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Although this could very well be a picture of me finding a new treasure at a favorite nursery, it's actually an illustration by David Catrow for a children's book called Plantzilla.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Ye'll take the High Road

And I'll take the Lowes road. 

 
 
True confession time.  I sometimes shop for plants at big box stores.  Shamelessly walking in to look at plants, not just checking them out because I need a piece of pipe, a new weed whacker, or some concrete.  I do believe in supporting nurseries and small hardware stores for that matter but it's also fun to see what's available for a cheap plant thrill.    Here is some of what Lowes had when I visited.
 
 
Pieris japonica still thrills with it's early blooms and, in some varieties, interestingly colored foliage.
 
 Winter fire dogwood
Lots of lovely pots of the daffodil and muscari combination. 
 The bargain of the day was these sweet double mauvey pink double primroses in 1.25 quart pots  inside of lovely pink plastic decorative containers.  $2.98.
 Ranunculus have such  interesting flowers.  There are so many tissue paperey petals!

I used to grow these in Alaska where they'd bloom for quite a while and each fall the little tubers were dug and stored inside for the winter. 

Here, they seem to show up as early spring pot stuffer/ annual material and I don't see them growing much in the ground in gardens in these parts. 
 These flats of mixed sedum are great for making succulent spheres.  Start with two half round hanging wire things (you know, the ones you put coco fiber liners in, shove the sedum (it's grown in a fiber mat.) into the pot, fill with soil.  Repeat and then flip one half circle onto the other. (landscape fabric & chicken wire over the top will help keep the soil in place. Wire the two half circles together and voila, a sedum sphere.  If you want to add sempervivum, or other succulents, just make a hole in the mat with a sharp implement and push them in through the outside.

Jasmine's  tropical perfume wafting over the place whispered "summer's almost here" to me.  I've been hearing a lot of voices in my head theese days.

Traveling inside to the house plant department, I saw these. 
 It's getting pretty dangerous in here!

 Cute combination.  Love the unlabeled  plant in the back!
 I was sorely tempted by this Agave lophantha 'quadricolor!'  This plant always reminds me of Loree because I bought one to give her before I met her for the first time but decided on a different plant instead.  Mine must have been too wet before I brought it in this fall because it died this winter.  While it's a striking plant, it doesn't do a lot of growing in our cool summers.
Another temptation!  Aloe dorotheae
 Graptosedum 'California Sunset' had me swooning over those gorgeous colors and cute chubby foliage.  I may have to go back and get one. 
 Sorry, couldn't help myself.
 
Here's what came home with me. 
 Home Depot is very close so I decided to see if I could find some of the mismarked Yucca gloriosa variegatas that I read about here.  They were there, cost 6.95, and the tag read Yucca gloriosa.  They left off the variegata part but at least they weren't  labeled Yucca filamentosa like the ones in Portland.  Why the difference I wonder?
I'm kind of nuts about this plant right now as I've a few that I planted about  eight years ago that have grown into stunning plants that look fabulous all year.  The variegation becomes much more pronounced with age and I want to add a few more.  Hooray!



17 comments:

  1. So do I - and if you are there at the right time, sometimes you can get great mark-downs.

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  2. I also take the Lowe's road and not just for the hardware. I support the independent nurseries especially when looking for natives and specialty plants. With a large yard to fill it only makes sense to buy the basics where the best prices are. Sometimes they have great markdowns that are impossible to pass up like the carload of large Yucca filamentosa 'Color Guard' I planted all over the yard for just $4 each.

    That fan-shaped succulent is awesome. I tried a hanging succulent planter once and it was not pretty. Made a huge mess, couldn't keep them in place, and ended planting them all in pots. Some things are just not meant to be [sigh].






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    1. It is hard to pass up a good buy on the basics!

      The secret of the hanging succulent planter is chicken wire which I neglected to mention in this post. OOPS!

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  3. I shop at the big box stores for plants sometimes too. Later in the season they sometimes mark down their plants that are past or haven't had the most tender of care/watering. A little TLC can bring them back to life. Love the Yuccas and the pink primroses. Hmm...I need to buy some seeds today, maybe I'll try Lowes instead of the nursery.

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    1. Nurseries have wider variety and more unusual stuff but sometimes a cheap thrill is all you need.

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  4. The yucca's I posted about this time were at Lowes. Maybe Home Depot caught the error and corrected it but Lowes was the recipient of the mislabeled ones? It makes my head hurt!!!

    I see a definite color story in your purchases. Almost like you were buying for your Easter table centerpiece. What is the plant that looks like a bunch of peas?

    Oh and that 'quadricolor' is HOT...you are a strong man to resist its pull!

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    1. I noticed that color story too but it was entirely unintentional. I just threw plants in the cart and they ended up looking like that. Weird. I'll be going back to get more of those primroses to give as gifts and if those three 'quadricolors' are still there, one of them might just come home with me. I'll check the label of the bunch of peas plant when I get home.

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    2. The bunch of peas plantis cotyledon sinus alexandri.

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  5. It's well worth being open minded where one shops for plants. Treasures can be found anywhere, even in big box shops :)

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  6. I have been known to buy plants at the big boxes on occasion as well. I find if you go on a Thursday they are often trying to get rid of stock delivered the Friday before. However, I do not go there looking for a specimen or real quality plant.

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    1. And yet sometimes I'm surprised by the quality. Not all stores in the same chain are created eqal in the plant department though. I'm always surprised by the somtimes extreme differences in the various outlets of the same store.

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  7. Awesome pictures, Peter. Beautiful plants and flowers. It's so cold here and we still have a lot of snow. Mickey enjoy snow, I'd enjoy flowers..

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    1. I hope spring comes soon for you Satu but I'm happy that Mickey enjoys the snow!

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  8. I, too, try to support the local independent nurseries. And only get my roses from a rose nursery. But, still, Lowe's is a great place to spend some time (and money)! I go to several different ones in this area - they are all different. One is run by a very knowledgeable gardener, and I like that one the best. She's great at answering questions, too - not something one finds in the garden area of a big box store very often!

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    1. There are all different all right. Seems like they all have the same suppliers but some get certain things while others opt for others - strange.

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Thanks so much for taking the time to comment! I love to hear your thoughts.