Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Flea Markets...Petrea volubilis and Serendipity

Now that I'm getting old (56 next month), I think I have the right to reminisce about things that used to be that I miss and that won't be coming back. Change is inevitable and I don't want to go backwards, but I do miss the passing of small, Mom-and-Pop, nurseries. The condition of the plants wasn't always great but each nursery had its own character and its own unique selection of plants. Every time you went into one of these businesses, you knew you would find, among the more mainstream choices, some odd unlikely plant that you probably wouldn't meet with anywhere else; they grew it because they liked it. I liked that.

Of course today you can go on-line and find scores of ridiculously obscure plants and I value that; indeed much of my work this week will be to plant material I acquired this way, but its not the same as driving by someplace you've never been, stopping, and finding a plant you had only read about, or maybe never even heard of. One of the good things about Florida is that a lot of people here care about plants; there are lot of "home nurseries" and you see some cool stuff.

But me, I live for Flea Markets. Yes they are acres of crap but here and there are jewels of individuality. At Webster Flea Market, one of the relatively larger Central Florida markets, I shop from three vendors and my current favorite is an older Chinese gentleman who always has some plant that knocks my socks off. This time it was this 3 gallon Petrea volubisis for $15! Wow.
It might not be hardy, but I will sure give it a try. What a color. And it blooms 4-5 times a year. And can grow to 40 feet. I will still check WalMart, a store I would never patronize in Maryland???? Hey they had a blooming Morea yesterday for $2.97!, but for the real good stuff....

No comments: