I really need a nice baby’s-breath plant for my back yard. I had one once, but it succumbed to the great Garage Rebuild of 2004, in which the hubby gained another garage with storage in the attic and 10 extra feet across the back and I lost an asparagus bed and a zucchini patch. Amends have been made, and I now have a nice sunny space for my veggie garden, but the baby’s-breath never recovered from the traumatic building process.

The nice thing about these plants is their ability to fill in a vase so that three fern fronds and a rose look like a beautiful florist-bought bouquet. Maybe not the most expensive bouquet in the shop, but quite acceptable nevertheless. Without the b-b included, it’s not quite the same. The stems tend to fall in all directions and all of a sudden one requires another dozen flowers to make it work. I really need that plant!

For some reason, this year there is not a baby’s-breath to be found. I spent the day shoping at two nurseries and a Lowe’s. One nursery owner told me that even his sources have dried up and he has no idea when they’ll get them again. I can’t even find seeds. I wasn’t able to get plants last year, either, and the year before that I stupidly elected to leave the nursery pot with its $24.95 price tag right on the lot between the canna lily and snapdragon displays. I could kick myself, but who knew it would come to this? Still, there’s always the internet.

I have options, though. This year I’m planting lots of dahlias, in every variety from dark purple-y red dwarf to bright yellow dinner plate. It doesn’t take a whole lot of dinner plate dahlias to fill a vase. Besides, they will be tall and bright in the garden and give me something pleasant to view while considering how best to effect the demise of the pillbugs munching on the strawberries.

I’m going to plant my dahlia bulbs out in the south 40 between the orange tree and the compost pile. They’ll have to fight the nasturtiums, but I have confidence that, with a little help from me, the dahlias will come out all right. I’ll put some of the dwarf red ones in the border by the driveway, and two or three clumps of dinner plates right in the middle of the veggie patch.

With or without baby’s-breath, I’ll have gorgeous flowers for the cemetery this year, as well as some for my living room, my sunroom, my neighbor’s house, and of course my garden.

I’ll see you again, after the commercial.