Monday, 11 February 2013

Don't you just love a bargain!

I know I do!!

I nipped into our local DIY store for a bag of fat balls for all those hungry little birds visiting my garden.  I just couldn't fail to miss the rather large stand bursting with various plants with huge reduced labels on them.

After a while of humming and hawing, should I or shouldn't I - the lady who was manning the stand said to me if there is anything that takes your fancy let me know, I can reduce them a bit more.  Not one to let a chance like this pass me by, I promptly grabbed this as it was the only one I knew for certain was hardy enough for my garden.  


Carex oshimensis 'Evergold' AGM.
This sedge should clump up just nicely if the others growing in my garden are anything to go by.
The original sticker on the pot is £10.99 and as you can just make out it was reduced by 50% then the final price of £2.99.
The kindly lady then knocked it down to £2.50 and I was more than pleased with my bargain and it does look relatively healthy for this time of the year and I've just the spot for it!



Fatballs and bargain in hand out I trotted out to the car - homeward bound!              

Once home, the groceries were all packed away - the plant was put outside.  Ordinarily I would have got stuck in to finding a home for my new plant but as snow was forecast, I thought it best to leave it tucked up in a sheltered spot for now.

However, something was playing on my mind - a comment made by the afore mentioned kindly lady -
"If they are not all sold today, they will be put in the bin tonight" - it was playing like an echo in my head!  For those of you who are old enough to remember vinyl records, you know when the needle gets stuck and it just keeps on repeating!!  No matter how hard I tried, I could not get those words out my head!

It probably won't come as a surprise to a few of you that less than 10 minutes later I was back at the store - yes, pretty local and a bit too handy sometimes!  

There was numerous Palms, of differing varieties, been there done that, not hardy enough! So those were rather quickly disregarded.  Same goes for the Cordylines, Aloes and rather lonely looking standard growing shrub, which although it had no label, it just had that 'tender' look!  Now, if I had been looking to plan a rose garden complete with patio roses, I could have had a trolley full for little more than a crisp purple £20 pound note! Not today thank-you!
Acers by the dozen - I've already got enough of those.  Stuck right in the middle shelf, hidden from view was 1 shrub, which I wasn't quite sure what it was - down it came for further examination. Cercis chinensis 'Avondale'.   On my wish list for a few years has been it's North American cousin C. canadensis Forest Pansy and I have never been able to source this for less than £60.  Despite being hardy enough etc here in Scotland, I have spoken to a few gardeners who say it doesn't do particularly well therefore I have never been willing to take that gamble.
As you can see already dropped by half to £12.49, then half again, the kindly lady, who by this time had told me her name was Janet reduced it again.  £2.50!!!  A quick google on my smartphone, told me that this should be hardy enough - the label said part shade - spring flowers - moist soil - 3m in height.  Can I make a home for this???  I wonder???

Here it is.  I have used it as a specimen in the lawn - turf was removed and plenty of organic matter added along with some bonemeal for root development. Watered and mulched - bob's your uncle!

Apparently the 2 things these shrubs don't like are chemical fertilisers and root disturbance, so I hope I've just about covered everything and if not -  it will not have broken the bank!


I was in two minds whether or not to underplant with some bulbs but decided against it for now.

There will be the option to increase the size of this border a little to incorporate some bulbs in a few years - I'd like to get an idea of what month this shrub will flower here in Scotland - then I can choose bulbs which will either bloom just before flowering or will compliment it's blooms.  Apparently it is quite a narrow growing shrub so should not be overly wide for this area and I'll still have room for the lawn mower at the rear!

If you grow Cercis, I'd be most interested hear your experiences with this shrub.

Oh and by the way, I bought another 2 Carex, this time Janet marked them both down to £1.50.  £8 for 1 shrub and 3 grasses - at any other time of the year - the £8 would not have bought me just one of these plants - I'm well pleased :)

Have you ever had a bargain you just couldn't ignore?  Did it thrive or was it just a waste of time?  Do you take chances with plant you would otherwise ignore?

Once again, thank you very much for reading and I do hope that my next blog will be with my first blooms of 2013 - they are taking their time but are getting there!

     

   

 

         

36 comments:

  1. You had a lucky day with these super bargains, that is something for once in a lifetime. Good idea to visit the shop for a second time,
    the Cercis chinensis Avondale is a real gem. For two years I was looking for Cercis canadensis Forest Pansy, but I came home with a Cercis chinensis Don Egolf and I don't regret. In May you will get lovely pink flowers on the bold branches.

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    1. Janneke - I was lucky, I'm not often though!
      I do hope I'm as pleased with mine as you seem to be with yours. Roll on May :)

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  2. Looks like you had a lucky day, and that Cercis looks great planted in the lawn. Forest Pansy is a pretty tree, from what I have seen of them, I tried to grow maples here, although a few people do, but the leaves burn.

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    1. Karen, such a shame you can't grow Maples, I presume you are talking about Japanese maples. My favourite does get a wee bit of wind burn but not so much that it bothers me.

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  3. Okay, I need to come to your town in Scotland to do plant shopping. No, at least never in NJ, you will get good plants at such discount price!. At the closing of fall session, they have all the annuals - those that are dying, no flowers, almost dead - at 50% discount :-(. I am always on lookout for discounted plants and garden materials, but never find them; if I ever find, I am buying them, no matter what sort they are.

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    1. You are welcome to come here to do your plant shopping anytime KL :)
      We do get those annuals on sale in autumn time too but I would not buy them.
      Over here we have a few supermarket chains that now stock decent quality plants for a fraction of the prices in some Garden Centres, you would have far too much luggage - the excess charge would be HUGE!! :)

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  4. I was able to purchase gallon pots of Butterflyweed (orange milkweed) last summer at an open house hosted by a local native plant nursery. I have a good feeling that they will bloom this year.

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    1. Nicolas, having never heard of Butterfly weed before, I've look it up. It is difficult to grow here and treated as an annual.
      I hope it blooms well for you :)

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  5. Good work! I hope you and the Chinese redbud are very happy. One thing you might consider is create a bed of groundcover instead of grass around the redbud - this would reduce walking and compaction within the eventual dripline.

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    1. Jason, thanks so much for your comments. Although in the picture it looks like I've mulched over the lawn, but there is about a 60cm diameter of turf lifted. I gave your suggestion some thought and this afternoon I have planted some Primula vulgaris, which I hope have light mauve coloured flowers. These should bulk out and form decent size mounds at the base. I will add at time goes buy no doubt!

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  6. Great offers! And smart purchases. I'll look forward to seeing your Cercis chinensis Avondale first time in flower.

    My best bargain offer must be a dahlia I bought at B&Q many years ago, a Dahlia 'sunshine. Bought it for 50p and let it grow a few years before lifting and dividing into 3 plants which are still happily growing. They are about 80 cm tall plants with flowers all summer into late October. I could possibly divide those 3 plants now and get 9 plants, from that one 50p investment :-)

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  7. Thanks Helene - that was a bargain with the Dahlia. I do like them but they are too high maintainence for me :)
    My grandfather was a keen Dahlia grower I remember his having them in their masses in his garden.
    That 50p investment has done you well. I always look out for perennials that are bursting from their pots, a bargain when you can split them.

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  8. Wonderful purchase for you and great bargain Angie.

    Roll on Spring .

    Hope you don't get too much snow tomorrow.

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    1. Thanks Kath - snow didn't come too much, thankfully!
      I haven't had time to log onto Trowels to find out how your weather is. I've got all the kids this week - a bit hectic!

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  9. I am about 50% with bargains...yours look wonderful. Good luck with them

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    1. Thank you Donna - and good luck with whatever you buy!

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  10. You got some great bargains! Our garden center here doesn't mark plants down - unless they're dead! :( I hope all your new plants do well, especially your tree. I can already imagine it full grown. So glad you listened to your inner voice and went back!

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    1. It seems to be that over in the states you don't get out of season plants marked down. That's such a shame!
      Thanks for your comments

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  11. I care nothing for the discount season when it comes to clothes, but plant discounts make me extremely greedy. Carex grows very well here too, they like cool, moist summers I think. What a great way to start the new gardening season.

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    1. I'm a bit like that myself Linda. Yes, cool moist summer just about sums it up!!

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  12. Angie,

    What a score! I know nothing of the plant and had to Google it, but it is beyond gorgeous. Lucky! Love your Countdown To Spring - counter... I may have to steal that idea for my blog. :) Have a great weekend.

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    1. Sarah - I'm glad you liked it - they look stunning don't they!
      Found this counter yesterday whilst browsing - hope you manage to get it.

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  13. Previously I said that I never got a bargain. But, yesterday I got one - six hyacinth for $5.99 -- that's cheap!!

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    1. Well done on your purchase - maybe reading my blog brought you some luck :) Long may it continue!

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  14. Hi,

    This reminds me; I really must get to B&Q soon to pick up spring bulbs! I keep meaning to go but with the snow and whatever I just haven't managed it yet!
    Also, Dobbies often have good reductions this time of year, and I'm itching to go there too :)

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    1. Glad to have reminded you! Popped into Dobbies the other day - they had nothing I fancied and very little on the shelves. Mind you, with the beautiful weather - I suspect that will have changed this last day or two.
      I picked up a tray of Tete a Tete dafs in B&Q for £4 - not too bad I thought.

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  15. You are going to love the Redbud and the Carex. The Redbud has beautiful spring blooms and nice folaige too. The Carex will spread but stay pretty round and makes a nice dense groundcover. Enjoy and well done with your bargains!

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    1. Thanks Lee - I hope I get blooms this spring! I do have a couple of other Carex in the garden and couldn't resist these at the prices!

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  16. Wow! You really did hit the bargain bonanza. I can only echo Lee's comments about the redbud - wonderful spring blooms and a nice tidy little tree. You will enjoy it, as well as all your other finds!

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    1. Dorothy - thank you for stopping by - I'm hoping I will have some lovely blooms to share in a blog!

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  17. Hi Angie, thanks for dropping by my site, and I am glad you've been to our country, not warm as you said but hot, and humid. I am sure you had difficulty when outside the airconditioned buildings. I am so sorry when you mentioned that those plants for sale there will go to the bin just like that. I hope they just give them to anyone who wants them. Here, we don't do that because most plants stay alive the whole year, except for the imported ones that die fast with our climate.

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    1. Kalantikan - I love your country. I've visited 12 times (my brother used to work there) - don't mind outside without the aircon - I'm a bit of a sun worshipper!
      Yes, it is a shame they go in the bin - they need the room to sell more!

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  18. I'm excited for you and your Cercis! Last winter I planted Cercis canadensis Forest Pansy. It didn't flower in spring, I'm presuming it was too young, but its leaves this summer have been beautiful. It looked especially nice with white bishop's flower underplanted. I'm really hoping to get the pink flowers next spring but even without them it's a gorgeous plant.

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    1. Ruth - I hope you get flowers this year. Our Cercis can grow up together :) It's the leaves of Forest Pansy that I was attracted to. Who knows - if this does well I may splash out and get one!
      My fingers are crossed for your flowers!

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  19. Hi Angie, just popped in to say thanks for stopping by and commenting on my very first GBBD. Glad I found your blog will have a good read, better than TV any day.

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    1. You are welcome Bill - being new to blogging - I'm just getting the hang of things. I wanted to take part in GBBD this month but didn't have enough time to get my pictures sorted out in time!
      Always next month!

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