Sunday, May 20

Put On Your "Party Dress"

During my first few weeks of college at the University of Dayton, I befriended a smart, feisty girl from Youngstown. Jessica and I had a lot in common: A love of good music, blue-collar roots and a strong sense of ethics, an appreciation for literature and cooking, enthusiasm for sports, and so on. 13 years and many lifetime landmarks later, I am proud that I can count Jess among my best friends. She probably knows me better than anyone else on this earth, and trust me when I say that it reflects very well on me that she still grants me the honor of her friendship.

This weekend, Jessica made the drive north from Cincinnati to spend time with her mom in Youngstown and run the Cleveland Marathon. On Saturday, while she and her mom perused a plant sale at Mill Creek Park, Jess mentioned that she and I were getting together later that night. Sandra, a fellow avid gardener, immediately suggested that they pick out a plant for me.

When Jessica asked how they would know what to get, Sandra replied that she's visited this blog and could figure out from that what I would like. She was absolutely right. Check out the picture to see my newest garden addition: 'Party Dress,' a gorgeous, double-flowered Japanese anemone. WOW! I didn't even know this plant existed before I received this wrapped pot on Saturday but now that we've been introduced I'm smitten. It's definitely going in a place of honor, in front of the bed where I have a couple of its single-flowering cousins.

I agonize over gift-buying, so I'm always amazed when anyone picks out a perfect gift so effortlessly. I should have known that selecting great gifts was a talent of Sandra's, though. Jess obviously inherited strength, intelligence, beauty and a great sense of style from Sandra... so it makes sense that Jess's skill at buying just the right gift came from the same source. (Sadly, it didn't work that way in my family... if one of us kids inherited my Mom's ability to pick out the perfect, witty birthday card or the most memorable gift, it definitely wasn't me.)

I have been told that it is bad luck to thank someone for a gift plant--many of my relatives swear that the plant won't grow if you say thanks. So I'll have to figure out another way to let Sandra know how much I appreciate my new 'Party Dress'!

Sandra, if you're reading this... I hope you don't mind the my informality in using your first name. I just try to keep last names off of my blog when posting about friends.


Anonymous said...

Hmmm...Almost June. Snow should be melting up there by now. Enjoy summer, I hear it's nice the entire season (July 15-17).


Ottawa Gardener said...

Give them a gift plant and remind them not to say thanks!

Ki said...

"Party dress" looks like a winner and so aptly named. I can't wait 'til you post pictures of it in bloom! Some people have the knack for picking out the perfect gift. For you it would be easy I think. Any unusual plant would send you into seventh heaven! ;) This also applies to most plantspeople I would imagine.

Anonymous said...

Anemones are my favorite flower that I don't really grow. Between deer, rabbits and lousy soil, I've just not had much luck with them. But I like them enough that I might have to grow some inside the veggie garden fence. Or I'll just enjoy your pix later on.

Annie in Austin said...

At one time I grew the Japanese anemones and liked them a lot - that one does look like a party girl, Kim! [Our blogger friend Y~E might say "Party Frock", instead.]

When I was a little girl - a heck of a long time ago, my grandma Anna told me not to say thank you when she brought plants from her garden. I think this rule applied only to plants that someone dug or divided for others, not to plants that were purchased.

My grandmother probably learned this as a religious custom when she was young, since she felt that it was okay to thank God for anything that grew, but somehow disrespectful to thank another human being.
Wow, Kim, your post triggered some memories.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

kate said...

This is a beautiful anemone. I love them and I especially enjoyed the recounting of your friendship with Jessie. It sounds like you have a wonderful and enduring bond ... something to cherish.

OldRoses said...

anemones were on my wishlist for this year but never got purchased. After seeing yours, they're going on the list for next year!

Colleen Vanderlinden said...

I can't wait to see photos of 'Party Dress' in your garden! What a thoughtful gift. I agonize over gift-buying too, so I'm equally amazed when someone comes up with the perfect gift :-)

meresy_g said...

I've seen that plant in the Song Sparrow catalog. Lovely. What a great gift! Can't wait to see the photos of it this fall.

Unknown said...

Barrie, I was beginning to worry about you! *grin* Summer actually lasts for about 2 days, but it's usually Memorial Day and Fourth of July only. The rest of the time between Spring and Fall is simply known around here as "Orange Barrel Season."

ottawa gardener, good idea. Except that I've never seen her garden (and she doesn't blog) so... maybe something non-plant that's still from the garden? Hmm.

ki, LOL! You're very right. And if the plant has dark foliage, it's definitely a winner for me even if it isn't unusual!

Craig, I promise to take several pictures for you. :)

Annie, I had tried to look up this very issue in the fall for another post. The most I could find on the origins of this particular superstition was that it originated in pioneer times to help the poor or unfortunate... so that they did not feel beholden to pay back people who did them the kindness of offering plants for their gardens. I hate to tempt fate, so I usually say something like, "What a wonderful plant! I promise to take great care of it."

kate... that is so true. :)

OR, you might be able to find some good deals on anemones this fall after they are done blooming!

Colleen, I'm glad I'm not the only one. :) My Mom is fabulous at finding the right gifts and cards... unfortunately, it does not seem to be a skill that I inherited.

meresy_g, I can't even look at the Song Sparrow catalog. That and Plant Delights threaten to knock me off of my money diet wagon every time! *grin*

growingagardenindavis said...

Barbara Kingsolver talks about not thanking people for a plant gift in her new book, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. I had never heard of this before and now here it is again! So, now that I've heard it, will I endanger future plants if I thank gift givers??! (page 100)

agentXXX said...

aw, i finally had time to see my 15 minutes of fame on the blog. i do blog, just not very often. i am so glad you like the plant from us, and most importantly i'm glad we've stayed as inseparable as two people living in different corners of the state can be....

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