Dan Hinkley update

March 10, 2011

There are too many reasons to have a garden crush on Dan Hinkley. In the 80s his nursery, Heronswood is where we spent the bulk of our retirement funds on strange and unusual plants. And I am proud to say that two of the plants I bought there are still alive: a lime green pelargonium that he pinched from Rosemary Verey’s garden and a polygonum.

Okay, sure, two of the easiest plants to grow in the Kingdom Plantae. Whatever. They are alive!

Heronswood was the escape from the everyday plant – and in Southern California everyday was agapanthus. So I was shocked, shocked I tell you, and perhaps secretly pleased that what Hinkley collects now is agapanthus. In Hinkley style, he has hundreds. And who knew there were so many? But they are probably not as easy for him in chilly Washington as they are for us steamy Southern California.

Hinkley’s challenge is our Home Depot staple.

Now my love of Hinkley is complete as he quotes Princess Bride in a recent adventure on his website. No way! I am a huge Princess Bride quoter having seen the movie probably 20 times.

Favorite PB quote for garden purposes: Miracle Max: He’s only MOSTLY dead (change “he” to “it” and refer to plants. Emphasize MOSTLY and use a lisp.)

Peeking into his web site further it looks like he is still tromping around places like Yolong Shan looking for the next new plant. Hinkley is the last of the exotic plant explorers.

Fare the well Mr. Hinkley. PB translation: Have fun stormin da castle.

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