Missed Opportunity

“Missed Opportunity”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana 


Last Friday when I went to several out of town nurseries, I was very judicious in my plant buying.  I didn’t want to buy more than I could plant.  But you know the old saying, you always regret what you didn’t do and rarely what you did do.  I regret not buying one particular plant.  I have never seen one like this before, and could kick myself for passing it up.  I blame the heat.  It had to have affected my mind.

The plant I am referring to was a white shrimp plant (Justica betonica), sometimes also called squirrel’s  tail.  The blooms are a very striking spike of small flowers with green and white veins.


Wh Shrimp Plant (redu)


Wh Shrimp Plant Clsp (redu)


How could I have taken pictures and not bought one?  This would have looked wonderful next to the white caladiums in my “white” garden.  Even though this is hardy only to zone 9, I would have protected it in the winter.  I can’t believe I let this one slip by me.  Unfortunately, the nurseries are too far away to just hop in the car and go get one.  Well, maybe next year.

Even though spring planting is over, the nurseries still had a lot of plants to sell.   Coleus, hanging baskets, and oodles of plants.  With displays like this, it is no wonder that gardeners can’t resist buying something.


Cleggs 1 (redu)


Cleggs 2 (redu)


Cleggs 3 (redu)


I still have two more of my Friday purchases to plant, and that should hold me over for a while, though I still find myself slowing down whenever I pass a plant place.  I figure in about two weeks, I’ll be ready for something new.  Is this what you call an addiction?



  1. June 17, 2009 at 11:43 pm

    *sigh* Been there, done that. And recently, too! If you’re an addict, so am I, but there are worse addictions, aren’t there?

    • Jan said,

      June 18, 2009 at 4:44 am

      Yes, Kylee, there are worse addictions. Glad to see I am not alone in both missing out on a plant and buying them all the time. I have become a firm believer in Emma Goldman’s quote: I would rather have roses on my table than diamonds around my neck.

  2. Janet said,

    June 18, 2009 at 5:00 am

    Good morning Jan, I have seen the Shrimp Plant with the yellow and white blooms, but never all white. It is hard to bypass some plants…and if you do and obsess about it, that is an addiction…………..one we all have. I for one drool over all these gardeners’ blogs. It is a good addiction to have. Like the quote about the roses and diamonds. True!

    • Jan said,

      June 18, 2009 at 7:37 am

      Good morning to you, Janet. That was the first all white one I have ever seen, too. I think I forgot about it when I was distracted by some blooming daylilies. I, too, have been enjoying all the summer photos on everyone’s blog, esp. the photos of the peonies.

  3. Randy said,

    June 18, 2009 at 10:23 am

    Jan, I’ve learned to just cave into my cravings. It works for me. 🙂

    • Jan said,

      June 20, 2009 at 9:09 am

      I know how it is, Randy. We want everything.

  4. June 18, 2009 at 12:22 pm

    I have a yellow shrimp plant. I haven’t seen the white ones! I love mine

    • Jan said,

      June 20, 2009 at 9:10 am

      April, I have had the yellow, too, but this was the first white one I have seen. This one seemed to grow a little denser than the the yellows.

  5. Melody said,

    June 18, 2009 at 1:50 pm

    I think the heat must have gotten to you – lol. I just don’t see how you could have left it sitting there – I wouldn’t have been able to. Even though the temps are topping 100 degrees here, I am still buying plants. Unfortunatly – fortunatly, depending on how you look at it – I have a friend who is a manager at a big box store. Whenever I get things off the marked down rack, she usually gives me an extra discount because I buy so much. My holding area is still full of plants I need to plant.

    • Jan said,

      June 20, 2009 at 9:12 am

      I, too, have plants that still need to be planted. I am trying to plant a little each day, but this heat is making it difficult to do and keep them watered. As for passing up that white shrimp plant, I think the heat did make it hard to remember to go back and get it.

  6. Jackie said,

    June 18, 2009 at 4:21 pm

    I have this same addiction. LOL I posted about it last month. 🙂 -Jackie

    • Jan said,

      June 20, 2009 at 9:13 am

      Jackie, I think many of us have this addiction. Even though I am running out of space, I am still buying.

  7. Racquel said,

    June 19, 2009 at 7:18 pm

    I’ve never seen the white blooming variety before, very pretty. I do the same thing sometimes. Now I just give into the temptations. 😉

    • Jan said,

      June 20, 2009 at 9:07 am

      Racquel, I think I just got distracted by other plants and forgot to go back to this one. Lesson learned – put it in the cart when you see it, you can always put it back.

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