A Gardening Year

The adventures and misadventures of an heirloom gardener

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Green Thumb Sunday


I have a confession to make. I’m a thief. Yes, I know that all gardeners are thieves. We help ourselves to seeds and cuttings. I stole an idea and didn’t give credit. I finally had to come clean when I saw this at Rutgers Gardens:

I knew it wasn’t green nicotiana because I’m growing that in my plot this year. When I got closer, I saw . . .

. . . that the flowers were pink inside. I had to know what it was. The gardener hadn’t installed his labels yet. I decided to email him and ask.

First I had to confess to him that I had fallen in love with the Verbena bonariensis that he grew last year and planted it in my plot this year without attribution. Then I had to admit that I wasn’t asking about the nicotiana out of curiosity but because I wanted to be able to grow it in my plot next year.

He was very gracious in his reply. The nicotiana is a hybrid called “Tinkerbell”. He was even kind enough to tell me where to get seeds (Thompson & Morgan or Nicky’s seeds). He also pointed out that the pollen is blue. I hadn’t noticed and you can’t really see it in the photo.

He went on to say that the purpose of the Display Gardens at Rutgers Gardens is to provide “inspiration” so he always makes a point of planting a few unusual varieties in his bed. He’s glad that I have taken note. In his opinion, “A ‘true
gardener’ is always looking for something different.”

Gardeners are such generous people, wouldn’t you agree? I’ll be keeping a close eye on his bed every year.

Gardeners, Plant and Nature lovers can join in every Sunday, visit As the Garden Grows for more information.


At 11:10 PM, Blogger LostRoses said...

Wow, that's a different nicotiana, very unusual! Nice find, OldRoses. I'm thrilled with the verbena bonariensis also. I've wanted it for years but never got around to it and am thoroughly enjoying the way it looks in my garden.

At 12:31 AM, Blogger Nicole said...

What a lovely story. Yes, I have found that gardeners tend to be very generous with their seeds/plants/cuttings/info,though I have come across a very few who are not.

At 7:12 PM, Blogger Wicked Gardener said...

That's okay. Just morning I really did steal. My parents' neighbors had pink mexican petunia which I can't find in stores, so I snagged a few cuttings. They'll never notice. . . right? Oh crap, my karmas gone all to hell.


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