Saturday, May 15, 2010

I Won The ‘Free Plants For The Garden’ Lottery

My friend Joy sent me an email last week to inform me that I had won a lottery for some garden plants. She makes occasional mail orders from different nurseries, and one that she does business with sent her someone else’s package by mistake. When she called to report the error, she was told to keep the box of plants. Well, as a seasoned gardener who has just about everything she wants in her garden, she didn’t want the majority of the plants and offered them to me. I took a moment or two to dance with joy and wrote back to tell her that I would be more than happy to take these plants off her hands. I tell you, it’s the coolest thing in the world to have a friend like this. The coolest.

Anyway, so this is what I received from the ‘Free Plants For The Garden’ lottery:

1) Dahlia imperialis

I was thrilled with this particular plant; it’s commonly known as the tree dahlia and it grows anywhere from 8 to 12 feet. Pinkish-purple flowers with an orange center are supposed to appear in the fall, which I really look forward to. Because this is not winter hardy where I live, I planted the clump in a very large container that I placed on my deck.

2) Papaver orientale

Despite having bought so many perennials for the garden, I didn’t buy any poppy plants, so this was a really welcome surprise. I planted this under the kitchen window and should be expecting enormous white blooms with orange edges early summer. There’s nothing to see because the plant hasn’t grown yet, but the area under the kitchen window looks like this:

3) Tradescantia

I had no idea that there was a Tradescantia that I could grow in the garden, but here it is. Actually, here they are since there were three of these plants in the bag. I don't know what these plants will look like but I’m told that there’ll be deep green leaves and pretty flowers in blue, lilac and white. It’ll be a surprise. All three plants were added to the flower bed on the right side of the yard.

4) Phlox paniculata

I received two of these and planted them both on the right side of the yard. The tag tells me that I’ll be seeing big flowers as white as fresh snow. Sounds nice, although the word ‘snow’ is not something that appeals to me this time of year.

5) Monarda didyma

I’ve already picked up a few of these that I’ve added to the garden, and now I have a few more. Three, to be exact. Since they’re supposed to flower all summer long, they’re all welcome in my humble garden. These were also added to the right side of the yard.

6) Phlox paniculata (Tenor Phlox)

I’ve never grown phlox in the past but this year I seem to have hit the jackpot with a few different types around the house. This package had two of these lovely plants in it; both were added to the right side of the yard. I should be enjoying scented, dainty red florets all summer long. We’ll see.

That’s it for the plants I got from winning the garden lottery. There’s nothing to see right now since they haven’t emerged from the ground yet, but for those of you eager to see some type of photo, here is the right side of the backyard.

I told you there’s nothing to see yet. You just don’t listen.

Oh, wait! That’s not true. My friend Joy also gave me a couple of small plants from her garden. They’re both Viola sororia ‘Freckles’; I added them to the same area as all of the above. The little plants look like this:

The flowers really have freckles.

That’s it for now folks. Stay tuned for more in later posts...


  1. You certainly did win the garden lottery. There are some amazing plants in that box. Way to go.

    Muddy Boot Dreams

  2. Jen, I was thrilled when I got the news about these plants! My garden is just filling up this year with plants so it was wonderful news! Can't wait to see these gorgeous plants all grown up!