The gates of freedom swing wide — summer vacation begins!

Yee Haw, this was the first day of summer vacation. Dan has some workshops Friday, Monday and Tuesday, and I have a few more reports to finish up, but we are officially done with the school year.

We celebrated by visiting some nurseries from the list in the current People Places and Plants magazine. Dan needed to make a quick trip to his school, so we decided to continue on to Rockport, Maine and visited Hoboken Gardens and Plants Unlimited.

Both places had good selections of well-cared for plants, annuals in 6 packs, perennials, and woody shrubs. I was especially impressed with Plants Unlimited, which had a huge selection, including some more unusual annuals, a great selection of native plants, and some gorgeous clay and pottery pots.

I am always dismayed when I visit locally-owned nurseries only to find a vast sea of impatiens, wave petunias, marigolds and the like, and the same old selection of dwarf Alberta spruce, Japanese barberry and Euonymus. These dime a dozen varieties can be found anywhere, especially the big box stores, where they are usually less expensive. That is just what delighted me about Plants Unlimited today – yes, the Euonymus and petunias were available for the unimaginative, but they also had the native plants mentioned above, and some interesting annuals such as the Hyacinth Bean Vine. I’ve read about the Hyacinth Bean Vine often, (supposedly it was a favorite of Thomas Jefferson at Monticello) but until today, have not grown it.

Yep, one came home with me today, as did a pot of variegated Society Garlic, Tulbaghia violacea, and from Hoboken Gardens, some gorgeous Begonia rex cv. Taurus Painted Leaf. The Society garlic will add good leaf texture to the silver garden and the begonias will look great in the big clay pots in the front of the house — and won’t be the same planter collection seen in the big box circular.

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