A gardener turning out to be a plant collector

I have constantly been a gardener — or at least as much again as I…

I have constantly been a gardener — or at least as much again as I can don’t forget. A lot more not long ago — say the last 20 a long time or so — I’ve been a plant collector. What does that indicate? If I drop in adore with a plant, I want to mature other vegetation relevant to it.

1 of the most obsessive collectors I at any time fulfilled was the late Invoice Countryman of Northfield, Vermont. When I interviewed him in the late ’90s, he told me that his sister sent him a peony. Even though he was in his 70s at the time and not a gardener, he planted it. It bloomed magnificently, and Invoice fell in adore with peonies. He resolved to increase each and every variety there is.

Countryman bought a chain noticed so he could clear his land to plant peonies. He purchased a bulldozer to eliminate the stumps and went to do the job. When I satisfied him, he had already planted some 300 sorts of peonies, even though he ongoing on, getting more types — most likely as quite a few as 600. He bought them, but primarily he just relished them. He was fairly the collector.

Henry has dozens of daylilies but doesn't consider himself a real collector of them.

I’m not just about so obsessive. I acquire peonies, I suppose. But Cindy and I have only 44 peonies. Primroses. Burnets. Persicarias. Wildlflowers. Willows. I have dozens of colors of daylilies, but never take into consideration myself a collector of them. They are just pleasant, dependable crops, but I really don’t need 1 of each kind. Thank goodness for that — there are hundreds of versions.  

The burnets are fairly a various team in the scientific group or genus, Sanguisorba. 1st, I bought the just one native to New England, Sanguisorba canadensis. It enjoys wetlands, so I planted it in a weedy, marshy spot in element sunshine/section shade. It thrived, sending flower spikes with bottlebrush bouquets 6 ft tall or much more. It blooms in late summer months or fall and can nevertheless be very in late Oct.

My complete preferred of these bouquets is just one termed Sanguisorba hakusenensis, or “Lilac Squirrel.” I observed it online and asked all my nearby back garden centers, to no avail. I finally ordered it from Digging Canine Nursery in California. I planted five modest crops last 12 months. They wintered over and are blooming now. The flowers are like pink squirrel tails hanging down from 18-inch flower stems. They make me smile — in particular with a title like that.

The burnet variety called

The littlest of the burnets I increase is a single termed S. officinalis, or “Very little Angel.” It tends to make a tidy clump of diminutive inexperienced leaves edged in white. Every leaf is just fifty percent an inch prolonged. The deep red catkin-like flowers are on 6-inch stems that lean or tumble over. Now, 5 several years given that I acquired it, the clump is about a foot across and just 3 inches tall.