greentapestry : The Magic Box

Thursday, 23 April 2009

The Magic Box

Back in September I fell in a big way for a plant at The Picton Garden near Malvern in Worcestershire. The plant in question was Aster 'Photograph'. Of course I made a beeline for the adjacent well stocked nursery only to be disappointed. The plant was not sale at the time mainly because it is difficult to propagate. I was advised to try again in the future . It is a bit far for me to call in regularly so I made a note of the name and put it to the back of my mind.

Then earlier this year I was browsing through a catalogue of a nursery which had come through the post and behold there was my plant ! The nursery in question is the Elizabeth MacGregor Nursery in Ellenbank, Scotland. I do not often buy plants by mail order much preferring to see them in the flesh first as it were, but I have ordered from this nursery before and have always been delighted with the service, quality and the way the plants are packed. I had resolved not to make an order this year but once my aster leapt out at me from the pages, I had to make a sacrifice and order the minimum order of six plants. Yesterday I got an email to say that they were making their way over the border. They arrived today and are now sitting outside the greenhouse recovering from their journey.

I did not place my order until the beginning of April, so the plants are at a more developed stage than I have had in the past, when I have ordered earlier in the year. They say that if you buy perennial plants that have been raised in a more northerly latitude than your own garden that they should thrive.

So as from today my latest residents are :

Aster 'Photograph' - the yearned for plant.
Clematis 'Buckland Beauty' - bought one before from another source but turned out to be a case of mistaken identity.
Phlox paniculata 'Blue Paradise' - for perfume
Hemorocallis' Bella Lugosi' - want to try some day lilies.
Lythrum salicaria 'Blush' - saw at Southport Flower Show and liked.
Ranunculus aconitifolius flore pleno - pretty spring flowering white buttons and so much easier to remember by its common name of 'Fair Maids of France'. Have had this growing before but it disappeared.

Now where to put them them - that's the question !


  1. I am rather fond of asters myself. we will be looking forward to seeing your new one in bloom.

  2. Anna:
    I too have a fondness for Asters - my favourite is A.'Little Carlow' and was equally difficult to locate in commerce! I absolutely adore Ranunculus aconitifolius 'Flore Plena'.... what Fair Maids they are indeed. I have passed three times now but think I need to search out a location for one, or two! Hope your new aquisitions are happy - I too just got a delivery. Have to admit this isn't my favourite was of choosing plants either! Supposedly pink suddenly morph into butter yellow..... hmmmmm! Hope you and the garden are well. Take care

  3. I wish there were room in the back of mind to store ideas. I actually have to keep my wish list on my computer! It is indeed hard to figure out where to plant things; only a few days ago, it dawned on me where more tomatoes can go and today I figured out where to put an unexpected clematis (from my mom). I have a ton of shrubs I'd love to buy, too!

  4. Although, like you, I prefer to buy 'as seen, there's a certain joy to opening up a parcel of such delights. Looking forward to seeing them all in bloom.
    P x

  5. One of the great by-products of buying mail order plants are the newspapers often used to wrap the plants. How else would one ever see local papers from far flung corners of the country?

  6. Ha We all do it by such treasures and then where to go but always there's another place to squeeze some more in.

    The Asters are lovely and something I would like to grow more of.

  7. Ah...the now I've got them, where shall I put them moment! Always a problem but it never stops us buying plants :-)

  8. Thanks Keewee - will hopefully post a comment in due course :)

    'Little Carlow' is lovely too Teza and easy to find over here. Sorry to hear about the mix up with your delivery. You must have been disappointed.

    There's no stopping us is there Monica - you can always find some room somewhere !

    Yes Pam it's always a pleasurable experience opening up such a delivery. I am really looking forward to seeing them in flower later this year and will try to remember to post photos when they open.

    Hello and welcome James A-S and thanks for your most astute comment :) They were wrapped in a combination of the 'The Sunday Times' supplement as well as the gloriously named 'Dunoon Observer and Argyllshire Standard'. Unfortunately the latter was rather soggy or otherwise I would have had a good read.

    Thanks for your comment Joanne :)

    I am fortunate enough to have a large cold frame EasyGardener so I can pause a while whilst I think about the where to put them issue. One year later .... :)

    I am glad to know that I am in good company Wendy !


All your comments are much appreciated and treasured. I wil try to reply to everyone who leaves a comment, but it may take me a few days, especially when I start spending more time in the garden and at the lottie. I know that you will understand :) I am sure that I will also visit your blog if I have not already done so. If you have any specific questions I will either reply to them here or you can email me at :


- Anna.