One of my greatest friends and I went to the biannual Hardy Plant Society sale today. It was a small adventure in the best sense. We have a great time when we do these type of outings because of the fun of the search and the wonderful conversations in the process. We catch up, we laugh alot and after 25 years of knowing each other, we can get philosophical, in the way friends who've known each other that long only can. We were talking about the world and how it's so full of bad things (think Bush administration to start) but also how full it is of good things too. And how, as we get older, we find ourselves choosing to focus on the good where we can. Literally choosing. Not in a pollyanna, "everythings good and nothing is bad in the world" kind of way, but rather as a kind of lean, to the places that bring happiness where we have the choice. I told him about how this blog was that for me. A place where I can go that has a collection of the things I love and care about. And then he told me about how he and his wife, after reading my blog, were trying to buy a piece of art from one of the artists I'd blogged about a few weeks ago. Which made me so happy! That the good of doing this (for myself) will translate into the good of my wonderful friends getting a piece of art from a terrific artist they might never have heard about otherwise. Good begat good. How cool is that!
But I transgress. Back to the Hearty Plant Society sale. My friend and I go to almost every sale they have, searching for a special variety of some plant we know and love or on the rarest of occasions, discovering something we've never seen before. It's not that either of us need any more plants but the lure of the possibility of some wonderful find keeps us coming back each time. And today was such a day, with both discovery and a rare find. On the ground at the Edelweiss Perennial's booth, almost under the table, was a dark purple foliaged clematis called Midnight Mascarade whose white flowers will hopefully bloom happily this summer in my garden. In truth, I really don't care about the flowers that much. It was the dark purple foliage on a clematis that convinced me to drop the big bucks (ok, it was only $30, but compared to our other finds, it was tres expensive). I have a prime spot for it and I can't wait to see how it will do.
Other than the exotic clematis I got a couple of Euphorbia Red Wing, which is a variety I don't have but my friend does and he highly recommended them. He got a couple of amazing Soloman's Seals as well as a wonderful hardy geranium whose name I forget but whose small, dark purple flowers will be great next to his Heuchera. I also picked up a few Verbascum Violetta and a couple of Primula x pubescens, which is a new variety for me. I love primula's because they are so reliable, coming back year after year, at a time when you are just about to give up hope for winter to ever end.