Singing the Blues or Reaching for the Stars?

One reason to have a garden blog is to find other kindred spirits who will understand, support, and cheer you on through whatever phase of gardening you are in.

Earlier this week, I thought I was in the phase of gardening, at least for this year, when all the newly acquired plants purchased in May were planted up. "All" I had to do for the rest of the summer was water, weed, deadhead, repeat, water, weed, deadhead, repeat.

But then I stopped at a local garden center, looking for one plant, just one, to fill in where I had dug up the Five Leaf Aralia. Four days later, having visited three garden centers and one grocery story, I have aquired another dozen or 15 or so plants.

And I still haven't found the one plant I'm looking for.

Above is the latest purchase, some plants I found sitting in front of the local grocery story. The white and blue flowering plants are dwarf Delphnium, 'Summer Blues' and 'Summer Stars'.

By golly, even if I can't get those tall spires of Delphinium flowers to grow in my garden, maybe I can be successful with these little mounds of Delphiniums? Hope springs eternal in the garden. I never knew these dwarf Delphiniums even existed until yesterday.

The pink flowers are Phlox 'Swizzle'. I bought it because it was the only one, and I thought it needed a good home.

The good news is I've kept up with planting all my newly acquired plants, except for these three, which I will plant today.

The other good news is I still haven't found the plant I am looking for, so I have a good reason to stop at still more garden centers to try to find it.

Ah, summer. If we aren't singing the blues over the weather or just how things are turning out, we are reaching for the stars, buying up plants and trying to extend that planting season, hoping it doesn't turn all hot and dry too soon.

I'm reaching for the stars right now, how about you?


  1. A great post, Carol. We are always in one or the other. I bought more this week too, just heat lovers though.~~Dee

  2. I really need to get out there and buy some more plants. I really need to do that. I feel sorely lacking on bloom day when I have just a few things blooming.

  3. I never need an excuse to buy just one more plant. I figure I can always squeeze one, two, maybe three more in

  4. I thought I would take this summer easy and save up the money and energy I normally spend on my garden and just tend to what I already have - then I visited a few garden centers when I was particularly stressed out yesterday and have bought around 30 plants....21 of which I planted that afternoon. LOL - should never look at plants when I'm stressed - it is like going to the grocery store hungry - the thought of digging in the dirt and have more little plants to take care of is soothing. :)

  5. Carol- you crack me up. Honestly, I think my gardening experience is all the better from having started this blogging thing. I find I am not the only one out there who can't pull out, buys too many plants to ever plant, has seeds collected from here there and everywhere-should have left them to grow where they were! has the bugs and critters from hell, over waters, under waters and so on. I'm a happier gardener these days and now I have a good excuse to come in out of the garden!

  6. Right now most of the Texas gardeners are singing the blues but give us a few months! When the temps start dropping, we will indeed find ourselves re-energized and ready to reach for the stars. For now, we can enjoy gardening vicariously through you and the other more northerly bloggers!

  7. I was looking at plants just yesterday. I guess you could say I am looking at the stars right now. I hope a couple fall into my garden soon. I had a good bluezy whine the other day though.

  8. There is always room for just one more--even if you have to buy a container to put it in...

  9. I still have things waiting to be planted, one of which I moved to a larger pot while waiting to get rid of all the Yew hedge. I am singing the blues about my Spinach. While it was raining so much, the spinach bolted. Bye spinach.

  10. You know, I have come to think that visiting garden centers is much more interesting than walking around in a mall looking at stuff I couldn't care less about...

    Hello. My name is Nancy, and I'm a plantaholic.

    Problem with this addiction is that NO ONE really wants to give it up.....

    except, perhaps, the spouses that don't share the addiction. Tho, I've found that the spouses tend to be not only enablers, but become addicted themselves...

  11. I love the reason you got the Phlox! and it's pink, too!I still find myself buying plants...they go to the holding area till the fall!

    We are singing the blues over rain while I was on vacation....the garden looks so droopy, sigh!

  12. My Delphiniums didn't come back this year. It was a huge disappointment. It'll be interesting to see if the dwarf comes back for you.

  13. Well, we're a bit droopy down here in South--just the kind of hot, sultry nights for singin' the blues.

    However, I've been through enough Texas summers to now that this too will pass. And just as you northern gardeners huddle around inside at Christmas reading the seed catalogs, I use summer to plan and dream (and to do some of the larger garden bed preparation projects) so that I'm all ready for our best season ever: fall! I may be down but I still have stars in my eyes.

  14. Great job, Carol, getting all those new plants in the ground. I also had that goal this year, but am failing miserably. This year I decided to start a Daylily garden, but sort of put the cart before the horse. I have several new Daylilies, but no garden ready yet! Oh well, it will get done sometime.

    Those little Delphinium look so cute. I have grown very fond of the mini-versions of many perennials.

    I think this summer, I am reaching for the stars, but it is a much longer jump than anticipated.

  15. Cindy and MSS summed it up best for me. I look forward to Austin's fall gardening season. Until then, I'm enjoying hearing what you've bought at the nursery today.

  16. Although I spend more time reaching for the hose than reaching for the stars, Carol, I dragged my enabling husband off to the nursery over the weekend...can I help it if the nursery sent me a 50% off coupon?

    Those Delphinium are certainly unusual and full of flowers - Park Seeds' website says keep the ground around them cool with mulch and they'll bloom longer. I still love the idea of Delphiniums, but enjoy them in the annual form of Larkspur instead.

    Good hunting!

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  17. That's funny I was thinking the same thing... but this time of year is great to find a bargain or two, so I keep a look out. I've even mentally started planning my fall planting, LOL

  18. Dee/Reddirtramblings, we are a garden center owner's dream customers, we just can't stop buying plants!

    Sherry at the Zoo, yes, you need more plants. But where will you plant them, your beds are full of all the flowers I gave you divisions of!

    Perennial Gardener, Yes, that's the attitude, always room for one more, right?

    SuzyQ, That's a lot of stress, but at least you have something to show for your buying binge!

    Lancashire Rose (Jenny), What a nice comment! I always say there aren't enough "real" gardeners in our lives, so we go online to seek one another out. Now you can see why so many of us met in Austin this spring!

    Cindy, And I know you'll return the favor when it is all cold and snowy here, and you are out enjoying your garden.

    Lisa at Greenbow, We all sing the blues at times, but we know the stars are there to reach for anytime.

    Lisa in CA, That's right, a good container solves many a "where to plant it" problem.

    Mr. McGregor's Daughter, but now that the spinach is gone, you have room to plant something else, right?

    Nancy, Right, we really don't want to be cured.

    Gail, I hope you get some rain soon. I did think of you when I bought the phlox. You know your phlox!

    Robin's Nesting Place, I don't think delphiniums like the midwest. I don't know what it is... the cold, the heat, the soil?

    MSS @ Zanthan Gardens, I love that attitude. Yes, fall, you'll be gearing up and we'll be winding down.

    Debbie, We've all bought plants before we had places to plant them. Hang in there!

    Pam/digging, I can just imagine you on your cool porch, relaxing and reading and waiting for fall.

    Annie in Austin, thanks for the tip, I'll make sure these are well-mulched.

    Karen, Yes, lots of bargains right now. I hear Avon Gardens on the west side of Indy is having a rain sale. I wish I had time to go there.

    Thanks all for the comments!
    Carol, May Dreams Gardens


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