Don't be fooled. Inside this thin coating of sweetness is a fiery core of total insanity.

Monday, May 2, 2011

My Weekend -- Another Plant Sale, And Planted My Tomatoes

On Sunday, I went to another plant sale -- The Florabundance Plant Sale for the Arboretum Foundation. What an awesome sale. There were more vendors there than I've seen at any other sale I've been to this Spring. I found a couple of things on my want list, as well as a few others that struck my fancy.

Clockwise -- two western maidenhair ferns, two Sedum spathulifolium 'Carnea', Sedum makinoi 'Ogon', three pots of Cornus canadensis, and Garrya issaquahensis (a shrub)

Clockwise -- Cimicifuga ramosa 'Brunette', Filipendula ulmaria 'Aurea', Geum rivale, two Athyrium nipponicum 'Pictum'

I am planning to put the Cimicifuga, Filipendula and Athyrium together as a companion planting in one bed, in semi-shade. I think all the intersting foliage will look together. I've been looking for western maidenhair fern for a while now, all I can find at the nursery is Himalayan maidenhair. They are going into the shady part of the mostly native bed. I'm not sure where the two types of sedum will go, but I want to plant them together, another nice foliage contrast. I'll probably grow the shrub start on for a while in its pot, and then plant it in the Fall, so it can have lots of our Fall rains to help it establish. The Cornus canadensis is going into the back of the waterfall, planted amongst the sword ferns, native ginger, and fringecups. I'm not sure where the Geum is going, but I just loved its delicate dancing flowers.

The weather on Sunday, May 1, was just wonderful -- warm and sunny. After the sale, I planted my indeterminate tomatoes into the raised bed with the hoophouse over it. I cut circles about a foot wide out of the red plastic mulch, and dug way down. Took a lot of the lower branches off each one, so I could plant them deep, to encourage roots along the buried stem. I had read on the blog Grow Better Veggies, about putting a lot of amendments into the hole, so I thought I would try that, in hopes of actually getting some ripe, healthy tomatoes this year. The only thing on their list that I couldn't get my hands on was the fish heads, but I gave them each a drink of diluted fish emulsion once they were planted. Everything else I found on Amazon, I can never find this kind of stuff at the local nursery.

Into each hole, I put a handful of worm castings, a few tablespoons of bone meal, a pinch of mycorrhizae, and a couple of tablespoons of ground eggshells mixed with aspirin. (I've been saving my eggshells for a while). I  have some organic Dr. Earth fertilizer, but I forgot to put that in, so I'm going to give them a couple of days and then give them some fertilizer. Or I might just give them some kelp. Or maybe both.

In other news, my Rodgersia and my Astilboides tabularis have finally shown up!

 Rodgersia, looking very dirty


It was a very satisfying weekend!


  1. You found some more great plants! I wish I would've been able to make a plant sale, they seem to be coinciding with my daughter's lacrosse games.
    I'm hoping my tomatoes live long enough to get planted outside. I started them so long ago and it seems like it'll never be warm enough to put them out. Maybe next year we'll have some type of hoophouse so I can get started earlier.

  2. Ahhhhhhhhhh, plant sale time of year. There is nothing better. Seeing your purchases has me all fired up for our native plant sale this weekend. I find myself more and more interested in sedums so curious to see how your's work out for you. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Once again you appear to have had a rewarding and enjoyable time at a plant sale. You found some lovely new specimens. The maidenhair is completely different from ours! Your tomatoes look good all planted out. They will surely reward you with all the extras you gave them. It was like a banquet!

  4. Allison, what a wonderful selection of plants you chose, I adore Maidenhair ferns and though they are supposedly native to Wisconsin, it took me years to find some to purchase. Now that I've had them for about five years, they are growing beautifully and I've actually split a few clumps to put here and there. I love them for their black stems and their delicate but tough-as-nails appearance. And the fact they do not spread by rhizomes.

    The sedums look amazing too, I cannot grow 'Ogon' as a perennial, but that doesn't stop me from coveting it. Your greenhouse looks like it's working out great, your tomatoes should certainly be happy after all your TLC!

  5. It was a wonderful, satisfying weekend, wasn't it? I loved the weather too. Your newbie plants look interesting and fun. I can't keep the Geum alive. I hope yours does better than mine.

  6. Your tomatoes look so cozy! I love the sedums. I'm glad you got to get your hands dirty. Thanks for sitting on my porch for a bit. Always nice to see you swung by.

  7. Those are going to be some really happy, well fed tomatoes!! Wow.
    Love the ferns ...I am looking into getting more.

  8. Great plant picks!!! I agree...the native Maidenhair Fern is a stunner...such wonderful, delicate foliage...yet such a tough plant! I keep wanting to get one of those Cimicifuga, but just don't have a good spot for it...I'll just have to keep looking ;-)

  9. It's still a bit too early for my tomatoes to go in yet, and we may have to wait even later this year because it's just so darned chilly and wet! Our summers have been bone dry the last few years, so I rarely complain about the rain until this year. Enough!

  10. Love your plant sale finds.I've been wanting some Cornus canadensis myself since I saw it at the NWFGS, but I don't think I have ideal conditions to grow it. It sounds like your waterfall area is just the place.

    Tomatoes are so good, and you are a great tomato mother, using all those amendments. I'll look forward to hearing how well they do!!

  11. What great plants you selected! FlorAbundance seems to have an incredible number of wonderful vendors and some very unusual plants for sale--I went on Saturday and found some plants on my 'wish list'.
    Your tomatoes look very happy, all tucked in with red plastic, a warm shelter from the weather, and lots of good stuff to grow on. You did a lot of work, and it will be sure to pay off!

  12. Look at all those nice plants! You should get some good tomatoes after giving them so much love. I don't think I've heard of the last two plants, either. I look forward to seeing what they look like as they grow.


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