“I’m not going to buy anything, I’m just going to look.” Does that sound familiar? Maybe even a little bit?
Today I had a few minutes until I was meeting my friend Susie and thought, “I’ll just stop in the nursery and see what they have.” Even though it’s September, it’s still hot, so after many years, I’ve finally learned to wait for the cooler weather to plant anything, otherwise that sun just fries it. So now I know better. Yep, you betcha.
So I waltz in and the first thing I see is a 5 gallon container with a large plant marked Coral Sage. It wasn’t coral — it was pink. A lovely green bush sprinkled with little pink flowers. I’m trying to keep my back garden in pink and purple, hence snapdragons and hollyhocks. So, hmm, pink colored Coral Sage.
I looked at the container hoping for some information, but the only thing was a sticker that said: “salvia microphylla, ‘heatwave pink’.” So I’m scratching my head asking myself “what is it, exactly?” Dunno. “Think it’ll get big?” No idea. “Will it bloom into the fall?” Beats me. “Will it do well in the shade or does it need full sun?” Your guess is as good as mine. So with all these unanswered questions bouncing around in my head, I was still intrigued enough to take a chance.
I would not have bought these (there were 2 left) if they had been marked $4.88, although they were in fact marked $4.88, but they had been marked $16.88 and were now marked down to $4.88. So, a fairly large bush with pretty pink flowers at a bargain price. Why not? I sauntered over and snared a wagon, trying to look casual since I didn’t want anyone else to grab them before I did. Once I successfully took possession, I looked around and realized there was only one other person wandering the nursery and she was looking at palm trees. Still, she might have wandered this way and pounced on the, ah, what are these things again?
So now that I’m home, I have two dilemmas: (1) What is a salvia microphylla and (2) where should I plant it? And of course the internet will have the answers.
Turns out the coral sage is a new import from Australia which does well in hot, dry climates. Oh good — it just so happens that I live in a hot, dry climate. These bushes will think they’re still in Australia. So now all I need is some good dirt to plant them in. AND … (drumroll, please) … two days ago I picked up a couple big bags of EXTREME potting mix. I say extreme because it is an “organic, hand-crafted blend with tru biotics. Non GMO, odor free, manure free, safe for pets and humans” and a whole lot more including just the right mix of vitamins and minerals for my plants (it says here).
Is that perfect timing or what?
As you might know if you’ve been reading my blog for awhile, I am appalled at the price of dirt. Really. Dirt. $13.99 for 2 cubic feet. Dirt — the stuff that covers the entire planet. And they sell it in bags for an outrageous price, and people BUY it! Of course, here in the desert, we don’t have real honest-to-goodness dirt. We have sand which is only good for cacti and I’m not fond of cacti. So if I want dirt, I have to spend money for it. The Scot in me rebels, but about once a year I succumb.
A week ago I did a quick run-through of my favorite thrift store and saw four large pallets stacked high with bags of
dirt — uh, sorry — soil. For $9.98 a bag. Ridiculous! But I remember that I’ve seen it for much more at the nursery. Still, I’m not paying that.
Then a couple of days ago I went back and lo-and-behold, the soil was half off. I still debated, but then realized that two of the four pallets were empty and the third one was quickly heading that way. People were loading carts and buying it in quantity. Well, crumb, I might as well join the rest of the lemmings and get some, too. By the time I found an empty shopping cart, there were only 3 bags left. The 4th pallet was still untouched, but it wouldn’t be that way long.
So now I’ve got the plants, I’ve got the dirt — uh, soil — and all I have to do is wait for the weather to cool down just a bit more. And once that happens I can go plant shopping in earnest.
In the meantime, I’m digging the hole for the coral sage and here is Lop Ear, digging right next to me. He’s done digging his hole before me because I’m digging a hole large enough for a 5 gallon plant. He is quite fascinated; he can’t figure out why I keep digging. I’m just as glad that I can’t read his mind, but I’m pretty sure I know what he’s thinking as he prepares to use his hole for its intended purpose: “Yeah, Mom, I always knew you were full of it.” Thanks, big guy.
And as for the “pet safe soil,” enjoy it because it’ll be a cold day in Hades before I shell out money for that again.