This is a photo I took at a public garden in Kansas. Note the size of the shrub - yes, that's one shrub to the left of those rocks. I planted one of those shrubs in our yard, using the advice in the catalog that said that at maturity it is a medium sized shrub that plays well with others. Or, something to that effect. Maybe ours won't grow that big. But still, that is not a medium shrub. It is a giant.
At this time of year, most of us are focused on the seeds and plants we can plant this coming spring. I have been ordering for at least a month and have a big order to call in next week.
T.C. CONNER'S GARDEN COLUMN
The Pittsburgh Post Gazette has a garden column by T. C. Conner today that we can all relate to.
Conner is unhappy about the unrealistic photographs in the catalogs and even used a magnifying glass to look for signs of normal garden wear: Bugs.
Conner also takes garden writers to task for suggesting that you/we go through the catalogs and plan for the year ahead because what you see you will not get.
Here is my favorite paragraph from the column, "My garden is not a dainty place, and I like it like that. Petals get torn, Japanese beetles munch here and there, and other bugs chew and leave telltale signs that they like my garden. This is how it should be. Bees, butterflies, birds, bugs and all kinds of other garden inhabitants make themselves known and sometimes even are photographed."
And, while you are catalog shopping, take a look at the ECHO site. I landed there while writing next week's garden column about all things Amaranth.
ECHO is a non-profit that sells everything from tropical fruit seeds to African kettle gourds.
This is a direct link to the US seed list if you want to take a look at what they have. There aren't many items in each category but there is something unique in every one.
And, if you have not looked at it yet, click on the Oklahoma Mesonet link to see the new water-wise software provided by a joint effort between Oklahoma State University and the University of Oklahoma.