The Joy of Buying Plants

Talk to any gardener and they will tell you how much they love buying new plants. Yes, I save seeds from my garden, and yes, I start seeds inside every spring, and yes I plant perennials so that I don’t have to buy new every year…but it’s just so much fun!


Rutgers Day was this past Saturday. If you don’t live in the Northeast then you probably have no idea what Rutgers Day is or maybe even what Rutgers is, but sufficed to say, it’s a huge event that takes place on a huge college campus (or several college campuses, depending on how you look at it) put on by Rutgers University to engage with the local community, and give back to that community. The reason that this is pertinent, is that Rutgers New Brunswick has a pretty decent Ag school, and on Rutgers Day, they have several plant sales.


The sales are geared towards plants that are sustainable to grow New Jersey’s weird climate, but they also include some rare plants including orchids and carnivorous plants. The most exciting part, though, is all of the varieties that Rutgers students and faculty have cultivated, like the famous Rutgers tomato, or the Rutgers 250 tomato (made in commemoration of the school’s 250th anniversary).


I was so excited about everything there—from dainty annuals like midnight petunias and rainbow zinnias, to hardy and large perennials like raspberries and hydrangeas! I bought almost 20 different species of plants, and some in different varieties. In addition to the aforementioned petunias and zinnias, raspberries and hydrangeas, I also bought Portulacas (purslanes), Gypsophila (baby’s breath, but a prettier one than you’re thinking of), varieties of kale and other salad greens, varieties of thyme and lavender, oregano (delicious and great for butterflies), borage (great for honeybees), a sugar tomato, and a Rutgers Pumpkin Habeñero Pepper.

Thanks to some awesome friends, I actually got them all planted that same day too! Now all I need to do is plant the seedlings I started inside, add mulch to everything, and plant some forsythia along the fence. I’ll post about each plant as it grows, and let you know tips and tricks I learn about each of them.

Off to the garden!


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