For a gardener, one of the most exciting times of the year is when the first garden catalogues start showing up in the mail. Everybody has their old favorites, standbys they order every year without fail; it might be a special tomato your mother grew or a poppy that is now inextricably associated with a place or a time dear to your heart.
But the we plant freaks also look forward to the new and unusual, and when it comes to the unusual, no mail-order catalog tops Show-Me Nurseries. Aptly named for the skeptical nature of native Missourans, you'll have to see their collection to believe it!
New this Spring from SHOW-ME NURSERIES
P.O. Box 12345
Homily, MO 01011
HARDY MANGO - "Nanook"
This sudden genetic break from the common
mango strains produced a tree that can be grown as far north as zone 4
with no visible damage. Evergreen, this tree stays lush and beautiful
to 5F, showing slight cold damage at -10 and below. Fruit ripens in
February, and is comparable to the best tropical cultivars, though tends to be tough at temperatures below 20 degrees.
MANGO "Nanook" - 2' trees, $30.00
BLUE RASPBERRY (Rubus dubia)
Ever long to grow the same blue raspberry that supplies
the flavor for cotton candy, popsicles, and blue Jell-o? This was a
gardener's impossible dream until recently, as this plant grew only in
the volcanic soils in wind-swept Tierra del Fuego, and was gathered from
the mat-forming plants by the local Indians in return for cola bottlecaps, which have become an important part of their dowry traditions. Now that an upright less finicky form is available (and the Indians have gotten wise), this plant can be yours, though it will not flourish in areas with hot
BLUE RASPBERRY (Rubus dubia) - 5 canes for $40.00. Supply limited.
*Show-Me Exclusive* POPCORN ON THE COB!
We have long wanted to offer this unusual variety of popcorn but could not obtain stock until this year. "Early Wonder" popcorn is the only variety of popcorn known that actually pops on the plant. This corn grows normally until the ears mature, and then, when the weather gets hot, *watch out!!* The first day over 90 degrees will cause the kernels to pop right in the husk. You have to add the salt and butter though. Great conversation piece.
Popcorn "EARLY WONDER" - $5.00 per packet. Shipped in cold storage.
"HOLY TLAQUEPAQUE" Hot Pepper (Capsicum horridulum)
This is positively the hottest pepper we have ever seen or heard of. Small cherry-sized peppers cause severe blistering with mere skin contact, and eating just one can render the most seasoned pepper-eaters unable to speak or even swallow for several days, let alone pronounce the name to their attending emergency room physician. This is not an ornamental pepper - growth tends to be rangy and tall, with sparse pale leaves. To tell the truth, we couldn't say what you would do with this pepper. But they sure are hot.
Pepper "HOLY TLAQUEPAQUE" - $3.50 per packet.
ANT TREE – Myrmecodia.
An unusual plant with a swollen stubby trunk from which the flowers and fruit come directly. Your friends will want to take a closer look, but imagine their surprise when they find themselves covered with vicious stinging ants! Good conversation starter. The tree is not difficult to grow and propagate, but we must ask a higher price because the queen ants are so difficult to smuggle past the border agents.
ANT TREE - ea. $70.00 (Ant cultures included, shipped separately.)
PERUVIAN WONDER BEAN
Another scientific breakthrough, this bean is a laboratory cross between a fava bean and a garbanzo. Both delicious and heavy bearing, this amazing bean has another hidden quality – hidden that is, until you eat them: They produce enough gas to cook the next pot of beans. It requires a bit of timing to get it just right, and you won’t want to eat these if you’ve got a date that night, but they might just be a partial solution to your high energy bills! Have dinner, then hook up the special collection tank when you go to bed (please send personal measurements for the proper fit) and at the very least you’ll be able to make your breakfast with no extra tax on the environment.
PERUVIAN WONDER BEAN – 1 packet (30 seeds) - $12.00
New Plant Collection Offers:
This is a collection of all the most beautiful and unusual plants with stinging or irritating hairs, some occasionally fatal. Includes 5 varieties of nettle, including the famous "creeping nettle" of Venezuela, which spreads quickly by underground runners, Devil's Club from the Pacific Northwest, a beautiful shrub-small tree covered with irritating spines, several species of Loasa, and of course, the famous Australian Stinging Tree, a brush of which can make a grown man writhe in pain for several months. Plant this collection instead of an electric fence to keep plant thieves away from your prized items. Victims are a good source of extra nitrogen too! $30.00
New Roses collection:
The biggest and gaudiest of the new hybrid tea roses, many with no irritating fragrance to mask your own perfume, natural scent, or barbecue smoke. Some of these varieties combine up to five colors in one bloom. A few examples:
"LIBERACE" - This old rather forgotten variety throws up candelabra-like spikes of large shining blooms of green, red, and hot pink, with crystalline sparkling spots.
"ROSEANNE" - A white and red striped *big* fully double rose which does have a slight scent of old beer.
"SCREAMING QUEEN" - Lavender and magenta of course, with red flecks and lots of other colors too. Developed from a seedling of "Liberace," this rose has an interesting scent, somewhere between "Obsession" and "Aramis."
“JANET JACKSON” – Selected from a large lot of seedlings that showed promise but began to exhibit breaks as they matured, this trouble-free double rose that maintained its original color will just keep on performing in your garden!
"MADONNA" - Tall thin plants with black shiny leather-like blooms. Oddly pointed pistils protrude far beyond the rest of the floral parts. Will hybridize with anything.
“SARAH PALIN” – It’s been years since we’ve offered anything new so we decided to go ahead and introduce this one, even though it’s not quite stabilized. Pretty if in an unimaginative sort of way; it will go well with your plaster moose and other garden ornaments. Blooms tend to shatter when the weather gets hot.
NEW ROSES COLLECTION - $60.00
For the Perennial Border:
Arabian Night Flower – Euphorbia flor-achrista
A rarity from the desert near Jeddah, this plant’s bloom is the stuff of legends. Don’t be mislead by the name – it doesn’t bloom ever night, just on the 1001st night. The flower emerges on a slender delicate stem, and when its filmy green half-inch petals open the garden is flooded with the heady scent of camel breath. Gazing upon this flower is said to ensure a sensible arranged marriage to a successful, heterosexual husband.
ARABIAN NIGHT FLOWER - $50.00
Bishkek Cheeseberry – Ahmedovskia pordoides
You have visual beauty and scent in your garden; now you can also add sound with this attractive groundcover from the mountain meadows of Kyrgyzstan, the “whoopee cushion of the plant world.” Technically not a berry but rather an inflated silique, the seedpods that follow the attractive clusters of pink flowers are full of (unfortunately scentless) gas that bursts forth with exuberant “raspberries” when ripe, propelling the seeds to a distance of up to three meters. The plant is also receiving much attention from the medical community due to a compound found in its leaves which show a very promising ability to change the color of dandruff.
BISHKEK CHEESEBERRY - $15.00
Mousetrap Orchid – Mysodolos cyanarchidia
Another oddity from Central Asia, this high-country orchid has a strategy similar to the famous bee orchids of the Mediterranean. Opening at the peak of Tadjikistani field mouse mating season, the flowers have a shape and scent that cause the hormone-addled male mice to mistake them for a female Tadjikistani field mouse. The little fellow mounts the flower but his genitalia trigger an amazingly adapted clamp at the end of the column to close tightly around his scrotum. The hapless mouse hangs there until the female flowers open in the morning, at which point the clamp releases its grip but not without attaching a pair of pollen sacks to his foreskin. Now desperate for release, the mouse immediately forgets the pain of the night before and, full of hope, has frantic, passionate sex with the female flower, which dumps him as soon as he has performed his function. When your friends see this plant, bedecked at dusk with ten or more writhing male mice, your garden will be the talk of the neighborhood!
MOUSETRAP ORCHID - $40.00
We have no formal order form. Write your order on the back of a cereal boxtop (any brand will do), and send it to us by car, courier, or carrier pigeon. Send no payment until order is shipped. Show-Me Nurseries does not accept credit cards, traveller's checks or money orders. Don't send cash through the mail. It's dangerous and we don't accept it anyway. And stop whining.(Actually waiting until April 1 is so last year!
Thanks to my housemate Yasin for being a good sport, and to Shakir for kindly offering his Photoshop skills!)