Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A "Silver (and Gold") Lining in a Grey-Weather Weekend

This past weekend was cold, windy and grey... but in the middle of it all, there were moments of sparkle, smiles and a wide-eyed surprise that made me feel like a kid!  With the wind whipping rudely through my gardens, I remembered that I really, really needed to make a trip - to one of my favorite places- Platt Hill Nursery.  This was merely a parochial trip, strictly functional -- "pinky swear".

Last year I ignored a recommendation to protect my new Berry-Magic Royalty Holly ('Blue Prince'/'Blue Princess') with a anti-transpirant or anti-desiccant spray.  Holly faces due north and unprotected from the NW winter winds.  I lost quite a few leaves in spring - many turning black before they fell off!  (It was one of my treasured purchases - at Platt Hill in 2009 - and here I was, neglecting it when it counted most.)

Winter 2009
So determined not to make the mistake again, I made the pilgrimage there Sunday.  I strolled up to the front door - eying some really well done 'Holiday Green' arrangements artfully placed, tempting me before I even walked in.  (I had to start talking to myself ..."Keep on task, keep on task, keep on task!" ... this isn't spring.)  I walked up to a helpful clerk, trying to stay focused on my action item.  NOT easy - the entire store was a treasure trove of holiday temptation.  And then .... it hit me .... the view I could not refuse:

Come on in ... you know you want to!
WHO can say 'NO' to this?  I mean seriously?!!  Let's combine a garden hot house with the North Pole --- is this not a gardener's holiday paradise?  I took a quick pirouette around and knew I wanted to put up a post about this - so I went up to the front office to ask permission to take pictures.  I nervously asked a very generous manager if I could take pictures for my blog.  After explaining my intent, she very kindly consented.  

A tear came to my eye... just when I thought I had gotten this garden season out of my system, I saw these incredible Cyclamen and Amaryllis!  Somebody, stop me!!

There was some new discovery everywhere I looked....  I truly felt like a kid in a candy store!  You know that shiver of excitement when it's almost too much to take in?!   I couldn't believe my good fortune... starting a routine trip, and walking into 'Wonderland'.

The misters hummed away overhead, as I looked across a sea of Poinsettias.  It's almost like being in "Garden Santa's" workshop.  I stood in awe.

There were 'baby' poinsettias in clever holiday vases... how sweet?!  Come on, even the Grinch couldn't walk away from that.  (I want one!! ... ok, maybe more ... but I swear 5 is my limit.)

I was enamored with the red and white Cyclamen ... so crisp, so striking, so tempting.  Clever arrangements, brilliant layout - just drew your eye around the entire space.  

I don't mean to rush the holiday season.  If you knew me, you would know I don't normally even think past Thanksgiving until I get past it!  But this was too special and such a treat - on a cold, windy, cranky kind of day (after incredibly unseasonable warmth)!  Just looking at the pictures again - humbly shot with my little cell phone camera - makes me smile like I have a secret!  .... This time, I decided to share ....


  1. OK, so spill the beans! You neglected to say what you came home with!!! Was it really just a few photos ... or maybe one of those gorgeous Cyclamens? I would find it very, very hard to walk in and walk out without something that probably wasn't on the list.

  2. I'm with Bernie - what did you buy?! Apart from what you went there for, obviously... Though I have to admit I am no fan of Poinsettias. I'd rather have your holly!

  3. That may be the biggest garden center I have ever seen. Loved the Christmas display. Also, we all want to know, with all those many lovely choices... what did you choose.

  4. You all made me laugh out loud! I'm so transparent! Believe it or not, I walked away without -- but don't think it wasn't with great pain & agony?!! I hear the red & white cyclamen calling me back....... :-o

  5. I could not have left this place empty handed. What a great place to shop.

  6. A garden Santas workshop, for sure! And you didn't buy anything? If not, you are stronger than I! The red and white cyclamen is lovely, and I think i would have given in at that point.

  7. Those are tempting, though we haven't had Thanksgiving yet! Agree with Deb on those cyclamen!

  8. Shyrlene, Go for the red and white cyclamen; you won't regret it. Although I've never had any luck keeping poinsettia alive, and I have mixed results with amaryllis, the various pots of cyclamen I put for Christmas at one time or another just go on blooming year after year. I have a red one and a white one as well as a couple of pink ones, and I love them all. -Jean


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