Beautiful Plant Society

Penstemon cardwellii 'Roseus'. Photo by Todd Boland

I’ve just renewed my membership to the North American Rock Garden Society (NARGS), and I am so excited. Really! NARGS, affectionately known as the North American Odd Plant Society, is a group of plant lovers who have  specialized gardens, including rock gardens, woodland and bog gardens, planted walls, and alpine berms. Not only do these gardeners grow rare  and unusual plants, some also wild collect seeds from all over the world. Every year at this time, they have a Seed Exchange, and this is where I get excited. Members can choose from a long list of seeds donated by member gardeners, and the list is amazing. As I sift through the list I hope to find more seeds for a lunaria with white and pale green leaves that disappeared from my garden after losing a fight with a bush clematis, and to try new a hellebore species.

Delphinium kamaonense. Photo by Todd Boland

Where is the Something for (almost) Nothing angle here? Simply that if you love plants, the NARGS membership fee ($30) opens the door to a whole world of extraordinarily beautiful and interesting plants, and is absolutely a bargain. And you get a subscription to the Rock Garden Quarterly. I always feel like a better gardener somehow when I have a basket of Rock Garden Quarterlies on the back porch during the summer!

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