I like supporting local garden clubs rather than the giant Home Depot mass-produced plant department, and usually find a couple of interesting plants that I’ll manage to let wither in the sun by season’s end. I’m looking at you, lamium of cheerful yellow blooms.
I end up at the Driftwood Garden Club of Marblehead (say it with a heavy Down East accent, dahling) where plants are plentiful, artfully arranged, signs separate the annuals from the perennials, and hoards of helpful ladies who lunch are ready to answer questions about the best light and soil for the fanciest plants in Marblehead.
“I can’t believe they’re selling loosestrife,” a man tells me, clutching a bunch of pots. “It’s illegal because it’s invasive. Oh, this isn’t the illegal type,” he decides. I move away from him and the contagious plant.
Couples line cardboard boxes with their selections and $50, $60, $80 is exchanged. I have a heart-to-heart with myself (You’ll kill them. Don’t overdo it.) and buy some violets and the lamium, which a woman tells me nearly glows in the dark. I keep forgetting to venture out at night to see if it’s true.
On my way home, I stop at another plant sale in the more middle-class Salem. In a small church hallway, there’s a variety of greens–nothing in bloom yet–and admit it’s a bit of a sad scene after the fauna of the garden club in the neighboring town. I buy something because I feel bad, but for a dollar, it will probably outlive us all.
Also, these petite pink English daisies are now my favorite flower.