August 20, 2008

Never Again. Never Again.

There ought to be a "Do Not Buy-That-Plant-Ever-Again Registry", just as there is a "Do Not Call Registry". If there were, I'd sign up immediately. However, if I have an established, albeit lapsed relationship with a particular business or organization, I can still receive their unsolicited, unwelcome calls. So, I suspect plants I've coveted and purchased in the past would be exempt from my Do Not Buy Plant Registries as well. Given that my garden has played hostess to a myriad of different plants over the years, that might make registering on such a list a bit rhetorical, not to mention redundant, ridiculous and uproariously pathetic.

But this year if I have to commission some nerdy kid to develop a microchip I can have implanted on my credit card (can you do that?) which will list - with a skull and crossbones after each one - the names of plants that will be rejected when that little strip is scanned through the charge card thingy, then I'll fork over the money to the little Steve Jobs/Bill Gates wunderkind that I would have spent (*see: wasted) on plants that consistently tug at my heartstrings and aforementioned charge card and leave both me and my wallet empty.

I've made lists in the past. I've jotted the usual suspects down on post-its to remember and stuck them in places I can't remember. I've saved plant tags in a manila envelope marked "NEVER BUY AGAIN!". I've photographed the culprits in all stages of anticipated glory right on down to eventual disappointing demise and filed them in an especially created iPhoto library titled "Losers". I've even attempted to enlist the aid of squirrels and chipmunks to nip at my ankles if they see me toting one of the forbidden plants from the back of the car along with the groceries I originally went out to buy but was inexplicably...yeah, that's it..."inexplicably" diverted to a nursery. And should personal bodily attacks by Chip & Dale & Friends fail to thwart my caving in to yet another guara, polemonium (Jacob's Ladder) or a torturous list of I-wanna-bees-in-my-garden...then the wily, fuzzy-tailed acrobats and darting, striped cheek-stuffers have my full permission to nibble, tromp, pull, munch, drop nuts and make homes beneath and upon said waste-of-money-and-time plants.

I admit it. I cannot help myself. I am weak. Each year, I am lured by guara's waiving wands of white, pink or rose butterflies flitting over crimson-tinged or green stems. Sigh! I'm bedeviled by tall blue bell-like clusters atop graceful ferny foliage of Jacob's Ladder. (Wouldn't you know that to tempt my resolve, I've only just discovered there is a variegated Jacob's Ladder. Cruel. Simply sadistic of the plant breeders to taunt me so heartlessly.) Each year I think this time the Jacob's Ladder will come back next season or the guara will at least reward throughout the summer. And each year I'm hoisted by my own plant petard and dunked into disappointment. I'm just a glutton for punishment. Or a glutton for plants, which sometimes can by synonymous.

Oh, there's many others that I could and should put on that "Do Not Buy Registry". Perhaps too many to list or just too many I'm embarrassed to admit whose lure I succumbed to knowing full well they'd be compost fodder by October. At best, they might make a pitiful reappearance the following spring only to wither, produce nary a blossom and ultimately disappear, committing a merciful planticide. Even annuals don't escape my already weak gardeners knees. Especially the notorious "Specialty Annuals". 'Special' not because they can only be grown from cuttings and not seed so that the average, shlumpy gardener can order from a catalog and start on their own. Oh, no. They're 'specialty' is that many of them are primping, petulant prima donnas which require constant shearing, followed by weeks of no growth and no flowers and are usually so root bound and pushed to flower so prematurely by the nurseries growing them that by the time I buy them and pot them up, they've given almost all they've got and are ready to call it quits. Not to mention that one single plant costs more than half a flat of mundane - but workhorse - impatiens or vincas.

New Guinea impatiens are a good example of not much bang for the buck. They're great in the foliage department, but really suck pollen when it comes to floriferous flowering. Then there's pretty and full-of-potential calibrachoas or trailing petunias, trailing verbenas, beautiful, fragrant nemesia and bountiful, basket-filling bacopa, which oooooooh...pretty..... I just discovered is finally being offered as seed!! Okay, so this one's off my "Do Not Buy Registry". Hey, I said nothing about a "Do Not Buy SEED Registry"!!!
I'm an annual (or perennial if that's the case) sucker for them all. Well.......Never Again. Nope. Won't find me pushing cartloads of annuals and dubious perennials that, despite all my efforts, hope and bargaining with my resident voles, will only bring me heartache and empty spots in my garden...for which the vole disclaims any responsibility. (He/she wanted me to put that in print since we do have somewhat of a tenuous relationship.) Nuh-uh. No more. I shall not fall victim to the Kavorka of plantdom!

Perhaps I doth proteth to Perhaps that Do Not Buy Registry won't be as effective for an addictive plant horder such as myself. Does anyone know where the local chapter of Plant-A-Holics meets? Or where there are some squirrels and chipmunks trained by Tony Soprano?