|Time for a Chat|
Having decided to buy a few ferns, I had to choose between small, vigorous and cheap or languid and expensive but bigger. The first kind were at a garden centre we’d investigated the week before. We’d have to go back if we wanted them. The larger ones were where we were - tempting on staging, out in the rain and right under our cold wet noses.
It was frustrating. Once I’d got all enthused with the idea of creating a green and ferny corner, I didn’t want to go home with nothing. But there wasn’t time to visit two garden centres in one day so I bought the only expensive one which looked half worth having. (Well, it was fine. Green and frondy and interesting.)
But when I got home, I found my fern was more thoroughly root-bound than any plant I’d ever met. It took three days of fiddling and shaking and bouncing up and down in a bowl of water to tease out even a few strands from the solid, white, almost earthless blob that counted for a root system.
And while I disentangled, I found a separate fern. It was small but quite distinct; with its own, sound roots. I pulled it away and cut where it wouldn’t budge and planted it in a separate pot. Lovely.
I’m wanting more than one fern - though I’m not sure I wanted two the same. The one I’d bought cost more than I’d hoped - and now I’d added the extra pot which I wouldn’t have needed if I had simply thrown the spare away or had left it bunged in with an already congested plant.
I’m unclear. Have I a bargain - a sort of inadvertent buy one, get one free? In which case, I’ve done well. Or should I add the price of potting-up the second to my initial outlay?
Maybe it doesn’t matter on a small scale (indeed it doesn’t) but . . . but it’s the kind of thing I think of as I pot on surprises and survey a garden which is filling up with plants for which no-one I know has a use but which I can’t, simply can’t, throw away.