I have found a few ways to save a few gardening pennies, and thought I should share them with you.
I often get very carried away when the seed and plant catalogues drop through my letter box. I end up spending a small fortune, only for the late frosts to either carry away my over enthusiastic efforts, or for the plants to die on me before I have had a chance to plant them out at the appointed time.
As much as I hate shopping at garden supermarkets, getting plants and seeds through the post just isn’t the same as looking at the plant, touching it and selecting them yourself.
My tip for the garden supermarket visits is *Fanfare*:
Head straight to the bargain bucket area.
On my last trip I purchased 4 Dicentra plants in 3 litre pots, 3 Aquilegia plants, again in 3 litre pots, and 4 Copeopsis plants. Ordinarily these would have cost me around £60-£70. I brought these all from the bargain bucket area and got change from a tenner!
The people who run the major commercial garden stores oddly have very little clue about how to care for their plants. They usually arrange for their store assistants to half drown the poor things once a week, after they have been left to dry out, looking more like floating twigs than leafy green treasures.
The trick is to make regular visits to the stores. I have been after Dicentra plants for years, but could never justify the cost. Recently I had to have a tree removed, leaving an empty area in the garden requiring plants that were happy in partial shade. A quick look on the web and Dicentra came up as one of the ideal solutions.
Because the plants were not in absolute tip-top condition, they were sold as damaged produce at greatly reduced prices. Many of the items which find their sorry way into the bargain buckets, are usually only in need of a little TLC. Just check the roots and for signs of healthy future growth. If the plants can survive life in a store, and manage to make it to the bargain bucket area, odds on they will be able to thrive with your green fingers.
This method is also a great way to try out new plants without breaking a tight budget. I had never heard of Aquilegias before, but the flower colours coordinated with the Dicentra, and it turns out they both enjoy similar growing conditions.
The Coreopsis is another plant I had never heard of, but it so happens that it has a lovely yellow flower, which is very attractive to bees and butterflies. At such a bargain price, it would be almost rude not to give the plant a try and save it from a fate worse than the garden store dustbin.
I have also kitted out about 70% of my herb garden, simply by regularly checking out the bargain bucket area of my local garden store. It is so pleasing to know that I can make my hobby more affordable. If a plant dies, then I have only lost a few pennies and at least I gave the poor thing a fighting chance.
So in all, a win win situation – you don’t often get many of those, do you! 🙂
I will post details of my herb garden and other tips I have discovered over the next few days. If you have any gardening tips and ideas, please share them with us in the comments box below.
Look forward to hearing from you, until then, take care.
- Dicentra spectabilis – Bleeding Heart (organicallotment.typepad.com)