Yesterday afternoon I placed my order with Plant Delights, the nursery down in NC that publishes the best, and most addictive, catalog in all of horticulture.
My intention was to buy ONLY a Danae racemosa, with which I was unfamiliar until a local designer introduced me to it a few years ago. Also called Poet’s Laurel, this small evergreen shrub is said to be “laden with marble-sized reddish-orange berries in fall” according to Tony Avent, owner of Plant Delights, author of its catalog, and “dealer” of delightful plants.
You have to watch out for Tony. He might lure you into buying a plant merely through his wry, irreverent, and often provocative descriptions. For example, Tony introduces Poet’s Laurel with this line: “From Iran and other “axis of evil” countries comes one of our favorite garden plants.” He closes the blurb with: “Danae was the daughter of King Acrisius of Argos…the dude who became a rock gardener when he was shown Medusa’s head.”
Damn you, Tony. With your puns AND allusions to Greek mythology how can I NOT buy this plant???
But it was all good up to this point. I had a spot picked out for this Poet’s Laurel. I made this purchase with a clear head, so no morning-after guilt on this one.
But as I was online making my purchase, I thought, “ooooohhhh, maybe I should just buy an unusual fern, too.” After all, I just finished up my online fern class at Mt. Cuba, so I’m a Fern Pro, a Fern Afficionado, and Tony’s nursery is known for its “rare” and “unusual” perennials. So yeah, I ordered a couple of native Dryopteris.
What? Do I have any clue where I might put them? Are the Dryopteris part of a long-term planting plan that I have carefully formulated and will responsibly execute?
None of your business!
So I have my three nifty plants all selected, and I’m ready to “Check Out.” I’m good to go.
Then Tony does something really sneaky! The bill comes up, and along with the itemization of plants I’ve ordered, and a statement of shipping charges, comes this message:
You can buy two more plants for the same shipping charge.
In other words: Wouldn’t you like just a little more plant-crack?
I’ll be honest. After this giddy spree of impulse buys, I couldn’t even remember which two plants I added to my order.
Once the high wore off I went back to look at my online receipt. Turns out that, in the foggy mania of these impetuous purchases, I ordered some sort of weird chartreuse-leaved clematis, and a totally righteous-looking “Morning Sun” Cast Iron plant, which is possibly not cold-hardy in my area.
WTF am I going to do with these?
Never mind. I’ll find a place. And they’ll look totally sweet, I’m sure.
I’m just warning you in advance. Tony’s slangin’ delightful plants. You won’t be able to buy just one.