Amazing Plants

As I take a break, on my day off, from scrubbing the Bathrooms with Bleach and Borax, I am listening to Pink Floyd.  And, I think of the other Bs I have come into contact with recently.

The Seed and Gardening Catalogues I have been receiving in the mail!

Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds

Breck’s Bulbs Direct from Holland Since 1818

Bluestone Perennials

Brent and Becky’s Bulbs



My first thought is why do so many of them start with a B?

My second thought is the truth-value of some of the catalogues. Can it be possible to grow, say, a Dwarf Fruit Cocktail Tree?


The amazing one-tree orchard that will produce six varieties from one tree – nectarines, peaches, plums, apricots.

So I need to question—they say SIX varieties, but only list FOUR.

They go on to report that the tree grows 10 feet tall and it is self-pollinating.  Okay, I get that.  It also says that you can reach the fruit standing on the ground and the FIRST bushel will pay for the tree, which is $19.99.

Before I look for an 800 number to call and question them about the Dwarf Fruit Cocktail Tree—I gather some more information for more questions.

On the cover of the catalogue, they present a 5-N-1 Dwarf Pear Tree (botanical name: Pyrus) and a 5-N- one Dwarf Apple Tree (Malus). They report that the 8-10 foot pear tree will give you five varieties of pears. Bartlett, Kieffer, Moonglow, Orient and Ayres.

The 5-N-1 apple tree bears Red delicious, Yellow Delicious, Dark Red Jonathan, Yates and Winesap.

Here are some other amazing finds before I call to determine the accuracy of said orchards.

On page 22, they advertise a 2-N-1 Rose Sharon. This bush produces Huge blooms in THREE DIFFERENT COLORS on one plant. Red. White and Blue.

On page 3A they advertise two plants I would love to have—a 3-N-1 Butterfly bush that produce white, red and purple flowers in one plant for $5.99 each.

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Also a 3-N-1 Hydrangea that produces red, white and blue flowers in one plant for $7.99.


Some other really unlikely finds:

A cold hardy KIWI. (They grow in Australia) But, this variety withstands temperatures of 25 degrees below zero. For two plants you’ll yield 10 gallons of fruit. You need the two plants. One male and one female. Only $4.95 each.


Another favorite is the Luffa Sponge Plant. (And I always thought sponges came from the ocean)—get a packet of seeds for $1.00 (P. 41)

The Watermelon Radish. Can you imagine—hot and cold together!! A package of seeds is $1.99 (P.42)


Yard-long Snap Green Beans. A pkg. of seeds- $1.99 (P. 46)


A weeping willow tree. (Salix babylonica) Two for $2.00.



Seriously, several years ago, I paid over $100.00 for a tree like this—and I loved it—If you prune it right, it provides a big umbrella—and a room inside the tree.  So very cool. But I planted it too close to the house and it had to come down several years later.  It gets really big.  It grows 8-10 feet a year.

A Dawn Redwood Tree (Metsequoia glyptostroboides) report ably has survived the dinosaur age. (P.24) More on this ancient tree:


I found the phone number–309-662-7761 and I am ready to call.  During my conversation the sweet girl was having trouble telling me the other two fruits that grow on the Fruit Cocktail Tree, which she reports is a big seller—she says first, apples and then she says cherries and now she says no- the real answer according to her is that there are 2 varieties of apricot and 2 plum varieties. When I question her about the lack of pictures, she sweetly says, “Yeah”.

Mind you, there are no photographs—only drawings of the multi-producing fruit trees.  But they do give you a 1-year guarantee that the plants will live.  And the sweet girl on the phone reports that they will give you a guarantee that they will produce what they say.  Just save that shipping label.


VISIT Arbor Day Foundation:

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