Friday, 22 January 2010

The Wish List

Spring is nearly here and the season of garden shows is fast approaching.  Many of us, and I include myself here, see such shows as an opportunity to purchase a new plant or two.  Whether they are sought after or impulsive buys is another matter entirely.

If you're anything like me you would have already experienced the "child in a sweet shop" moment when in a plant induced stupor you completely lose sight of what it is that you set out to buy.   The vast array of plants, colours, smells, and people have often all contributed to me leaving such a place with much more than intended and a lot of things I didn't really want or need, although in the moment this was not apparent.

This year I'm approaching it from a different angle.  I'm going to create a wish-list of plants and then seek them out while at shows and nurseries.  Anyone who spots me buying something that's not on the list will get a prize and believe me there's every chance this will happen.

The "live" list below shows some of the plants I'm hoping to find.  

Adonis amurensis 'Fukujukai'
Anemone leveillei
Arisaema sikokianum
Asarum splendens
Begonia rex 'Escargot'
Brunnera macrophylla 'Jack Frost'
Bulbine frutescens
Camellia sinensis
Cercidiphyllum japonicum 'Heronswood Globe'
Chamaecyparis lawsoniana 'Gnome'
Cornus canadense
Dichpogon fimbriatus (Chocolate Lily)
Equisetum camtschatcense
Gladiolus tristis
Iris foetidissima 'Citrina'
Iris rosenbachiana
Melissa officinalis (Lemon Balm)
Mentha x piperita f. citrata (Eau de Cologne)
Mentha x piperita f. citrata 'Chocolate' (Chocolate Mint)
Narcissus bulbocodium 'Pallidus'
Narcissus cantabricus
Nomocharis aperta
Oxalis tuberosa (Oca)
Podophyllum 'Kaleidoscope'
Ranunculus calandrinoides
Rosmarinus officinalis 'Boule' (Rosemary, prostrate form)
Salvia Elegans (Tangerine Sage)
Sarcococca confusa (Christmas Box)
Ugni molinae (Chilean Guava)


  1. I wholeheartedly support the plant wishlist concept! I have one on my site, and an even bigger one with lots of stuff I haven't transferred to my site I made with the tagging function on

    The only trouble I've found is when your wishlist far, far exceeds anything you might possibly afford or have room for... But then this is about wishing.

    And with that, I have to run -- I have to add some plants on your wishlist to my wishlist. ;-)

  2. I like your new header. I mentioned the same thing in my post about sticking to the list! It is hard to do.

  3. Cercidiphyllum 'H.G.' is on my list, too. Only problem is, if I find it at the Seattle show, just how am I going to tote it on the plane home? No doubt I'll buy too many lily bulbs, I do every time. They're easier to bring on the plane....

    Christine in Alaska

  4. Helping me with my latin,thank you. Good idea,nice to see Lemon balm there. I am growing the plant from seed this year,happy to send you one.

  5. I have had this approach to Malvern shows the last couple of years. Last spring show I had Anna of Green Tapestry helping me look everywhere for a certain grass. You can also often get an advance list of what nurseries will be at shows and then check out their websites and if they have the plant you want ask them to bring it with them as they dont always bring everything in their stock

  6. Hmmm, I bet you still come away with more impulse buys than buys from your wish list. It's so hard to resist a plant you hadn't considered for that awkward patch in the corner, or a plant which will go well with the other that's just been planted. Good luck, I think you'll need it.

  7. Hmm, I've always considered the list merely a guideline. Perhaps that's where I've gone wrong...can't resist the impulse buying.

  8. I loved this peek into your longings and desires, Ryan! This is a very good and organized approach, and does help when visiting plant sales and nurseries to have something specific in mind while perusing. Remembering what is on the list can be a problem, but looking at tags and having the Aha! moment when you find one is so gratifying. Of course you will buy others that you didn't know you needed until you see it, that's part of the fun of collecting. For me, finding the right spot for planting is the problem, usually just plopping it in an empty space. We have also found that all empty spaces are actually planted with something that is dormant, like bulbs or spring ephemerals. :-)

  9. Hmmmmmmmmmmm, very commendable but seriously boring. There is nothing like having pots of impulse buys hanging around for ages 'cos you haven't got anywhere to put them!

    I ought to look see if my sarcococca has any babies - if it has you could have a teeny tiny!

  10. Thanks for the comments!

    Like I said this is a live document which will change regularly and it is definitely growing! The list will get much bigger, probably until I have listed every plant I don't own already.

    RHS Student and Ms B: The offers of seedlings is much appreciated and I'm happy to swap plants.

    Any suggestions on plants to add to the list?


  11. Dear Ryan, I have read your posting with much interest and admire your infectious enthusiasm.

    I am sure that you will probably not stick to any list - which of us ever does? - but if you are simply to select one plant, then Gladiolus tristis would be a lovely choice. Late to flower and hauntingly beautiful.

    Do you grow hellebores? They are, in my view, one of the mainstays of a spring border. Good luck with all of your plans and ideas. I shall return to see how you are progressing.

  12. Hi Ryan -
    Thanks for supporting my blogs - really pleased that you like them. I suppose I have a wishlist in my head, but it is usually forgotten at critical times and I find myself with something else instead. Have to say I'd give the Melissa a miss - a bit of a thug in my experience, and a rankness in the lemon scent that I dislike; I much prefer the Lemon verbena (Aloysia triphylla)for elegance of habit and clarity of perfume, but each to his own!


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