Sunday, 17 May 2009

Rare Plant Sale

When I see the words 'Rare Plant Sale' my heart skips a beat, my palms get sweaty and my adrenaline is pumping.  I am aware of how strange that sounds but I'm just being honest.

Today was no exception. 

I was hoping to pick up some unnamed beauty from some far flung corner of the world.  Maybe a long lost treasure that has recently been rediscovered and propagated in small numbers.  But it was not to be.  Apparently the words 'Rare Plant Sale' now actually mean 'Not everything here will be at your local garden centre but in fact most are commercially available in large numbers if you look hard enough'.  It doesn't quite live up to the brief but I guess it dragged me in and when it comes to any kind of plant sale I'm like a kid in a sweet shop.  Eyes on stalks and wallet wide open.

I bought Cirsium rivulare 'Atropurpureum' (above) which I have been after for a little while.  It's a good strong looking plant and is great for beneficial insects.

Right is my impulse buy, Dodecatheon jeffreyi 'Sierra Shootingstar'.  I have been debating with myself, out loud in private and in my head, whether or not to buy one and in my frenzy I gave in.  It was cheap and I couldn't resist.

And a good day was had by all!

The initial picture above is of a great unkown Azalea next to a mossy Silver Birch.


  1. I love plant sales of any description. There's one in the village hall this week so I'll just have to pop in!

  2. Fabulous plants Ryan, I would have been delighted to get my hands on them. I love the colours.

  3. Is that a new photo at the top of your blog? Maybe not, I'm very dopey, but it looks stunning anyway. And I love the azalea and silver birch too - I can somehow feel the colours in it. Can't say I "get" either of the two plants you bought, but if we all had them in the front garden they wouldn't be remotely rare!

  4. Thanks for the comments!

    EB: The blog banner is new yes. I took the picture at the RHS spring show in Cardiff this year.

    As for the plants I guess it's a matter of personal taste, although I must say that the Cirsium looks great in a mixed border! Definitely a grower.

    I've recently discussed my passion for individuality in a guest blog I wrote for Fine Gardening Magazine in the US. Here is the link:


  5. Love the new banner photo! I like the Atropurpureum, great choice. I finally got a chance to read your article on fine gardening magazine and thought it was a great story and I enjoyed reading it.

  6. Love the Dodecatheon, there's nothing cheap about her!! New header is fab, reminds me that I must work on my blog!!
    As far as these plants being included in a rare plant sale I would agree; most of the general public have little or no choice in the multiple 'garden outlets'and it's pleasing to know that there are plant lovers trying to educate others...

  7. I'm just the same but you are right 'rareplant' just means that they are plants that you dont get in the normal garden centre. I like your second purhase I was looking at those at Malvern show.

    I like your new banner as well

  8. I know that feeling well Ryan :) Sadly rare, exclusive and new are words often overused when it comes to plants. Like both your purchases especially the cirsium. My hands have gravitated towards that a few times at plant sales - I am not sure how I have resisted :)

  9. It's not nice to title a thread Rare Plant sale unless you are actually having a rare plant sale. *Stacy wipes drool off chin and puts away credit card.*

  10. Hi there Ryan, I so know what you mean. These signs are like bees to honey. Yep... and had the heart skip a beat too!

    Loved the first shot and I know you (and the bees) will love that cirsium. I have it in my garden too and have managed to spread it around by dividing it.

    Just popped by to say thanks so much for faving my blog on Blotanical. Its been a while since I've been by. I see you have been quite active in the short time you've been there. I am delighted to discover your blog now too and will take more time to have a look around soon. All the best :-D

  11. I have three of the shooting stars, two are new this year. The first one came back but didn't bloom this year. Perhaps in a couple of years.......

  12. I wish I knew more about the 2 plants you picked up; I don't think I've ever seen them. I need to get out more! The azalea you show looks exactly like several I have in my yard. But, I have no idea what variety they are; most were here when we moved here, and the ones I put in myself I didn't save the tags for;-( [[I know, 30 lashes with an azalea branch]] ;-0

  13. I really like the photo of the azalea, moss and silver birch.

  14. Hi Ryan

    Do you live in Swansea? I lived there for my first 18 years. My favourite public gardens ever are Clyne Castle Gardens not because they have great planting schemes or anything but because they had an air of excitement and mystery I loved when I was a child - plus loads of gunneras as I remember. Sorry change of subject from your blog post but I was curious..


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