Welcome to Barbee's Blog!
A Window On My World

This is not a daily blog.
Posts will be published on occasion and irregularly as I am able.
Some of these posts are from my web site The Garden At Crocker Croft.
Barbee's Little Shop Is the sales branch of my blog and web site. divider

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Newest and Best Gardening Tool

June 2006

I consider the www (World Wide Web) my very newest and best-ever gardening tool and accessory! It's replaced my cell phone as the top best tool. Have to admit, I do better with the computer than that cell phone: never have learned how to retrieve my messages on the thing.

How much I've learned right here in this chair before the computer! Hours and hours spent in front of the computer reading, learning, and communicating about plants with people all over the world. It's amazing how much one can do with THIS tool.

Spent January and February planning and ordering plants over the Internet - much planning and much ordering. A flurry of new catalogs arriving, led to many mysterious looking boxes appearing; for weeks, the "box man" came.

To: <info@selectseeds.com>
Sent: Wednesday, January 18, 2006 5:45 PM
Subject: catalog cover


I received your new 2006 "Select Seeds" catalog and immediately fell in love with the plant combination pictured on the cover. Please, what is that ravishingly beautiful plant in flower behind the poppy??

I looked all through your wonderful catalog, and those of others, trying to find something that looks like it, because that is the color scheme I am attempting to achieve in my garden. But, I found nothing that was even close. I thought perhaps it is a Baptisia or maybe a wisteria, but I've failed in my quest. Can you help me?

Sincerely, B........, Lexington, Kentucky

At 07:41 AM 1/19/2006

Good morning,
I can help you with the plant on the cover. It is not something we carry. It is Galega 'Lady Wilson'. I could only find one source for it.
It is:Joy Creek Nursery
Scappoose, OR.
Good luck!
(Name withheld by author.)
Select Seeds- Antique Flowers
180 Stickney Hill Rd
Union, CT 06076 USA
860-684-9310 phone

Reply to: Saw cover of...
"Thank You!!! Thank You!!! It's ordered, thanks to you. Oh, how I appreciate this.
Sincerely, B........"

(Gardening people are such nice people!)

I saw a photograph in "Horticulture" magazine of a lovely planting I wanted to duplicate. I managed to locate the owners in California via the Internet and we communicated back and forth a few times by e-mail. He identified plants for me and made some suggestions.

Two women in England, partners in a specialty nursery selling iris exclusively, turned out to be the only source of a dwarf bearded I was looking for. I had tracked down the hybridizer, a woman here in the states: hmmm, was it Ohio, Indiana, or Missouri, I forget which. But, she said green irises just don't sell in the USA and if one of hers isn't selling well after a few years, out they go. (I thought: Even if it has splashes of blue and bits of brown?!) She had no more stock of it; the little dwarf named "Sea Monster".

I checked with every business in the country I could think of that might still stock some. No luck. Last time I heard from the woman in England, she was waiting to hear from the American Embassy regarding necessary certification. She said everyone over there was busy getting ready for the Chelsea Flower Show.

July 2008

The women in England decided they didn't want to start shipping to the U.S. So that was the end of that. No 'Sea Monster' could be found.

Several months later, someone discovered my web site and read this post. She left the following message in my guest book:
"Are you still looking for Sea Monster?

I carry it below.

I enjoyed your site."

Snowpeak Iris and Daylilies
38956 Lacomb Dr
Lebanon, OR 97355

Now, see what I mean? Wonderful gardening tool!
And, a happy ending for this story.


Meadowview Thymes said...

That is a wonderful story! I read through it twice and laughed both times! Thanks for sharing--this made my day!

Muddy Boot Dreams said...

Aren't gardeners just the loveliest people. And being able to communicate with others that have the same passions, on the internet. This is a dream! Having all these gardening blogs together in one place is just great!


Anna said...

Wonderful set of events and so very well told--Thank you Barbee. Your post is a joy to read. I love your honesty and willingness to let the rest of us glimpse in to that creative mind of yours. Love it!

Steve said...

Barbee, you are a virtual Ellery Queen on the computer! Very good detective work and your persistence paid off handsomely - if, of course, you get the plant, lol.

The computer has become a severe source of education and joy to many of us, I believe. Just going through Blotanical's list of bloggers never - ever - fails to give me access to the brightest minds in gardening and the most thoughtful and interesting people.

Barbee' said...

meadowview thymes: (Texas, U.S.A.) What a wonder comment you left, you made my day!

Barbee' said...

Muddy Boot Dreams (British Columbia, Canada) I agree, totally!

Steve (Oregon, U.S.A.) Steve, I couldn't have said it better!

Brenda Jean said...

How COOL is that? But then again, I'd have to count you as one of the nicest gardeners I've met online so how could they resist helping you?

Barbee' said...

Brenda Jean (Michigan, U.S.A.) You make me blush!

Barbee' said...

Anna (North Carolina, U.S.A.), thank you, I am glad you enjoyed it. Thank you for stopping in and leaving your positive feedback. :)

peter donegan MI Hort said...

great post - i simply smiled the whole way through. genius.

Dee/reddirtramblings said...

Barbee, great post, and you are so right. I've learned so much and had more fun with my new computer tool than any of my others. Plus, I got to meet you.~~Dee

Barbee' said...

Peter Donegan MI Hort (Dublin, Ireland): Hi Peter, glad you enjoyed the read.

dee/reddirtramblings (Oklahoma, U.S.A.): Awww, Dee, you spoil me. Thank you for the positive feedback.

Norvona Jackson said...

B, you did it again! Fantastic post. Yes the computer IS a wonderful tool and as Dee (a fellow Okie) said, 'I got to meet you!'
Keep writing!

Barbee' said...

Norvona (Oklahoma, U.S.A.): Bless you! How good to hear from you! Thank you very, very much.

garden girl said...

Excellent post Barbee! I thoroughly enjoyed reading it, and can so relate.

I would definitely have to say the web is my best gardening tool too. It's something I've come to take for granted, and your post made me stop and think how much I depend on the web for everything in the garden, including tools, organic fertilizers and such, plants, seeds, information, and last but not least, getting to know so many wonderful fellow garden bloggers so willing to share what they know.

Barbee' said...

garden girl (Illinois, U.S.A.): Thank you, garden girl. Amazing when we stop to think about, isn't it?

Andrea said...

you're very quirky with a spice of pazaz! (I'm sure I spelled that wrong to some degree). I did your 'six things youdon't know about me' tagg and mentioned you in the journal for some good measure. Look forward to more postings!

Barbee' said...

Andrea (Ontario, Canada): Thank you... I think. I am so glad you took the challenge! :)

You should go to Andrea's blog and look for the mermaid, and previous painting projects of Andrea's.

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

You truly have optimized the use of this essential gardning tool! Gardeners are, as a whole, great people, & the internet is such a boon to connecting us. Used to be a gardeners greatest fear was deer or drought. Now it's that their internet connection will be down. Great stories.

Barbee' said...

Mr. McGregor's Daughter (Illinois, U.S.A.): Thank you, MMG. And, thank you for your input.

Anonymous said...

You are so right Barbie, what we we do without the internet. We would be helpless. The internet has introduced me to such nice people like you and everyone else that visits my blog or chit-chats with me on Blotanical. Plus I do most of my plant selection online! Great post.

Barbee' said...

Perennial Gardener (Virginia, U.S.A.): Thank you! It surely makes it easier to look up plants and see what they look like and read about the culture they need. I have a pretty good plants library, and I used to spend so much time looking through books to find all I could about a specific plant.

Jeanne said...

Hi Barbee... thank you for checking out my new blog. Definitely a work in progress but I have big plans for it! Your blog is great... a joy to read!

Philip Bewley said...

What a great post! You are so right that it is incredible how we can find plants from all over the world now. It is great to meet fellow gardens who are such nice people. just like you!

Barbee' said...

Jeanne (Louisiana, U.S.A.): Thank you, Jeanne, I appreciate your coming over to see me.

philip bewley (California, U.S.A.): Awww, Philip, same to you!

Wicked Gardener said...

I've found that blogging has especially improved my gardening. Knowing that people are expecting weekly updates makes me weed a bit longer.

Anne Fannie said...

Hello Barbee, I found your blog through another. I love gardening too and I am always looking for interesting gardening blogs.
I have to agree with you, I have gotten so much off of my computer for gardening. And now I am into blogland and I love looking at other's gardens, its so peaceful!
Love, Ann

Anonymous said...

How very true! As a fairly new blogger I've been amazed at the friendship, kindness and interest shown. For me, one of the best things about the Internet is how easy it is now to source really unusual plants, although it's s shame about your Iris Barbee. If you'd like to let me have the details I'll see if I have any luck getting some for you here in the UK.

Catherine Kenny said...

I agree. It's wonderful communicating with people whose eyes don't glaze over when you talk about plants! It's a shame about the Iris though Barbee. If you'd like me to try to source them for you here in the UK, let me have the details and I'll give it a try.

Barbee' said...

Anonymous (England) and Catherine Kenny (England): I agree. And, now that we have the www, I feel very spoilt. I think my ending of that post was too vague. I will go back and change it. You are the second reader to think I did not get Sea Monster. I did find a source (see last communication), and did order from her. Happy ending.

Anonymous said...

This is such a lovely story Barbee, and you are right - the internet is just one of the best gardening tools.
Is you keyboard covered with soil like mine is?

Barbee' said...

artistsgarden (Wales): Hi Karen, I don't know about yours, but my keyboard is quite grungy! :) If stuff starts growing out of it, then I will be worried.