Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A Stick in the Mail

I got a stick in the mail today- shipped from Winnipeg in a long, six-foot box lined with brown paper.

T & T Seeds tells me that this stick is a Hazelnut- a Flibert Hazelnut (hybrid of American wild hazelnuts with their better fruiting cousins in Europe)- and I can only trust them that this is true.

At the base of this stick is a bulbous growth wrapped in twine mesh. Inside the mesh is a root ball hugged by cedar shavings to help with the shock of the trip in the back of a Canada Post truck. Obedient as I am, I followed the directions and now have the root ball soaking in a mop bucket, accompanied by a High Bush Cranberry that at least is leafing out and looks somewhat like the bush it will be.

In the bazooka sized cardboard box, I also pulled out two, four-inch lingonberry plants, a Ben Nevis Currant, some onion sets and seed potatoes. In baggies were five other plants: three are a I've-fogotten-the-name-of-perennial which I purchased with no research (the flowers nearly burst out of the catalogue!). Two of the baggies are clematis plants, one purple and one red, but you'd never know it. Seriously, all that is in each labelled sandwich bag is a mass of tangled, thick roots. They also look dead, though on very close inspection I found a hint of a bud.

My girlfriend ordered from T & T Seeds last year and had warned me of the sorry state of affairs that I'd receive in the mail. All her sticks and roots magically sprouted life and grew with vigour. In her experience, I find my hope that hazelnuts will grow from what appears to be a dead twig weighed down by its weird tumour.


Mrs.Spit said...

I've never ordered from them, but yep, that's a bare root plant. You won't see as much this summer as if you bought the plant (if you could buy it locally, and I bet you can't) but they will overwinter with ease, and you will be astonished. I have some bare root hostas that are absolute show stoppers.

Evelyn in Canada said...

That's the kind of package I would have loved for Mother's Day. There's a ton of potential in those sticks and weird lumps of roots. I hope they work out well!

.................................................................. said...

And they are still all going strong!!! All my bushes are already in leaf and looking way.... "bush-ier" My Hazelnut stick still looks "stick-ish"- but I see many buds that promise some healthy branches/leaves....I'm so happy with the results from last year, I ordered 2 cranberries, 2 gooseberries, 5 raspberries and 20 asparagus!!

An Avenue Homesteader said...

Mrs. Spit, You remind me that the prices are really reasonable when plants are bought this way!

Great to hear confirmation, Naomi, that the plants survived our excruciating winter.

An Avenue Homesteader said...

And the hazelnut is now budding out! Poor thing has nearly snapped a half dozen times in this busy house, I have got to plant it.

SherryGreens said...

I got my first package from T&T this spring too - strawberries. $1 per plant! It was not at all what I expeceted, just a rooty mess like you said, 10 plants could fit in one sandwich baggie. Now they are strong and vigorous and out doing the greenhouse ones I also bought as backup! Looks like your garden is growing well!