Friday, December 31, 2010


"There is such a dearth of real gardening to be done now it even becomes satisfying to set out bowls of paper-white narcissus around the house-the single most predictable of all flower exercises, but saved from banality by their vigorous growth habit and reliable bloom. Amaryllis should be flowering as well to keep your senses piqued.

On bearable January days, it's a perfect time to appreciate the evergreens. What would winter be if not for them? I love the way the conifers gild themselves in a kind of burnished glow. The cedars, blue spruces, and all junipers are particularly impressive now as they stand up to Mama's most biting extremes. The Cryptomeria is to die for as it becomes more pendulous, besotted as it is with bronze berrylike cones dripping at the tip of each branch, as are the pines.

The red-twig dogwood planted two years ago as a fill-in at the entrance of the driveway is most engaging now with branches really truly red. I had read about it in some catalogs and then found a big old overgrown clump of it in the neighborhood peering out over the bleak winterscape, which convinced me some red-twig was needed to help get through these months."

Excerpted from DIRT The Lowdown on Gardening with Style
by Dianne Benson (page 161).

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Garden Peeping Stick is a treasure for the spring time…peering under the drooping bells of Fritillaria and hellebores…peering underneath the snowdrops to see all their markings…True Gardener’s Nirvana. 

Nothing worse than getting down on your knees in the soggy spring earth — and nothing chicer than being the only one with a Garden Peeping Stick

It makes a perfect stocking stuffer for those on your gardening gift list.

The Garden Peeping Stick is a treasure for the spring time…peering under the drooping bells of Fritillaria and hellebores…peering underneath the snowdrops to see all their markings…True Gardener’s Nirvana. 

Nothing worse than getting down on your knees in the soggy spring earth — and nothing chicer than being the only one with a Garden Peeping Stick

It makes a perfect stocking stuffer for those on your gardening gift list.

Friday, November 19, 2010

The bargain of the season, if not the century….  A mere $25 will get you the
Best Basic Little Black Gardeners Glove AND The Last-Forever,
Perfect-for-Everything  Stainless Steel Trowel.
 The ribbons and packaging are our gift to you, but there is a shipping charge.
If the stockings of every gardener on your list are stuffed thus…you are certain to be the Master Gift-Giving Gardener’s Hero…

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

RAKING - A Moss Rake

New Favorite Garden Chore is fluffing up and cleaning and greening the moss with a bamboo rake.…or at least right up there with Japanese maple pruning — (for me the paradigmal garden task and much easier since subscribing to SUKIYA LIVING --- the easy-to-read Japanese Gardening Journal with no-miss illustrations for pruning, setting stones all the things that look so easy but are really so hard)

I know it's not very Martha Stewartian, but I hate weeding (although there is sometimes a sense of accomplishment when the ground is damp). I like to plant bulbs, for me it's like painting pictures, but I hate getting an overgrown plant out of a plastic container….

And the thing I really hate is winding the hose back onto its reel; but I do very much like this raking of the moss.... (you can buy bamboo rakes on amazon)

Sunday, October 31, 2010


Dianne B is ahead of its time…. Our Chic French Rubber Panther Boots –have been available for more than a year…yet you would think that the fashion world had just discovered animal prints by the looks of every magazine. We have most sizes….they run a little small (typically French) so order one size up. You can find them on our website.

The Best @ Dianne B Fall Special…………I had only intended for this too-good-to-ignore occasion to last until September 30th…but since I am only getting around to this NewsLetter now, and as my bulbs are just arriving this week, and as there are loads of chores before me — upon second thought dear gardening friends, it seems only fair to extend this golden opportunity for a few more 25% off is a whopping good deal-- good until November 15th only for readers of DIRTIER...put in Code FBSPECIAL when the box pops up upon check-out.

And, if you're smart--you'll order your Christmas gifts early too.....

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


We are offering a Fall Special.
All items on our website are now 25% Off!
This offer won't last for long, so place your order today!
Use code FBSPECIAL when you place your order.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Dirt: The Lowdown on Growing a Garden with Style

It is never too early to start thinking about holiday gift giving.
Consider Dianne's book, Dirt: The Lowdown on Growing a Garden with Style, for all of the gardener's on your gift list. It is easily available on Amazon!

Friday, August 27, 2010

"Aaah, September. You begin to sniff a change in the air, see a variation in the quality of the light, and though much of the garden is still going strong, there is an imperceptible winding down and phasing out. This subtle waning reminds me of the frenzied Fall planting that will soon take place. The last thing wanted is to inadvertently unearth some sturdy grower now approaching dormancy but invaluable to the entire garden picture come Tour Day, so never has my perennial labeling been more meticulous. Knowing that the plants will all soon disappear, I get seriously down on all fours and check everything for a label, and wouldn't you know--there are at least twenty plants unmarked! No longer! They now all have their cozy metal markers sunk into the earth as close to their main growing stem as could be placed."

Excerpted from DIRT, The Lowdown on Growing a Garden with Style, by Dianne Benson (pg.149-150).

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Fashion's Night Out Official Collection


You don’t have to wait until September 10th!

Dianne is a member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, so here is your unique opportunity to buy your
Fashion’s Night Out tee-shirt without even going out:
Go to
Click on Contact Us & let us know in the
Comment section what you want:

Skinny ribbed cotton tank top S M L XL $20

Great heather grey smooth cotton long sleeve tunic S M L XL $30

We will confirm by email or phone.

This is the OFFICIAL COLLECTION Fashion’s Night Out — Sept. 10 2010 NYC

Get it from The Best at Dianne B as of today until supplies last (which won’t be very long).
$7.99 Shipping (and tax if you are in NY state) are additional.

Certainly, there is no other Garden Great web site that offers you the most coveted tee shirt in town. One more permutation of what Gardening with Style really means…

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Sign up for our Newsletter!

You can sign up for our newsletter version of DIRTIER and receive it in your in-box.
All you have to do is go to The Best @ Dianne B website and subscribe. It is full of interesting observations on the gardening life and of course, it is free!
Sign up today.....

Monday, August 16, 2010

Passion Flowers in bloom...

And, the fabulous white Passion Flower is the 'White Queen.'
Photo by Skye Marigold.

Passion Flowers in bloom...

This beautiful red Passion Flower is 'Lady Margaret'.

Passion Flowers in bloom...

On this day of days - every Passion Vine is flowering...this is the intensely frilly one 'Blue Eyed Susan'.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Dianne joins the H. Potter Knowledge blog as a monthly author...

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Don't miss the St. Luke's Lawn Fair on Saturday, August 7th!

St. Luke’s Episcopal Church will hold its annual lawn fair on the grounds of its beautiful historic stone church on Saturday, August 7th beginning at 10 a.m. Experience a local tradition that harkens back to another era: homemade gift items, freshly baked goods, hand-decorated ladies hats, flowers and plants, books, as well as items from the famous “Barn Bargains” rummage sale. Music will be provided by East End Brass. And there’s a sit-down luncheon at the “Side Lawn Café” from 11am to 2pm, as well as clams on the half shell, chowder, and beer on tap.

Kids will love the traditional games, rides and petting zoo – not to mention flavored ices, hot dogs, hamburgers, and cotton candy.

Click Here!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Longhouse Benefit

I wish that each and everyone of my friends could have shared this divine night - there was so much to appreciate...

Longhouse Benefit in the Wall Street Journal

Friday, July 16, 2010

Now this is EXOTICA! These strange and wonderful Madagascar palms as seen in Dennis Schrader's wonderful private collection and on view for one night only at the LongHouse Benefit - July 17 - more than just a tickle

That’s What They All Say

I bet there isn’t one gardener on earth who hasn’t uttered the words “But you should have seen it yesterday”….Well , that might be considered charming when there is still some remnant of the aforementioned show-stopper, but how about “Oh, you should have seen it two months ago” Do you think that will be of any satisfaction whatsoever to the Garden Conservancy contingent that comes to call on September 11.

It is July 15 and there is bloom on the Lespedeza! ….the Vitex is about to burst and the Beautyberries are already turning that wonderful cold-violet luminescent color……there will not be a thing to show them on September 11

Monday, July 12, 2010


or No Hot-Shot Show-Me-The-$ Gardens

A gardening month extraordinaire! Garden tour upon garden tour…public ones, private ones…I am left invigorated and if possible, even more dedicated…

The near and dear to my heart ARF Animal Rescue Fund Garden Tour of The Hamptons was woofier than ever. Not even one of the seven gardens was a See-How-Much-Money-I-Can-Spend garden or a "landscaper’s garden" — they were all real gardens made over time and with incredibly distinct personalities…I loved this one of John Stedila fashioned around an old fire house

June 22 Schrader 030

But the best woofy story was the realization of how the participants came together to make it a great day. Erika Shank, garden #2, sliced through her hand with a jack-saw on Memorial Day weekend. From elbow-up, she has been totally out of commission, so what could she do about dressing up her garden the week before hundreds of avid and hungry garden tourers were about to descend? Well, what Erika did was rely on her friends……Ngaere Macray, garden #3, and her band of angels to the rescue. Her garden looked beautiful, here is my friend Mary Busch in front of Erika’s lovingly sculpted hedges.

June 22 Schrader 017

Woof Woof Woof

And here is Lys with Eileen Catalano, garden #5, snacking on fresh delicious black-podded peas — one of the many delights of Eileen’s garden/farm where special teardrop birds nests hang in profusion to attract martens, bees buzz and a fabulous assortment of chickens provide food, fertilizer and a gigantic dose of personality.

June 22 Schrader 021

So what is happening?

My garden is about to burst with lilies, there are grapes ripening on the vinesand the vitex is filled with buds. And this is only the end ofJune.… and most unusual. Even more disturbing are the dry crackly leaves falling in droves from the London Plane and other Trees. What this means for my garden on September 11 (Garden Conservancy) I cannot say, but what does it mean for the planet? It is not good.

Monday, July 5, 2010


This extremely controversial matter has me flummoxed. There are those who contend — remove the seed pods — remove all seed pods. These deadheaders who believe in lopping off any bulging after-flower parts unless you plan to propagate are on the side of putting all the plant’s energy into flowering. In other words, not letting it go to seed. Well… I have no plans (or space or time and not much patience) to breed even my most beloved plants from seed but I Love the Seedpods. I love them on daffodils, I love them on Iris, and I especially love them on peonies.

Look at these fat velvety apparitions:

June 27 2010 006 3

June 27 2010 021 3

So, what to do? With these lovely tree peony seed pods.......... The seed pods are as enthralling— or maybe more so — than the flowers. In nature, of course, the seed pods don't get cut off – so unless someone can present me a good reason for decapitating them…I'd rather leave them... Though all good advice is welcome…

Monday, June 28, 2010

Final days for the Hearst Free Giveaway!

This is the last week for the Hearst Free Giveaway.

Enter today for your chance to win fabulous free gardening essentials!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Hearst Free Giveaway!

Enter the Hearst Giveaway to win free Garden Loafers or a Garden Shovel....just in time for Summer!

Click Here

Monday, June 14, 2010

Polysemous words like so “artistic” and “how did you think of that?” were bandied about… and lots of oohs and aahs were dispensed by the cultivated people who came out on a perfect spring day expecting to see beautiful things. The first arrival (waiting long before the appointed 10AM bell) struck just the right note: is that Cornus controversa she asked! ? ! Why Cornus controversa of all things…very impressive, but the Garden Conservancy audience is a sophisticated one, so it was not so astonishing. I have been trying to track this tree down ever since I saw it at the fabled Rosemary Verey’s Barnsley House in Gloucestershire.


Rosemary Verey’s old and magnificent Cornus conrtroversa Variegata

It felt wonderfully enlightened to have my Cornus kousa ‘Wolf Eyes’ mistaken for the very same tree and set just the right tone for the wonderful day…

June 20 09 049

Of course, the old deutzia in full bloom makes my graceful but puny ‘Wolf Eyes’ look more important than it is.

Other big hits of the Conservancy Garden Tour…………..May 1

May 1 2010 077

Clashy combo of purple (Black Parrot, Queen of the Night, Orange Favorite, Annie Schilders etc) and orange tulips brought out the spectrum of new growth nearby

May 1 2010 060

Mount Tacoma and Semper Maximus under glorious new growth of Japanese maple Acer palmatum dissectum ‘Red Select’

May 1 2010 066

Upright vining Fritillaria verticilata

May 1 2010 068

Breathtaking color play of new growth of various Japanese maples, Orange Dream, dissectum, lion's head and palmatum (or the full moon types)

April 26 2010-after WSJ 061

Melange of Osmanthus ‘Goshiki’, Petasites variegata, Arum italicum Winter White and one Jack in the Pulpit rising very early in the season just for the Garden Tour

April 26 2010-after WSJ 055

And, of course, everyone tittered over this because it is as close as one is likely to get to garden porn

Friday, June 11, 2010

The Best @ Dianne B and the Hearst Giveaway!

The Best @ Dianne B. is participating in a free giveaway with Hearst Magazines.
Click on the link below to participate:

Happy Gardening!

Friday, June 4, 2010

House Beautiful Give Away

Enter for your chance to win a free gardening gift!
The devotees of the Garden Conservancy have come and gone from this garden, every square inch of which had been lovingly and painstakingly considered for the May 1 anticipated Conservancy Open Day.  I like deadlines like Garden Tours and big parties and editorial crack-downs, so I fluffed and raked and puttered and planted and must admit that the vagaries of global warming made for a perfect day.  You just have to believe me that 24 hours later it was not that great.... the Silverstream tulips gave out…the puffed-up Muscari plumosa began to flop --- but usually you hear from a gardener "You should have seen it yesterday."  This is just the reverse and I've nothing to whine about...

The Southampton Press published a very nice story about me and the family and the garden: these pictures were taken mid-April,  two weeks before the garden tour.

SH Press Print story

Monday, March 22, 2010

Reading Tip

Just Kids is a wonderful story told in plain, sentimental, but the truest hip language you can imagine by Patti Smith. The NY Times raved on the cover of the book review a few weeks ago and I was so excited with its giddy reception because I feel like Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe are a part of my family - so huge an influence have they been on my life and subsequent style. I hadn't even though about garden - I only knew a tulip from a calla lily by virtue of those sexy Mapplethorpe flower images.

I'll never forget the feeling that came over me the first time I saw this image of Patti Smith in the NY Times

And this is a picture that Robert Mapplethorpe took of me a few years later.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Speaking of Garden Accessories

If you don't have acres of land nor rolling hills to perfectly situate the big deer, every garden can use the personalization of a little something. Often sculpture or furniture sounds too stiff -- or maybe even foreboding, if not unromantic. Too serious and formal, but if you think of your personal touches as accessories like you would a yellow pair of gloves or that favorite scarf that you brought back from Prague - then it is much easier to imbue your garden with your own personality. It can be anything, a peeling garden gate that leads to nowhere, shells you brought back from South Africa (or bought in Sag Harbor). A proper Japanese granite 2 ton basin, or a coveted decomposing concrete stool that attracts lichen and makes itself quite at home. Look around your house, your attic, your shed - be adventurous and never forget - to travel is to shop.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

A Deer I Can Love

Right now occupying a main exhibition space at MOMA is the amusement parkish, sloppily installed Tim Burton exhibit. I would skip it if I wee you, but the Edward Scissorhandsian bigger-than-life topiary deer Sculpture Garden is another story. Give me this deer, dear Lord, and keep all of the normal gallivanting, munching, tick-carrying creatures away.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

For a Different Exhilaration

Without question get yourself to lion Rock Farm in Sharon, Connecticut on May 15 and 16 for le plus ultra rare plant and garden antiques sale TRADE SECRETS ( My most discerning Friends, Geoffrey and John the imagination-packed impresarios of the high-taste home accessory collection Dransfield and Ross wouldn't miss this one for the world. They take great delight in jostling plant-hoarder Martha Stewart over the rarest Trillium and are utterly convinced that this is the show. And so if it turns them on, then I too have a great desire to be there....Just look at this Root Etagere from their latest collection of to-swoon-over confections.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

It's Spring Somewhere

If you have never been witness to one of the extravaganza European Flower Shows, well....then you just cannot imagine what Flower Power really is. If you are limited to, say, the Philadelphia Flower Show as your epitome of lavishness, then you must - sooner or later - take the leap and go beyond. Of course, because these totally over-the-top shows are in Europe - the big drawback is that you can't drag anything home through customs for your own garden and for that - i think i them just a little less.
This year there is the Floralies of Ghent which is in Flanders, which is the Dutch part of Belgium. Unless you are a Royal or have a special entree like we garden writers occasionally (rarely) do, April 17th marks the Opening Day. Breathtaking in its grandeur, the Floralies of Ghent occupies 44,000 square meters and for thous of you who are metrically challenged, let me just say that this is huge and the participants have centuries of flower-making grandeur to live up to ...unlike our Pilgrims and Founding Fathers/Mothers/Gardeners.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Blandishments Be Praised

I can now attest that people in Connecticut and Colorado, Oklahoma and Oregon read and regard the esteemed magazine Town & Country - not only with reverence but with action! Their great coverage of the The Best @ Dianne B in the March issue has roused all sorts of heretofore unknown-to-us people into thinking of spring - panting for Panther Boots, ordering shovels and wrapping themselves in Tool Belts. Horray!

I am thrilled for that very juicy bit of national PR but nor more appreciative of it than I am of the local papers near New London. Connecticut. A few weeks ago The Groton Times and the Mystic Times had this to say, "Who says you can't look smashing when you're flapping compost? In fact, Dianne B has made a second and perhaps third career out of doing just that. No frumpy Wellies or Crocs for this former Madison Avenue fashion maven turned Hamptons gardener. She knows how to pick out a mean shovel too......"

Plus there is a very busy blogger with a site full of exciting images and far-flung ideas with the enticing sub-title of GARDEN LUST. call The Best @ Dianne B "ground breaking" - all puns appreciated - as well as my latest "toe-dip" - a new expression to me...and charming.

My thanks to you all.

Friday, March 5, 2010

New Growth - Chartreuse

This is the other indescribable color impossible to capture in's not the ubiquitous 'Spring Green' of Hallmark (or should I say Jackie Lawson). It has incredible depth - is just a little bit funky and cannot be captured in fabrics or wall paint. Here it is embodies in one of the chicest plants - the incomparable Euphorbia myrsinites. I don't understand why everyone doesn't grow it as it has presence and style all the year long.

Where does fashion come into it? Well, everywhere really depending on your perception.....

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

New Growth - Maroon

The longed for colors of spring are mysterious and pallette-defying. I'd plant a million bulbs if I could....just to see those unlike-any-other-time colors peek through.

Actually maroon is a terrible description for such a a wonderful act of nature...the first signs of spring growth, whether jutting out like a little spur on some Japanese maples or the points of a new peony pushing up from the earth, are the antithesis of being stranded and sort of maroon suggests.

It's a vibrant, brilliant color with over tones of copper and bronze and undertones of rubies and currants. The spring darks are a different tone than that of the later summer growth---even the blackest of dark plants lack spring it's the color that glistens.

This little Iris is only one shade of the spectrum.

Monday, March 1, 2010


The very idea of spring and its many wonders should be apparent in the garden by now, but alas - it is once again blanketed in white and as ethereal as this impossible to grasp tulip. On the few days in between snow melts - spring thoughts are obscured by the hard, dry yet icy, cracked earth without even a snowdrop or such measly ones that they don't count. It is merely the occasional confluence of faith and few determined-to-flower hellebores faintly pushing their luminous buds upward -----that keeps hoe alive. Oooof that new growth....
It's not news that language associated with the garden fascinates me. Not only the botanical Latin that I am forever trying to master, but the insistent onomatopoeic reminders that spring is here...the throbbing of the little Iris reticulata struggling to unfurl, the pushing up of those indomitable daffodil clumps, buds breaking - almost crackling.....that's what I'm waiting for...

Words that echo sounds are wonderful...listen to this, or better to hear/feel it - say it aloud...

Here are cool mosses deep,
And through the moss the ivies creep,
And in the stream the long-leaved-flowers weep,
And from the craggy ledge the poppy hangs in sleep.

That's from the Song of the Lotos-Eaters by the ever-popular Victorian, Alfred Lord Tennyson. Even if I never succeed with a blue poppy - that Meconopsis is ever more elusive after so many tries - I cherish these sounds and adore the title of this poem.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Sweet Things to Do For Your Valentine

---or just for someone you really like and want to let them know... A friendly old book, The MacMillan Wild Flower Book, came to me in a beautiful gesture - unexpectedly from a great educator named Irene Tully who supports some of the same causes as I do, someone I'm happy to know but wouldn't necessarily think to bring a present to....but she thought of me. So, dig around in your heart - be as gestural , loving or corporate as you like...and think who you would like to bring a smile to on this Valentine's Day. Of course, the fabulous Dianne B Garden Gift Bag has been artfully repackaged as the perfect Valentine's Day SweetHeart gift....complete with a last-forever red red rose, and you comes with lots of LOVE.

The DB Yard Bag

Well, Christmas has brought with it a second coming for the great DB Yard Bag. The clever Matko Tomicic (of LongHouse fame) decided to give four Yard Bags as presents and happily reported a big grateful success for The Bag of a Thousand Uses
So, No need to be literal or punctilious about your Yard Bag: Itg looks empty and pristine now, but it is at its best when filled with everything from used Christmas wrapping to kindling and firewood, and it's especiallyhandyfor bringing old coats and extra bounties of groceries for your local food pantry.... The possibilities are endless and after all, spring and its endless clean-up are right around the corner...
and that;s when you really need it for gathering all those leaves, and wind-blown twigs and dried-up stalks...a home for your garden detritus

Who Is Joseph Lemper?

And how did he create this remarkable whiter than white Hellebore....I can't seem to uncover a thing about how he took this most rarified group of plants and came up with such a singular new one. I bought my first two years ago simply as an indoor Holiday flower around Thanksgiving, but when it started to shrivel along with everything else, I had a small inspiration: Oh it is supposed to be a hellebore after all - let's not toss this into the après-Christmas heap. So, I shoved it into the cold old ground right outside the kitchen door. A barren spot taken over by a stand of old lilacs where I can get nothing much to thrive. This year, at Thanksgiving, these profuse whiter-than-white flowers starting popping up non-stop in stark contrast to the cold dry earth around them. Well... as you might imagine I hied myself right back to Lynch's in Southampton and acquired a few more. They perked up the indoor holiday looks and now they too are in the cold cold ground, right in the same unhospitable spot (why mess with a good thing). Should these also thrive, having been tossed into ice-bound ground, then we will know next year that Mr. Lemper has stumbled upon a miracle.

Another Reason To Love Moss

Now just look at this charming creature. It is properly called a tardigrade, but also known as a slow-walker or a water-bear and guess where they have the extremely good sense to live... in mosses and lichens. I can't wait to pull out my gardening magnifying glass (well, I guess any ole magnifying glass will do, but a gardening one sounds better. Maybe The Best @ Dianne B. should come up with one) Or maybe it would be better to turn this cuddly thing into the next toy phenomena....seems so irresistible

Something Profoundly Special

Absolutely heart-stopping , totally unique and utterly romantic - look at this beyond charming birdbath.It only looks fairyland fragile, but the faux bois is actually concrete reinforced with steel - so it is meant to last in your copse forever. Don't you love the tentacle-splayed lattice that overhangs the bath on which the birds can perch? And for ease of exterior decorating, you can move it around because the round base allows it to your garden centerpiece can shift along with the season or even more importantly, your latest whim...Because it is one-of-a-kind and was created by master gardener and prolific (I am so envious) author Ken Druse, it is rightfully a little pricey. Do look on his website to see other great objects of his imagination or contact him directly,, to make the Sweetest Heart in Your Life also the garden happiest with one of his singular creations.

Another Buying Tip

Order soon for summer flowering bulbs. Most all of the bulb catalogues have a deal if you order early...(Van Bourgondien Nursery is even offering 50$ off till February 18, Brent and Becky 10% off with paid order by March 1) Shopping for summer flowering bulbs is much less harrowing than the vast assortment of spring flowering bulbs. And there's the extra bonus of planting them as the weather is warming up and the evenings are growing longer, instead of fending off 40 degrees with frost-bitten fingers and the dark hovering. And though there are many fewer delectables to choose from, and not all are exactly what you would call garden classics, there are some beauties. Do consult the blog for a big run-down on what I consider can't-live-withouts and others you should strictly avoid, like Asiatic lilies...

The Itch

The dirge of winter is beginning to press in and all those qualities that you like to discourage start mounting: itchiness, impatience, fresh air starvation... the very notion of renewal is yet nowhere to be seen. Not a snow drop in my yard.But in my mailbox, a most extraordinary Snowdrops catalogue, or rather a little pamphlet printed on quality paper, the kind Glenn Horowitz (the great rare book dealer) might use to catalogue the handwritten poems of Vita Sackville-West or sell manuscripts from the typewriter of Cormac McCarthy. Not only was the envelope hand-addressed in a flourish with real ink, but the photo on the front is even "tipped in." How can I resist couture snowdrops? I cannot.
I might have to settle for just a few 'named ones' and a few ordinaries because the prices are, well, extraordinary. From Van Engelen you can get 50 Galanthus nivalis 'Flore Pleno' for $28.75 --- as bulbs delivered in autumn to be planted then and bloom in spring. From The Temple Nursery, a Galanthus specialist extraordinaire, you will get 3 for $18; but your bulbs will arrive 'in the green' this spring freshly dug and in full-growth.I am used to shelling out $20 or $30 for one desired Jack-in-the-Pulpit, but $10, $30 - even $50 for one snowdrop is totally beyond my ken. I have found one described as eccentric for $7 each and I'll go for a few of those and maybe one or two things more. Really, I can't resist.The descriptions and the language of the 'How to Grow' part are ...really...priceless.
Niether phone nor email address, just the good old way, please send $3 for catalogueThe Temple NurseryBox 591Trumansburg, NY 14886