For me, working in a garden center and nursery is like being an alcoholic who works in a liquor store. The sauce is all around me and I can’t get enough!
Last summer, one of the enablers - ahem - associates that I work with set some scraggly looking hydrangeas near the area I work in. Right away I noticed them and inquired why they were placed there and not among all the other shrubs. “Well, we’re trying to move them. They’re on sale.” he said. Ahhh the “S” word, music to my ears… wait, doesn’t this guy know I have a problem? It was too late. Into a euphoric state I slipped and like a giddy coy teenager asked, “uh, how much?” He paused for a moment. “Twenty bucks, you can have them all for…” I don’t think he’d finished his answer before I was pulling up one of those little heavy duty garden carts, you know, the metal ones with the fat little tires. I got them all onto one cart and off we went. “Put ‘em on my house account!” I shouted as I wheeled them away, high on my latest fix.
Well, that’s only half the story. The damage was done. How could I keep this a secret? You can’t exactly hide eight hydrangeas or slip them into the garden without ‘anyone’ noticing. I would endure the wrath, again. I had no idea where they were going to go. In fact, I knew nothing going into this. Endless Summer? I’ve seen the ads but have never tried them. I know Michael Dirr and I know he has something to do with this line of plants. Couldn’t be all that bad right? I began to second guess my purchase while justifing that a $20 gamble wouldn’t be such a big loss. See a pattern here??
Into the backyard they went. Resigned to the fact that no matter how many trees I planted on the East side, it was going to be decades before there was any constant shade for my shade gardening passion. That side of the yard is plagued with nomadic shade. Maybe I needed to plant sun loving beds and borders until the canopies mature. That might hold me over. Yes, a dual addiction. That’s what I need. And so, into the sunny side they went.
Time will tell whether the $20 wager of this developing plantoholic will pay off or not. To hinge my bet, the plants were cut back hard so they could focus on root development, not endless blooming as they proclaim to do. I like to think that I hit rock bottom with these hydrangeas. The ill-considered transaction left me feeling uneasy. I’m working on restraining my compulsive plant purchasing behavior and limiting myself to specific plants for specific places. The good news is this; for now, I will forego the twelve-step program.
About these plants. Pink Annabelle Hydrangea, Bella Anna®