Plant obsessed or just marginally insane?

Planting outdoors during a downpour might look like one definition of insanity, but I had a bunch of plants to get into the ground before I fly out to Raleigh, NC, on Wednesday. The Garden Writers Association’s annual meeting is in Raleigh this year.

You might ask why I have so many things left to plant this late in the season.  It’s all because I’m plant obsessed. When I was at Lowe’s (on Memorial) last week , I saw a small sign which stated:

“Any plant with a bloom is half price. This excludes Asters, Mums, and pansies.”

Sedum 'Autumn Joy', Botanical Name: Acalypha wilkesiana 'Mardi Gras', 'White Swan' Echinacea. Plant obsessed.
Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’, Botanical Name: Acalypha wilkesiana ‘Mardi Gras’, ‘White Swan’ Echinacea

Like a moth to the flame, I headed to a table full of perennials.  Fall is a great time to plant trees, shrubs and perennials.  Most of the containers were unmarked (this was a box store), and when I went to check out, the plants were about one third less than I thought.  Of course, I went back for more.  Wouldn’t you?

What did I buy?

‘Blue Danube’ Stokesia laevis (three), ‘White Swan’ Echinacea purpurea (three), Solidago canadensis ‘Baby Gold’ goldenrod (one), Sedum ‘Autumn Fire’ (three) and Buddleja davidii nanhoensis ‘Nanho Purple’ (one).  I only wished I had room for more crapemyrtles because they had a boatload of them, and they were also on sale.

Buddeleia 'Nanho Purple'; Plant obsessed.
Buddeleia ‘Nanho Purple’

These were really large plants and nearly all were $3.34 or under.  The butterfly bush was $8.86 and was in a five gallon pot.

Where did I put all of these?  In the much neglected front garden bed.  It is in full sun and is tailor made for these easy-to-grow plants.

Solidago canadensis 'Baby Gold'
Solidago canadensis ‘Baby Gold’

So, we’ve had rain every day since, and this morning, there was a break in the weather.  I ran outside, dug some leaf mold out of the shredded leaf piles and went to the garden where I had already placed the pots in their appointed spots.  It’s not often that I have three plants of a single variety with which to work.  I feared  the weather would dry up while I was gone, and all of these bargain basement beauties would die a nasty death.

The neglected front bed gets a facelift.
The neglected front bed gets a facelift.

That’s why I stayed outside when the rain started again.  It was a soft rain, and the biggest problem was that the mud clung to the shovel.  Still, I got everything planted.  I also dragged two daylilies from under the deck where I’d nurtured them in pots all summer.  With their height, ‘Pretzel Power’ (Stamile 2002) and ‘Dancing on Air’ (Stamile 2004)’ will anchor one corner of the bed.  (If you do click the links to see these daylilies, please note that I did not pay those prices.)

I felt like a kid making mudpies, and was sorry when the family called me indoors. It was with a happy heart that I washed up before going to get Bear who’d spent the night at her friend’s house.

What did you do today to make yourself happy?


  1. Around these parts, we go out in the rain just to see what it's all about.

    How wonderful that you came away from the box store with such nice additions to your fall garden! Have fun at the GWA conference.

    1. Susan, LOL! That is so true. We have years like that too where we're begging for rain. This is not that year. I'll be thinking of you while I'm learning about new goodies for next year.~~Dee

  2. Frances says:

    Hi Dee, I know your new plants will do well, can't miss with the leaf addition to the soil either. Looks like it's unanimous, neither crazy nor insane, just a good gardener. That little goldenrod is a darlin', I would gladly replace these giant species with smaller ones around here. Made me happy, like Carol, reading this post, and all of your wonderful writing. 🙂

    1. Frances, you are too kind my friend. I think with all the rain we had this week that the plants have already settled in. I do think I'm a bit obsessed. My children will tell you so. 🙂 ~~Dee

  3. A few weeks ago I found 'Starlite' baptisias on a clearance table at a local nursery. I love buying fun plants, but I love a bargain even more! And planting in the rain means not having to water right after you plant!

    1. Oh, Rose, don't you just love those 'Starlight' Baptisias! I remember them so well in Chicago, but don't have any. Hope yours settle in.~~Dee

  4. Mary Delle says:

    Planting in the rain is something I enjoy doing. Here it often happens in the evening. I just turn on the lights. I love those kind of sales. When I come home, I do feel obsessed, but soooo good.

    1. Hi Mary, I have to admit it was just like making mudpies. I loved it.~~Dee

  5. Gail says:

    Dee, Great bargains! I love stokesia and the Baby Gold goldenrod is a sweet littly guy! The front bed looks good. We've had heavy downpours for days…but I planted and transplanted ~~hardy begonias and bulbs. gail

  6. Kathy Purdy says:

    Those two daylilies sure are something!

  7. I love planting in a light rain. I know it’s good for the plants, so it makes me happy too. We’re finally getting a bit of rain, & I managed to get a shrub in before it started.
    The front bed looks better with the new plants. By next summer it should look great.
    .-= Mr. McGregor’s Daughter´s last blog ..If There Are "Asters," It Must Be September =-.

    1. It must be good for the plants because they look like they've always been there.~~dee

  8. @GardenPunk says:

    I am just now discovering the joy that is fall plant sales! Looks like you scored some really great plants.

    1. Hi Katie, I hope you gots lots of good buys.~~Dee

  9. Sheila says:

    Lucky you!!

    1. Thanks, Sheila, it was a once in a season thing.~~Dee

  10. Jean says:

    What did I do Saturday to make myself happy? I volunteered at Chimp Haven in the morning, took a nap in the afternoon, and then made tortilla soup in the evening!

    I wouldn't say you were marginally insane planting in the rain. You had a job to do and you did it! I envy all the good stuff you were able to haul away. Maybe I should visit our big box today, hmm…. But I still have to figure out how to plant all the stuff I bought last weekend with this never ending rain!

    1. Hi Jean, Those are wonderful things to make yourself happy. Plant on.~~Dee

  11. Beckie says:

    Dee what a wonderful way to plant! The front bed looks great now and next spring will come alive with beauty. Why can't I ever seem to come across such great sales? 🙂 Have a great time in NC.

    1. Well, Beckie, I don't think I thought it out too well, but it was fun like being a kid again.~~Dee

  12. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    I am sitting here reading blogs and listening to the much needed rain pitty patter on the ground. I can't wait to hear it splish splashing into puddles it makes. Hopefully there will be enough rain to fill the bird baths and make the creek run between the houses. Yay for rain…

    1. Lisa, I'm so glad you're getting rain too. You really need it this year. I think our weather is unsettled for quite awhile even this week.~~Dee

  13. Hi Dee, planting in a gentle rain is not in any way, shape or form considered insane (marginally or otherwise) in my book. It's actually the best kind of weather to plant new plants. 😉 Your front garden is going to look a treat come next year and how the butterflies and bees will love your kind gardener's heart!

    1. Hi Yolanda, it started out gentle and then turned into a surprising downpour. Thank you so much.~~Dee

  14. I was in the garden all day too but no rain for us. Your garden looks grand and professionally planted. You got some very good deals. I look forward to seeing you soon.

    1. Thanks Anna, can't wait to see you too.~~Dee

  15. Pam/Digging says:

    Oh yes, I've planted happily in the rain before. I've also built a series of stone steps in the rain (more challenging). You got some good plants at a great price, Dee. I guess the box stores are clearing out everything for Xmas trees, which should be arriving for sale in about a week, right?

    1. Pam, your project sounds a lot harder. I still need to mulch. Ho-ho-ho to the Christmas trees.~~Dee

  16. Leslie says:

    Dedicated, thrifty, responsible, smart? Those are better descriptors! Have fun in Raleigh!

    1. Leslie, I've about decided I'm a plant hoarder. Oh dear. See you soon in Raleigh.~~Dee

  17. M.A. says:

    we are all nutso when it comes to plant acquisitions. so there.

    1. Okay, Mary Ann, when I become a full fledged plant hoarder, you come do an intervention. Please?~~Dee

  18. Nancy says:

    I'd say you were celebrating the rain..and the plants you rescued. Crazy…humm well.. no, not REALLY.

    If you're mad, it's a good kinda mad gardener type mad…

    1. Nancy, I like the way you think.~~Dee

  19. Carol says:

    To make myself happy today, I read this post and laughed because most gardeners would have done the same thing. When a plant needs to get in the ground, a little (a lot) of rain won't stop some of us. In fact, I bought a rain suit on clearance once for just these occasions, although, come to think of it, I've yet to actually wear it!

    1. Carol, I'm glad I made you laugh. Can't wait to see you in Raleigh.~~Dee

  20. kclily says:

    Today for fun I went to the "Great State Fair of Oklahoma". Headed to the fair at 8:30, it was raining…went to IHOP for breakfast….it was raining…drove back home in the rain…..rain stopped…..drove back to the fair. Enough with the rain! Enjoyed your comment about " dug some leaf mold out of the shredded leaf pile" as that is what I am always doing except I need more leaves to fall. I have about used up the leaf mold from last fall.

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