by Nancy Oakes
I'm not sure I would like to live somewhere that I could actually physically garden twelve months of the year. Each season, Spring always presents us with a clean slate-a chance to start over. Of course that means that during the winter, what's a northern gardener to do? We used to have to wait for the catalogues to arrive, but now one can just hop on the internet and download, download, download.
I tend to frequent the sites devoted to my favorite plant, but since most of them are in the US I have to be content with looking at all the pretty faces. Mind you, I still download the catalogues and pretend I could buy whatever I wanted, but when what I want is selling for $150 per plant, well... it's just not going to be happening. But like most gardeners who start collecting specific plants it doesn't stop me from wanting them.
I'd heard about the Lily Auction and even visited the web site a few times, but most individuals don't want to go to the trouble of providing a phytosanitary certificate, so I'd never thought seriously about it. Then a couple of weeks ago I stopped by for another visit to drool over the things I couldn't get and lo and behold there's a category for seeds! Yes!!!! "When I regained consciousness..."
$3, $4, $5 per seed? You betcha. Since Daylilies (like Iris, Hostas and Roses) don't come true from seed, any one of these babies could be the elusive blue daylily. So, you've gotta understand, Ned Roberts' Lavender Handlebars can't be had for love nor money and if you want to be on the cutting edge of unusual form Daylilies you've got to use the best parents possible. Same goes for Northwind Dancer and Lurch (you've gotta love any plant with that name).
And you don't even have to keep track of any of it yourself. The site lets you track possible purchases or ones you're bidding on and tells you how much longer til the bidding closes. I know, ebay does that too, but they ain't got what I want. Plus it's winter and I'm easily amused.
How bad can it get? Setting the alarm for 2:00 a.m. as one item reaches closing time? No, I didn't actually, but I did consider it, and thankfully I got what I was bidding on.
I have searched for sites devoted to other plants, cause I really do like hardy Geraniums and Japanese Iris. But I couldn't find a one-not even for roses. Let's not dwell too long over what this says about Daylily People, not when I'm doing my bit for international trade and the betterment of the genus. Oh did I forget to mention that those are US dollars? So, how much a seed was that? But, but...the pollen parent is Skinwalker! Where is that alarm clock?
(The Lily Auction can be found at http://18.104.22.168/cgi-bin/auction.cgi)