Last weekend we decided t' />

I'm over day lilies. My partner, The Landscaper, is in the final throes of an affair with them, but I have a new best friend.
Last weekend we decided to divide the orchard from the "house garden", so we mowed a track between the two and planted a semicircle of reject trees a friend had given us as a demarcation line. The rejects are olives and Norfolk Island hibiscus (romantically called cow itch tree), but I decided I wanted to plant some "chosen" trees in between.
Driving down our road the other day, I noticed a gorgeous, beautifully shaped tree covered in red leaves and cream-and-apricot flowers on the other side of my neighbour's garden. I guessed viburnum or lily of the valley tree. It was hanging appealingly over a fence and I fell instantly and deeply in love.
Internet research showed it was more than likely a photinia - not the usual old red robin that abounds in my neck of the woods, but Photinia robusta, described on Google as a large shrub with abundant small white flowers on green and red foliage. It grows to 5m, said Google (a fact I'll thank you not to tell my partner) and is described as a fast-growing evergreen shrub with large green leaves and bronzey-red new growth. It's adaptable to most soil conditions, ideal for hedging or screening, and once established is very hardy and drought-tolerant. Hmmm. How could you not be smitten?
A quick drive around the local nurseries did not yield any examples of the object of my affection. Short of driving 100km to find one, there seemed no alternative but to resort to the internet.
The great thing about shopping on the internet is that it's full of surprises. A few flutters on Trade Me and you'll have a wardrobe full of ill-fitting shoes, several see-through blouses and a reject cat. You might also have 100 clivias so small you need a magnifying glass to see them, but don't despair - when you want, crave, absolutely must have a Photinia robusta, Google is your friend.
I've bought plants off the internet before, and four times out of five it's been a satisfactory experience. The first time I ordered, it was a dozen eugenia. For the price I paid, I expected them to arrive in a cardboard box, but they came on the back of an ute and within three years were taller than the house. They were recently pruned to half their size and they're still twice as big as I am.
Last week, having ordered a bunch of clivias on Tuesday, we were lying in bed at 7am on Wednesday wondering when they might arrive when a cheerful courier called "Good morning" from the courtyard, and there were our plants.
Many nurseries offer overnight delivery, provided ordering and payment are sorted.