Garden Field Trip

This post, “Garden Field Trip” was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana 

Children love to go on field trips.  They love the idea of getting out of the regular routine and doing or seeing something new.  Adults are not any different.  We need to change up our routines and get out occasionally.  With that in mind, my sister and I struck out for two of our favorite nurseries yesterday.  The first stop was McClendon’s about thirty miles away.  They are reopening hopefully for the whole year.  (Katrina damage made them only spring/fall the last two years).  The reason this nursery is so good is that they have many plants that you hear or read about, but you never see anywhere.

The first thing I saw was a large pot of Winter Honeysuckle.  I had just read a posting about this on Dirt Therapy.  Here, Phillip writes about the wonderful aroma of this plant, and he wasn’t exaggerating.  I was happy to get this plant after reading about it.  Check out Phillip’s blog to see a full grown specimen.  Next, this very nice and knowledgeable man showed me another sweet fragrant plant, Sweet Almond Bush (Aloysia virgata).  This reminds me of sweetspire just with smaller flowers.  This one also smells just heavenly.  It perfumed the air in the car with a very delicate, not overpowering, scent.  After this both my sister and I bought Yellow Shrub Jessamine.  I grow Night Blooming Jessamine, and this seems similar.  According to what I have read on the Internet this was a favorite in the Victorian Era.  It is also supposed to attract hummingbirds and butterflies.  This probably will freeze and come back from the roots, so that should keep it in bounds for I read it can be rangy.  I plan on planting two of these in the circle garden where I have planted many other yellow flowers.  Lastly I bought a Queen’s Wreath Vine (Petrea volubilis) on the recommendation of that sweet worker.  It is a tropical vine, but I have read that it has survived temps in the high 20’s.  I may plant it in a container or in a very protected area.  My sister also bought some varigated bamboo.

Next we headed off the Denham Springs, about another twenty miles, to Clegg’s Nursery.  This is a large operation with some of the best plants.  We both bought some Mexican Bush Sage, and I found some white Katie Ruellia to put in the white area of my side garden.  I figured this would be good during the summer, after the Easter Lilies bloom.  Next, I selected two white crinums that will go in the same area.  I have a large pink one close by, so I know these should do well there.  I also bought two Texas Bluebonnets.  I thought I would give them a try and see how they do.  If they do well, I may try more next fall.  Lastly, I was thrilled to find Midnight Flare azalea.  I planted three around a Bradford pear tree about two years ago.  They did well but more were needed for a good display.  Last March I bought three more to fill out the area, but one did not make it.  Even though I watered the area, I think the long period of no rain was too much for that one.  So now I can finally replace it with the new one which luckily is the same size as the others.  My sister also bought some opium poppies (I didn’t think you could sell that) and some herbs.

I planted many of my purchases today.  I did not have time to do the bigger pots since I spent a good part of the day cutting back some freeze damaged plants.  But, tomorrow I am hoping to finish up planting those I didn’t get to today.

Can’t wait for our next field trip – March 15th.



  1. February 24, 2008 at 7:59 pm

    Sounds like a great way to spend a day. Our nurseries don’t have any stock in yet. We are still expecting another snow storm this week! But our time will come and then, “everyone out of the way”! In the meantime, it’s fun to read about other gardeners who are planting and working out in their gardens.

    It was a fun day, Carol. I just can’t imagine a snow storm at this time of year, but I know that it can occur where you are. We can hardly wait out the two or three months when our nurseries don’t have much stock much. I would be so “antsy” right now to get out in the garden if I was up North. How do you all do it?

  2. Melanie said,

    February 24, 2008 at 7:59 pm

    What a nice idea, a garden field trip for adults. Can’t wait until our weather cooperates enough for one of those here.

    It was a great day. We got to be out on a beautiful day, bought some wonderful, new plants, and had a leisurely lunch. I hope you can have such a fantastic day soon.

  3. February 24, 2008 at 10:49 pm

    What a great day. I am glad to hear the nursery is opening back up. So many of ours have closed because of the drought in NC. Sounds like you got some much wanted plants. I have a wish list too. With my new gardens, my list is very long. It’s nice to read you had a good day with your sister.

    I didn’t realize that nurseries closed because of the drought. We have been to NC for vacations and always enjoyed the lush, summer plantings everyone had. We lost many wholesale nurseries around here because of Katrina, and I am afraid they will not reopen. Land is being sold for subdivisions.

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