13 November 2009

Damn you, Dan Hinkley!

I just finished reading Dan Hinkley's The Explorer's Garden, and he is making me malcontent with my climate.
He, of course, lives and gardens in the Pacific Northwest, and the book is full of drool inducing photographs (as you can see jus from the image of the cover I've included to the right), and the text is full of descriptions of Meconopsis (If you don't know them: Amazing true blue poppies. Beyond lovely.) self sowing in his garden. For those of us in climates where actual weather happens, getting meconopsis to even survive a summer, much less BLOOM is all but impossible.
The severe case of zone envy notwithstanding, I highly recommend the book. Hinkley is not just a great gardener, he's a great writer, and I spent much of my time reading it giggling to myself. That and scribbling notes in the margins about how much I NEED such and such a plant. Since reading the book, I've been writing up lists of plants to try next year: Cardiocrinum (He says they survive to flowering surprisingly often in zone 5. If I can get one to bloom for me just once, I'll be a happy man), LOADS of Geranium (Geranium  not Pelargonium), Saruma henryi, any Rheum I can track down and... Well, you get the idea. My spring shopping list is already too long, and the seed catalogs haven't even started to arrive yet!


NotSoAngryRedHead said...

Part of me thinks it's easier to be a great gardener in a climate like the Pacific Northwest, or at least that's how I console myself here in TX.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the recommendation, Joseph. I love new garden books to read in winter, and I'm nuts for new varieties of hardy geranium. -Jean

Joseph said...

It does seem like it would be easier to be a great gardener in the Pacific NW... But on the plus side, if my garden doesn't look lovely, I can just blame it on the climate!

Andrew said...

Definitely track down Geranium 'Rozanne,' especially if you like blue flowers (purple blue but still). Really nice dense mounding/sprawling/trailing plant that flowers pretty well all summer, even the year they're planted and only getting better later.

I must admit I also have zone envy.

Joseph said...

Rozanne IS pretty stellar.