Saturday, May 9, 2020

A Fine Surprise

I received a surprise yesterday, and unlike some that have come down the pike recently (yes, I’m talking pandemic) this one was quite nice.

When I went outside to water plants in pots, I found this box on my porch.

I had no recollection of ordering anything from them, and my subscription to the magazine does not arrive in a box. I continued to be mystified as I looked through the contents. A jug of liquid fertilizer, a cure for poison ivy rash. Some plant catalogs…At last I unearthed a  postcard that said “Thanks for signing up for our 2020 Garden Vision Newsletter!”

I had no recollection of signing up for this, but I do voluntarily receive some of their email newsletters so I'm sure I opted for this one. I had to go online to find out that the first 250 people who signed up would get a prize box worth $150. Which jogged my memory a little. I get their emails early in the morning, so I figured I might have a shot of being among the first 250, and who wouldn’t want some garden-related loot?

It's actually a pretty good prize. I got a $50 gift certificate from Bluestone Perennials, $25 for Oakes Daylilies, a BOGO for a Proven Winners shrub, plus the fertilizer and poison ivy wash.

Plus a lovely box. A nice box is always a good thing.

I'm certainly looking forward to using my gift cards for more plants, though I must admit I am a bit planted-out. Since March 18 I have planted 109 plants (and yes, I know some of you have planted much more, and I'm suitably impressed). A fair number were used in containers, including my new window boxes that friend Lonna’s sweetie ‘Dick’ll-do-it’ made for my house, but many went into the ground. But it will be fun to find some more perfect plants to add. Right now I just want to watch things grow for a while.

I figure now that I have stuff to wash off poison ivy I'll probably never encounter it again. Which is fine by me; horrible stuff. I have to say, I'm intrigued by the pictures on the box. Where did they find this poor kid with poison ivy rash on his face? 

Was there some national contest – “Send us your child’s picture with poison ivy rash and if you are the winner, you will receive $1500 cash, residuals for the life of the child, and 144 tubes of our product!” I can just imagine the mama encouraging her son to go play in the woods. Or maybe it's the work of a talented makeup artist?

There was one aspect of my prize box that I put into use immediately. For some reason they had included a handful or two of that crinkly brown paper packing material, which seems a bit silly since everything in the box was paper. 

But as it happens, it was exactly what I needed to refresh the carved wooden cattails in a bowl I found last fall. 

Millie has enjoyed removing these paper shreds that cover up the block of florist’s foam holding the cattails. Thanks to Fine Gardening, it’s all fluffy again!

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