14 April 2010
Urgent Plant-Seeking Madness: Do you have this Condition?
In my previous post I mentioned how the initial signs of Urgent Plant Seeking Madness (UPSM) were upon me, as witnessed by my foray out on Saturday "just for a look" and my return home with the car packed with plants. Ooops.
Others of you have commented that you've also been stricken--or smitten--with this condition. You may have it and not even be aware of it, or you may already be in the full-blown condition. In the interest of public (garden bloggers) health, I thought I'd offer a reprise of a post I did several years ago, with some additions and of course shiny new photos. Gotta have more pretty pictures, don't we?
UPSM affects a broad spectrum of individuals. It’s closely related to Urgent Plant HUNTING Madness, which is a less-known form that causes botanists, nursery operators, garden writers, and other plant enthusiasts to go off on forays to exotic locales such as the Himalayas, outer Mongolia, central Africa, and Newfoundland and Labrador. UPHM sufferers should have bumperstickers on the backs of their vehicles that say, “I brake for interesting plants”.
There is no known cure for either affliction, other than a change of seasons, or an exhausted bank account. Even an overflowing garden doesn't cure the situation. You'll figure out ways to make more beds. Who needs boring ol' lawn, anyway?
Here are the warning signs of UPSM:
1. All winter you’ve been salivating over blog posts, catalogues, websites and magazines, learning about new plants.
2. You’ve got a list longer than your regular grocery list of ‘Must Have’ plants.
3. You can’t pass by a nursery, garden centre, or even a bigbox asphalt ‘garden centre’ without going in. Just. For. A. Look.
4. You come out of said business with at least one garden-related item. Probably more like six or seventeen. Or two dozen. Or so.
5. You carry a tote box, plastic trunk liner, spade and bucket with you wherever you go.
6. You find the need to have to go run errands far more often. No matter that the price of gas is approaching that of a dentist appointment. There are plants to be checked out!
7. Your grocery budget takes a dip towards hamburger helper, peanut butter, and canned soup.
8. You start parking your vehicle around the back of the house, so as to unload your ‘groceries for the garden’ (as my friend Flora and HER long-suffering spouse call these outings) more conveniently (and out of view of your long-suffering spouse, who’s getting tired of peanut butter sandwiches and hamburger helper).
9. An enormous queue of new acquisitions lines itself up along your walkway in your dooryard (That’s Maritimer-speak for driveway/walkway/front yard), or your holding bed, or your greenhouse. Or your kitchen. We do what we gotta do to protect those new little darlings.
10. Despite that enormous queue, you continue to suffer from UPSM and to seek out nurseries, plant sales, yardsales with plants, garden centres, plant giveaways…
11. The first thing your longsuffering spouse says to you when you come home from an expedition is “Where are you going to plant THAT?” The second thing, of course, is “what are we having for supper? Not MORE hamburger helper!”
12. You blithely say, "Oh, that's been here for years!" when confronted about the new magnolia or Japanese maple or plot of hellebores or three dozen Osteospermums that have suddenly appeared in your yard. You change the subject to, "When are you going fishing, dear?" or some such diversionary tactic.
13. You plan Sunday drives/family outings so that they'll accidentally go past nurseries. And then, well, since you're in the area, you need to stop in. Just. for. a. minute.
14. While longsuffering spouse drives, you scan roadsides for houses with tables of plants for sale, even though you KNOW they'll mostly be stuff you already have. And damned ol' goutweed.
15. You make up excuses to go off by yourself for drives. Just to do some thinking, you know. (and because you don't want to waste valuable vehicle space with other family members.)
You can’t wait for the next trip so you can do it all again!