While out shopping

I was out at some of the local nurseries this past weekend (Greenscape Gardens, Sherwood's Forest, Wiethop Greenhouses) looking for some seed packets, and saw a few "interesting" things. Yes I saw loads of great plants, but the cool plants are not the focus of this post.

I'll start with another weird thing seen at The Home Depot where I wasn't looking for plants. They always have something that makes me ask "why?" like the painted cactus, or the growable pods, and this was another to add to the list: plants in a can!


I should probably call this "'plants' in a can" though (with quotes around the word "plants"), since it's not really a plant but the ingredients required to grow one.

Actually, I don't really understand this. Other than having a pull top (that incidentally reveals that oh-so-sharp edge), there's nothing special about this. It's not like you pop the top and a plant starts growing.

No, you apparently need to sprinkle the seeds yourself. Who has time for that?

Also, are you supposed to drill your own drainage holes? No, the sign says "no drainage holes". I suppose the magical biochar will take care of overwatering, right?

Ah, canned basil -- just like Popeye loved?

This seems like a good way to drown a plant and discourage a potential plant lover. Can anybody explain this one to me?

Okay, next interesting thing was seen at Sherwoods, a new-to-me fern (Arachniodes standishii):

I wonder why it's called "upside down"? Oh, it's because each leaf turns over...

...exposing its underside. Why would you want this plant in your garden?

It's not attractive, at least to me. Put this next to any "rightside up" fern and this one would look sickly. Here's the "top" of the frond (which is actually underneath):

Looks so much nicer, and more "correct" -- at least to me.

Does anybody grow this? Does it have a desirable quality that I'm not seeing?

I went to Wiethop looking for just a couple of specific things -- if I haven't said it before I've already decided to buy very few plants this year. For the past two years I've had so many plants left in pots at the end of the growing season, this year I'm going to make sure they all get into the ground and make due with what I have. (I put that statement in bold to help me remember)

So it was especially frustrating to see Wiethop's giant collection...

...that I had almost completely to myself on this cold morning. Resist...urge...to...pick...up...plants...

Quite a few succulents which I don't remember seeing other years:

At least not nearly this many! Maybe they had sold a lot of them previous years by the time I visited. I suspect they've expanded their selection this year though.

I love seeing tables full of coleus, and there's nowhere else in the area where I can see so many in one place:

So pretty!

I've been considering planting an ornamental elderberry (Sambucus) for years, but ever since I saw a woodchuck (groundhog) mowing down a volunteer sapling in my yard a few years back I've held off.

These two cultivars -- 'Black Lace' and 'Lemon Lace' -- look pretty great together though. I didn't know there was a "Lemon Lace" -- is that new?

Have you seen anything "interesting" lately?


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Jean Tuthill  – (April 5, 2016 at 11:51 AM)  

I agree...garden in a can is ridiculous, just another marketing thing, I guess. The lemon lace elderberry looks very interesting to me. I love coleus, too! Those colors are amazing! Can't wait for the weather to warm up!

outlawgardener  – (April 5, 2016 at 11:52 AM)  

So, if you lined up some of those garden in a can things on top of a toilet in your yard... Some things we aren't meant to understand. Living in the marketing mystery. Where else can you pay six bucks for a can of dirt and three seeds? But then, I bought a pet rock in 1975 so...
I'm trying to buy fewer plants this year for the same reason as you plus my garden is already full to overflowing. Why are plants so doggone seductive? I may just have to stay away from nurseries for a time. (Can't believe I said that with a straight face.)

Gerhard Bock (Succulents and More)  – (April 5, 2016 at 12:36 PM)  

OK, I'm fascinated by this garden-in-a-can concept. It's totally ridiculous, but also intriguing. I tried the pointsettia-in-a-can thing years ago and not a single seed sprouted, but still... There's something so tempting about this.

Hoover Boo  – (April 5, 2016 at 2:34 PM)  

Perhaps someone is compiling a list of very gullible people, and they are doing that by see who will buy a can of charcoal.

That's all I can figure...

The Sambucuses (Sambuci?) are beautiful. Go for both!

Alan  – (April 5, 2016 at 3:05 PM)  

Jean: What if it were a gallon paint can? I might fall for that one. :)

Peter: You've got so many good ideas! Don't forget you're paying for biochar too, which I believe is the new "hot" thing. I can hear the brainstorming meeting now: Guy: "people aren't buying our cheap wooden products" Guy2: "let's burn them and then sell them" Guy: "brilliant!"

Gerhard: I'd totally give it a try if it 1) had pre-planted seeds and 2) contained the water that would release when you pulled the tab. Just pop the top and you're done!

Hoov: Let's not jump to conclusions -- I'm sure it's about 1/2" of biochar and the rest is peat. A full can of biochar would be a lot more expensive. :)

Renee  – (April 5, 2016 at 7:30 PM)  

I think the painted cacti is still the weirdest thing I've seen at home depot. And those plants... can you just hear them asking you to come back and plant them? The Lemon Lace is so bright!

danger garden  – (April 6, 2016 at 12:02 AM)  

Seems like I saw a head-scratcher recently but now that you ask I'm drawing a blank...

So are you telling us you didn't buy anything?

Alan  – (April 6, 2016 at 7:08 AM)  

Renee: I'm not usually a fan of chartreuse foliage, but 'Lemon Lace' was very nice. A bit like 'Tiger Eyes' sumac.

Loree: I bought a couple of seed packets, two hyacinth bean starts for $1 each (just in case I couldn't find the seeds -- but I did), and one Carex. The plants were all from Wiethop. Usually I load up a cart there.

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