Saturday, September 17, 2011

A Big Box of Love

As much as I love summer gardening, I love the redemptive value of fall. The temps cool off, sometimes a bit of rain falls,and I have a chance to fix all the mistakes made the previous year. This year I have finally come to terms with the harsh reality that until I rip out more grass and expand my garden, a notion my five dogs find horrifying because I would be denying them access to their favorite Barking at People Who Walk By places, my garden is growing shadier every year.

Plants that grew well for several years in mostly sun are now leaning, stretching, and laying prostrate in their own puddles of misery, in mostly shade. The list of plants that need to be transplanted or given away is embarrassingly long. But with every new spot that opens up, an opportunity arises to find new plants that will thrive and blossom. It's like putting together a puzzle you know will never be finished but still being thrilled when you find the missing corner piece.

My first stop in the quest for plants that will love my garden is Lazy S's Farm Nursery, a Garden Watchdog Top 5 nursery. My local garden center specializes in plants that will appeal to the non-gardening public as opposed to plants that will actually survive. Large tags advertising Himalayan Whatever or Tibetan Something seem to be on every table. But Himalayan this and Tibetan that are rarely what I'm looking for and I'm doubtful they would survive our hot, humid summers. Asking the seasonal hires for help is like asking my dogs to do calculus.

Lazy S, located in southern VA, is an online family owned nursery that sells a bit of everything. Every spring and fall I wait excitedly for my latest order to arrive. Surfing their site is like wandering a candy store with a full wallet and an empty stomach. I want at least one of everything. Debby and Pete Scheuchenko offer accurate and wise planting information that never fails to help me identify plants that will grow well in my clay loam. Plants I've never heard of or seen on other online sites are common at Lazy S at much more affordable prices than other online nurseries.

Lazy S is currently ofering a 20% discount on all plants bought in multiples of 9. Finding nine plants to buy isn't the hard part. It's keeping the order to only 9 or 18 plants!! The offer ends Sept 30th at 5 pm.

 My latest Big Box of Love

 The plants always arrive incredibly well packed and in perfect condition.

This dwarf bush clover  only grows to 18" and takes dryish partial shade. Hooray!

This will grow much larger than the Yakushima and is being used to disguise a rain barrel.

Of all the plants I ordered, this was the only one available locally. But they were either half dead or insanely over priced. I save the green bamboo sticks to use in the garden to remind me of where I've added new plants.

This is a low growing native shrub that will be part of the front garden makeover. The plants arrived semi-dormant and covered in fat buds. Once the plants were out of the box and in the shade, the new leaves turned green. The horticulturalist at our garden center had never even heard of this shrub. Sheesh! 

Rue is a caterpillar food source for swallowtail butterflies. While the larger, more common rue is easily available locally, this little dwarf rue isn't. Rue is a tough, easy plant to grow.

Happy, healthy sea oats

Despite being called Sun Queen, this veronica also takes a bit of shade. It's an extremely tough plant that spent all summer peeking around the trunk of a large ash tree in my garden. It's tall with beautiful, glossy leaves and pale blue flowers. 


  1. What a haul from Lazy S! I love them and shop their box sales often. Never disappointed. My collection of little green bamboo sticks is getting a little overstocked though.

    I like your description of gardening as solving jigsaw puzzles. That's exactly it!

  2. I can relate to your description of your plants reaching for the sun. My back yard has gone through the same transition and I'm constantly rearranging and transplanting. The Martha Gonzales roses will be moved this fall (again!) to try to provide more sun. Looks like you have a fun weekend ahead full of planting! Enjoy!

  3. Excellent!! Love ordering online sometimes although it can be addictive. Buying all those plants means a nice days work outside:) It's finally getting cooler here as well....and it's pretty exciting to go back out in the garden and start fixing up the mistakes or tragedies from over the hot summer. You describe the same things that are happening over here at our gardens. Gardens are always changing and you shouldn't be embarrassed about giving plants away. At least you save them and give them a chance for a new home!! Have fun!

  4. So many fun new plants to add to your garden! Happy planting!

  5. I want to see the pups do calculus! Anyway, your boxed goodies look like they are getting a great home. I love getting boxes, but have no room for more plants. Yet, I brought a Japanese Maple home from my friends farm the other day. There were 12 of them in tiny pots just drying up.I wanted to bring them all home, having a soft spot for the maples. Anyway, my rescue was repotted, well watered and fed and is looking really happy. Now what to do with it????

  6. I call these boxes of love (in my case little rose cuttings from specialty mail-order nurseries) Christmas presents. I can relate to your excitement in opening them and finding some nice plants inside. I am expecting my own box of love (or two) soon!

  7. Wow, that is a big box of love. Enjoy! I'm terribly jealous--it's almost too late to plant perennials here. We've had our first (early this year) frosts. :(

  8. You seem like having lots of work to do with those new arrivals. I envy the system you have there in your country, where the plants arrive in due time still looking very good. Our private companies are just starting on plants and i wish it will succeed.

  9. Big Box of Love indeed! I was thrilled when you opened it and saw all those lovely healthy plants. Every mailorder should be so nice.

  10. Now why on earth did I come visit your blog only to be forced into looking at yet another online nursery! You're killing me here! :) And I'll consider this an opportunity to exercise self control. Enjoy your new babies!

  11. You have some real goodies there. I checked out the Lazy S web site...very nice. Thanks for sharing the present deal they are offering.

  12. I like Lazy S -- will have to wander on over there to check out their sale. Watch the River Oats and its reseeding.
    I just bought some Veronica on the discount rack wallyworld. Planted them today, hope they do well...and yours too!
    I feel dumb, I didn't know the Yellow Root either.

  13. Jennifer@threedogsinagarden
    Hi Tammy, I felt like I was unpacking the box with you. It was fun to discover all the treasures inside, some I knew, a few I didn't. For instance, I didn't know that Northern Sea Oats took shade. Interesting! I think I recognize the Lespedeza 'Yakushima' from a garden I visited in spring. It is something I wouldn't mind adding to my own garden. I am not at all familiar with the Yellow Root or the Blue Mound Rue and look forward to hearing how they perform in your garden.

  14. Receiving a package of mail ordered plants is always so much fun isn't it? Looks like you have chosen some very nice once. I really like that you buy specific plants for caterpillars like the 'Blue Mound' rue. I am not at that point yet, but at least I planted salvia 'Black & Blue' and penstemon 'Pinacolada Violet' as food sources for the hummingbirds and bees. I also like that you support small family owned special nurseries! Happy gardening!

  15. oooh oooh oooh! Newly transplanted to z7, where it's safe to plant in fall, I'm trying not to get too greedy - unfortunately here in Raleigh a heckuva lot is available! Love your choices, esp that bush clover. Happy planting :)


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