Caveat emptor

Black Petunias_DBG_LAH_0511Today’s post is a simple reminder to gardeners hoping to grow something new and exciting. As gardeners, we’re always tempted by a special cultivar that is unusual, a bit out of the ordinary. Why else the hunt for black flowers—roses, or petunias—especially when the colors they do come in are so much prettier? I have a friend who paid a considerable sum for a yellow peony—just because most peonies are white, pink, or red.

There are plenty of unusual plants to keep us happy. We can grow purple carrots or potatoes, orange cauliflower, and corn with hues to rival a box of crayons. Apparently that’s not good enough. There are scurrilous people just waiting to take advantage of gardeners who desire something truly unique.


Bogus Bushes and Plastic Peonies

plastic-flowers-wilkes-2008aug28-lah-153It’s November. Bushes have bare branches, perennials are dead, dried stalks. Except for a few hardy groundcovers and various conifers (pines, junipers, and the like), the landscape is asleep. Except… wait! Are those daffodils in that flower bed? And does that window box really have bright red, white and blue flowers in it at this time of year?

There seems to be a new trend in town. Maybe it’s because our growing season is so short. Maybe it’s because water is expensive and limited. Maybe people are just tired of doing yard work. But whatever it is, it’s growing… or, rather, it isn’t.

People are landscaping with (gasp) fake flowers! (more…)