When it comes to buying plants, I try to maintain a budget, add plants slowly, and propagate what I can to save money. That being said, I went completely off the deep end last weekend and splurged on a beautiful weeping 'Hannah Ray' bottle brush .
I was at the Hill Country Water Gardens Nursery for their big gala sale. For one hour in the morning, they offered a door buster buy 1 get 1 free deal that sounded really good. Due to other scheduling demands, we chose to go later in the day, when they were offering buy 4 get 1 free. Still a good deal. I purchased quite a few 1 gallon sized plants, and a lot of 4 inch sized plants, which I like to pot up and grow out myself. Patience saves big bucks.
My husband and I were shopping together when we simultaneously saw another customer leaving with the most fabulous looking bottle brush. It was such a lovely specimen; covered with blooms. We both ooh'd and ah'd over the plant, and reminisced about all the bottle brushes that we had killed over the years. There was the original standard bottle brush, then the little John bottle brush, then the little John bottle brush take two. All three were goners at our hands. Had we learned enough in our failed attempts to maybe try again?
Yes, Yes, let's do it! Let's try again!
After we selected a beautiful bottle brush of our own, Chip, one of Hill Country's helpful staff, was happy to give us hand. Because we had a long way to go, Chip wrapped Hannah Ray with great care. She looked like something out of an episode of the Sopranos laying in the truck bed.
The almost one hour trip from Hill Country Water Gardens to our house at speeds of 70 MPH did not phase our tightly wrapped and shapely girl.
Now, for the big unwrap and reveal.
Ta Da! I don't remember any nursery ever wrapping a plant so nicely. Thanks Hill Country. She arrived in perfect condition.
Planting Hannah Ray was a big job. Everything seemed to be in the way of her massive root ball. First, I had to transplant a lamb's ear that was too close, and then, I had to dislodge the drip irrigation lines, which were stuck under layers of mulch and plants.
The picture of the hole doesn't seem all that big in the photo until you see how much dirt was displaced. This wheelbarrow contains all the soil from the hole. That's quite a bit of soil and it gives you a look at our wonderful, gravely sand. That's sarcasm by the way, but who's ever happy with their soil?
Moving and planting a tree of this size is hard work, but it's worth it for the immediate beauty it adds to the garden. In my opinion, the bottle brush has some of the most gorgeous and interesting flowers among flowering trees.
These butterflies think these flowers are pretty awesome too. We hadn't had this plant in the ground for 5 minutes when the butterflies started showing up. I guess it's true. If you plant it, they will come.