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Thursday, February 22, 2007

The Cost-co Shopping Challenge

Lord help me, I went to Cost-co.

Next Wednesday is the CalEPA's Black Caucus luncheon and to spare the lives of innocents that would otherwise taste my cooking, I volunteered to supply the paper plates, cups, napkins, and such for next . Yeah, ok, so I'm an uninspired cook, but the way I see it I'm doing everyone an immense favor by not cooking. No one wants to remember Black History month as the month all the African-Americans at CalEPA died from ptomaine poisoning.

Denia Pixie, Oriental Lily

So after work I was off to Cost-co to buy the paper-ware and I was doing pretty good – only putting necessities into my humongous shopping cart. Ok, to confess, I did buy enough fresh blackberries and apple slices to keep the British Navy out of danger from the ravages of scurvy or rickets and yes, I admit I bought enough asparagus to make my pee smell peculiar for several weeks. Oh right... and I bought a barrel full of those yummy portobello mushrooms the size of manhole covers. And before I forget, I also bought dried blueberries, which are now widely believed to contain magical & healthful cancer-nixing elixers of the sort normally procured from old ladies who live in caves wearing bat wings, garlic and such around their necks. Go easy on me; at least I managed not to talk myself out of buying almonds, packaged by the crate. Ok, ok, I bought the almonds packaged by the barrel.

Double Hollyhocks

I was so very proud of my prudent shopping. I was genuinely thrifty, in the manner of some Dickensian tightwad living on gruel (freshened with blueberries) and sour soup (followed by a medalie of portobellos and asparagus). Things were looking good but I then ruined my plans of frugality by parading my cart past my nemesis; the gardening section.

Here is the problem; although my mother was known for her green thumb, which extended up to her armpit, my green thumb is as shriveled as the willie of an old man who drives a shiny new red convertable sports car. I do not garden. I outright dislike toiling the soil which, if you think on it is totally disrespectful when considering God in his/her wisdom thought to provide a perfectly lovely big screen television and extraordinarily comfy Lazy Boy chair in my living room. Still, ironically, I totally adore bright flowers, freshly sprouting flower bulbs and the fruits of anyone else's gardening labor save for my own.

So, faced with the beautiful dream of a garden of lovely flowers I gave into my pseudo gardening urge an purchased a few (to be exact 54 tubers and bulbs). Not really as bad as it sounds, here's the fruit of my as-yet-unplanted garden:
  • 5 Nerine Bowdenii (pink lily thingies below to the right)
  • 8 Oriental Lilies: Lily Pixie Denia (pink bloom, shown above at right)
  • 5 Sir Alf Ramsey Dahlia (Pink)
  • 24 mixed alceas (Hollyhocks) in burgundy, orange, pink, red and yellow (top, at right)
  • 3 Hosta hybrid Blue Mountains (blue leaves)
  • 3 Hosta sieboldianna Elegans 3 Hosta fortunei Hyaciothina
  • 3 Hosta hybrid Blue boy (purple flowered plant shown below)

    Doesn't that sound lovely? Hopeful? Damned imposible considering my degree of bone idleness? Now do not be harsh, there is some chance I might actually remove the baby plants from their adorably packaged plastic bags. I might actually abandon my Lazy Boy, pick up a shovel or spade and venture into the back garden. Yes, I know, I might also decide to sprout wings and fly, but I have to keep the faith. There is some chance I might actually put these delicate hands of mine to dig and toil in the soil as did my mother and grandmother before me. Place your bets now.


  1. I loved your page... I'm at a loss as to how to plant the hollyhocks bulbs. Did you plant these last year, or this year? I know you said you a "light" on the gardening initiative, but I'm hopeful! Allof my gardening books state Holly Hocks (Alcea Rosea) should be in SEED form, except one that mentions "their off shoot tubers). Did you plant them horizontally or vertically? Thanks for your input!

  2. Hi franmanne,

    About the hollyhocks, there is much to be said for buying bulbs that are already started. The seeds require a lot more work and you have to soak the tough seeds and slightly score them, etc. Much easier to just buy a seedling or tubers.

    Now... ahem... as to actually planting the tubers... I never got that far! Here is a later posting I did that addressed my issues with buying plants and never quite getting the poor things into the ground.