Friday, October 22, 2010

Computers don't have a lick of common sense

Another truckload of plants for the Sunday installation. There are two Hydrangea macrophylla selections in the bed just behind the cab. If you buy two, as I did, they cost 35 dollars each. If you add a third, the total cost for all three is 60 dollars. Wow. I did read the sign that said 3 for 60$. I wouln't have assumed necessarily that I could buy one for 20$, but it seems just wrong to charge more than 60$ for fewer than three plants. I mean if the customer, that would be me, is dumb enough to not take the third plant, fine. But......oh never mind. I eventually went back, took a third plant, and got my 15$. Oh my.

This load came from Homestead Gardens; they had bigger discounts on their perennials than Behnke's though their selection was much smaller. I got a few nice things there. As the plants accumulate, I can visualize what the planting will look like. Doing the shopping myself gives me a chance to add a few items. When you're doing a design you have to decide whether to use material that may be difficult for the client or a landscape contractor to come by. There are many plants I love and would use far more often if I though they would be available; Paw paws, Pachysandra procumbens, all manner of Acanthus, I could go on forever or at least for a page or so. Making this decision depends on the client. If I think the choice matters enough, I'll make 'em look for it. More often though, I move on to something more common.

Today I happened upon some nice pots of Acanthus mollis 'Morning Candle'; they were ridiculously low priced at ? 6 dollars so I added three to the design. This selection was named because it flowers heavily. Acanthus mollis is a wonderful bold textural effect for the shade garden. The leaves on the capitals of classical Corinthian columns are modeled after the foliage of this species. The flowers are a nice bonus. Eventually they become good sized plants are good sized, the clumps get quite large over time. This is one of those plants that is normally in such short supply that I tend to leave it out of designs. I was excited to find it today and for such a good price. I'm looking forward to planting day.

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