gardening friends, when that box shows up on the front porch you know you're in for that Christmas-as-a-kid feeling: new plants!

This time around though, the box itself gave me a big smile -- even before the plants inside were revealed. Want to see?


This is what I found next to my front door:

I've had lots of different plants shipped to me over the past few years, from small, light-as-a-feather boxes to almost-as-tall-as-me heavy-duty envelopes (full of bare-root saplings). It was pretty evident that not only was this not shipped by a commercial nursery, but it had vaulted to the top of the "most fun and interesting packaging" list!

It was the plant that Gerhard had found for me earlier in the year -- he said something about "having to use two oatmeal boxes" but the meaning of that statement didn't sink in until I actually saw it. (I suppose the package could have been somebody else sending me 220+ servings of oatmeal, but that would have been one of the top three coincidences of my life to date.)

So he told me about the oatmeal boxes, but didn't mention that somehow he managed to fill all of the empty space in the boxes with styrofoam peanuts! Good thing it wasn't windy as I opened this on the deck and they comically poured out. I've had to chase peanuts around the yard before, and I do not enjoy it.

The plant was well-protected though...

...bagged to prevent soil leakage...

...and damp paper towels to help keep plants hydrated:

So what is it?

A nice-sized Chondropetalum elephantinum in a 1-gallon pot -- my first restio!

This is a plant that I'll never be able to find locally, and most nurseries that ship don't ship plants this large (probably because they don't have enough oatmeal boxes around). So I put the task to Gerhard to find me some restios while he was plant shopping this year.

He came through for me, as this is a beauty! I'll grow this in a pot as I'll need to bring it into the garage each winter, but I'm hoping to have a large focal point of a plant in a few years.

Thanks Gerhard! I hope the plants I sent you in return are doing well.

If you're reading this and haven't done a plant trade with anybody yet, you really should give it a try. Such fun!

(And now it's time for some breakfast, and guess what's sounding good today?)


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Gerhard Bock (Succulents and More)  – (July 7, 2013 at 12:13 PM)  

LOL, what can I say? We eat a lot of oats :-). The box does look a bit funny, I will admit. On the other hand, no prying letter carrier would ever have guessed it contained a plant.

The chondropetalum looks great. It doesn't seem to have suffered in transit even though it was 105°F here when it left Davis.

The plants you sent me are alive and well. The feverfew will bloom soon, and the solanum has doubled in size--that thing is a lean and mean growing machine!

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