Planty Raid!

Bad to the phloem!My usual grasp on sanity can be a bit loosey-goosey. But when free plants, of any kind, are involved…  I am continually shocked at how low I will go.

It all started with me when I got my first job in a nursery. All the dead and dying plants went on a “pitch out” pile and I hovered over that thing like it was a giant chocolate flourless cake. I brought home as many plants as a Suzuki Swift could hold, several times a week. And if you don’t remember how large the Suzuki Swift was- It was about the size of a L’Eggs egg.

If you don’t remember how big that was, I can’t help you.

The feeling of wild hoarding was so good that it created a monster. Getting something, if mostly dead, for nothing was a rush. Nursing that mostly dead thing back to life and into something beautiful was more than a rush. Especially when someone would come to see my garden, compliment me on said plant and I’d get to say, “Oh yes, that. I pulled it out of a pile of dead crap and now look at it!”

I believe this is also how Pearl got started. And if that isn’t hardcore addiction….

My recent nights have been filled with hugely pregnant, whale-like tossing and turning and hours spent awake. And yet the morning I knew some small rubber tree plants were going to be thrown away at work at sunrise? I popped out of bed like a younger, non-pregnant, coffee drinking me! And I don’t even LIKE rubber trees. It was all about the RUSH!

Would you travel long distances for free plants, dumpster dive, dig up huge root balls in a friend’s (or Craigslister’s) yard if a plant was offered? Would you sully your fine leather seats with mud?

Do you have “boundaries”? And if you do… Can you teach me how to have some?


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About Amanda Thomsen

Big, loud and fun- Amanda Thomsen landscapes by day and blogs at night. Her blog, Kiss My Aster, on Horticulture magazine's website has alienated/enraptured dozens. She co-authors a blog called Plants That Suck that is about plants that suck. And she is the less popular half of the podcasting team, Good Enough Gardening, which makes her feel like the "Roy" of of Siegfried and Roy, but without the mauling. She lives in Chicago and does not EVER put ketchup on hot dogs.

10 thoughts on “Planty Raid!

  1. My addiction is so bad I am known (mostly to myself) as The Plant Savior. In fact, DH keeps an eye on the alleyways and always offers to drive so he can avoid alleys with plants waiting for the smasher. He knows me too well. No self control. It’s like the plants speak to me. “save me, please, Gaia help me…I don’t wanna die” and I can’t look away.

  2. Giiiiirl, you are speaking my love language. I once (okay, twice) dressed in all black and tip toed into a neighbor’s yard at night to pilfer peonies. The house had been foreclosed upon and was empty, does that make it any less vile? I convinced myself I was rescuing the plants from bank-hired lawn jockeys who would surely mow all the plants down come day break.

  3. I have no standards when it comes to free plants or seeds i am helpless in the face of a plant that needs rescue and tlc…sorry i know thats no help.

  4. This was too cute! Glad you are a rescuer of plants and yes, someone needs to do it and it might as well be you who has the heart for it 🙂

  5. A few years ago, we knew friends who didn’t like their two, entryway-framing, decades-old rhodos. They intended to chop.them.down. Somehow, I persuaded the friends and hubby that we could quickly dig them up and transplant them in our total shade yard. At the time, I was hugely pregnant, but I think I said I would dig them up. Single-handed. Well, after about 30 minutes of watching me not making a dent in Carolina red-clay soil, hubby and friend’s hubby took over. Many, many hours (days?) later, the rhodos were free…and then we had to figure out how to get them home. And dig them in. So yes, I’m a plant rescue-obsessed kind of girl…

    Enjoy your rubber trees!


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