Last Sunday morning, I discovered this beautiful unbelievably creative arrangement of unique annuals on my side porch. Scrawled on a plant marker inside an old metal pail that held the arrangement were the words, "Thanks for the strawberries!" Les and Sandy. Sandy, who owns Country Roots Nursery 6 or 7 miles east of Brainerd on Highway 18, has been my friend for 40 years. I had dropped off some strawberries for her earlier this month when I picked berries down the road from her. She must have gone through her greenhouses and chose the most unusual plants she had, since she knows I find great joy in oddities. The tall spikes are "Joey" Ptilotus. The plant to the right of it is "Blackie Sweet Potato Vine" Ipomoea. The groundcover with white blossoms is "Sundial Mix" Portulaca and the large-leafed plant with cylindrical shapes shooting upward is "Ballerina Purple" Datura. I know this because she thoughtfully tucked the plant identification markers into the soil. What a precious combo!
Look at the magnificent blossom that burst forth from one of "Ballerina Purple" Datura's cylindrical shapes! Sandy told me that she waited for just the right day to bring the planter to me so that I could see the bloom unfurl. She timed it perfectly... except that I missed her visit because Dick and I had gone to the community theater "A Don't Hug Me County Fair" production.