Flower Day at Eastern Market in Detroit was bigger and more crowded than I remember it ever being when I was in middle school and high school and I am really glad to see that it only seems to get more popular. That being said, I did not get the impression that the selection of plants available had changed much. It was still mainly flats of run-of-the-mill annuals, with some vegetable transplants, shrubs, and perennials thrown in for good measure.
At Eastern Market
While most of what was on sale was not of much interest to me, I did get a whopping eighteen perennial starters for a mere $20 from one stand. This was particularly satisfying in light of the trend to be observed almost everywhere else of selling perennials of just a few over-used varieties in pots that are much too big, the pot size being a convenient way of pretending that the plant is bigger than it really is and thus charge $10 for what should be $5. I continued my plant shopping this morning at another place that bucks said obnoxious trend, namely Telly's Greenhouse in Troy and came away with the trunk of the car full of reasonably priced treasures - perennial as well as annual - in appropriately sized pots. Of all that I bought, so far I have planted the following:
1 Lamium/Lamiastrum galeobdolon 'Variegatum'
1 Lamium maculatum 'Shell Pink'
1 Lamium maculatum 'White Nancy'
1 Iris cristata 'Alba' (Crested iris)
1 Galium odoratum (Sweet woodruff)
1 Papaver orientale 'Beauty of Livermere' (Oriental poppy)
1 Helianthemum 'Hartswood Ruby' (Sun rose)
1 Dianthus deltoides 'Vampire' (Maiden pink)
3 Lupinus polyphyllus cv. (Garden lupine)
6 Amaranthus caudatus (Love-lies-bleeding)
The garden on the whole is lovely right now, although we could really use a good rain. Any day now the bearded irises will begin blooming and the show promises to be grand this year. In the meantime, there are many smaller things adding specks of color amongst the sprouting green, and the backyard is filled with the fragrance of lily-of-the-valley.
Star-of-Bethlehem (Ornithogalum umbellatum)
Azalea (Rhododendron sp.)
Columbine (Aquilegia x hybrida)
Perennial cornflower (Centaurea montana)
Perennial flax (Linum perenne)
Double creeping buttercup (Ranunculus repens 'Pleniflorus')
Lily-of-the-valley (Convallaria majalis)
For the next couple of days I have plenty more to plant, as well as lots of weeding and and a bit of dividing, transplanting, and moving around of things that needs to be done. After months of cold weather and gardening space limited to shady window sills, nothing could be better.