Last Friday, a friend with a car (THANK YOU JOHN, I hearby bequeath my first born to you. The cat is also an option.) drove Davin, myself, and another friend on a field trip to Richters Herbs about an hour outside Toronto, in Goodwood, Ontario. The goal was to enjoy some greenery, buy some herbs to use as table decor for my forthcoming book launch party (more on that soon), and of course, get a few plants for myself while we were at it.
The goal was not to get loud and obnoxious on caffeine, plant oxygen, and a half glass of wine… but I did that too. You can’t take me anywhere.
Here’s the outside. Look they got the fancy log reindeer out just for us! No, not really. We are not special.
The entire operation is made of of several greenhouses but only one was set up for retail. It consists of three aisles with four long tables of plants. Since it’s winter, the place wasn’t as stocked as I imagine it will be come spring, which is just as well since it was difficult enough to make a selection and avoid overspending. Here I am pondering what to buy for the launch party. I think you’ll like my choices. And if you hang around long enough, you’ll get to take one home. It pays to be a party hanger-on.
There was much agonizing over plants and purchases. We look absolutely tortured, but I’d imagine that what Davin has actually captured here is a blissful moment of total plant geekery. This is what my face looks like when I am having fun and in my element. For the record, I did buy the plant Barry and I are so painfully considering: curly chives (Allium spirale).
An outwardly brighter moment captured holding my most favourite acquisition of the day: Pregnant Onion (Ornithogalum caudatum).
A lot of the garden decor for sale wasn’t really to my taste. Like this pig planter made of straw. I don’t get it. Don’t try to explain it to me. I don’t want to know. Okay, yes, I get that the plant in the ceramic part of the planter is Pig’s Ears. Funny. Har. Gardeners are WACKY! And sometimes have horribly bad taste. Regardless, none of this matters in the end since I was there for the plants — garden decor didn’t factor into my fantasy land vision of the place prior to the trip.
Speaking of Pig’s Ears (Cotyledon orbiculata)… why didn’t I get one? So much regret. According to the catalogue, Pig’s Ears is a succulent from South Africa that is used as remedy for warts. I don’t have a wart problem at this time, but I like the idea that should I develop one, an herbal remedy would be at the ready. Emergency preparedness is paramount.
Turns out there was a thing or two that did catch my fancy. I bought the misshapen black pot in the middle for $8 (the pregnant onion is now happily potted up in it), but did not notice that tin garden sign until I looked at these photos. I can’t stop wondering how much it cost. Best not to know.
I’ve recently rekindled a desire to collect scented geraniums (pelargoniums). It wasn’t long ago that I managed to get rid of most of the plants I had for want of space. It was a tough choice but I ended up with three new plants on this trip: ‘Mabel Grey’, ‘Fair Ellen’, and the ever-so-velvety leaved ‘Peppermint’. Barry bought a few as well so I think I’ll be taking some cuttings from him in about six months. You know, if he doesn’t mind. And just as soon as I can find some space!
Scented geraniums are some of the easiest plants to propagate from cuttings so it’s worth splitting an order with a friend if you can wait for the plants to grow a bit before making more.
I’m super excited about growing ‘Lemon Mint’ marigold. It really is quite lemony! A bit more intense in flavour than the ‘Lemon Gem’ marigold, I’d say. The plant is obviously bigger and less delicate, and the flowers are larger too. I had hoped for seeds but this one only came as a plant so I bought one and am now faced with the challenge of keeping it small and compact until it can make the migration outside for the summer.
Other plants I bought but did not photograph:
- Sweet Pink – A dianthus with edible flowers that have a sweet, clove-like smell.
- Variegated Pepper Mint – So far it looks like a nice low-trailing plant, but you never really know until it gets in the garden. I like the creamy variegation in this one.
- Anise Verbena (Lippa alba): I haven’t even looked this one up yet, but I’m imagining a tender shrub similar to lemon verbena, although the leaves are a bit wider. It has a deliciously sweet anise scent that I couldn’t resist.
I’m sure many of these plants will be making an appearance in the Daily Botanical a few months down the road once I’ve had a chance to have some growing time with them.