By now, you know that I don't like to spend money on something I can get for free, or close to it. This is one of the reasons I have so many "pass-along" plants in my garden. I also love finding deals on the clearance rack at Lowe's and Southern States, especially when they're perennials.
Since this week is my spring break, I've been spending some much overdue time in the flower gardens... weeding, planning, dreaming, planting, and moving things around to fit my vision for this year. I acquired some pass-along plants from a few co-workers who know my passion for gardening (I also teach a gardening exploratory course to my middle school students, so we're constantly acquiring new plants people donate.) and through some donations of plants we couldn't use at school (we have mostly sun at school, so shade loving plants don't do well... so I bring them home to live behind the house). I've added some varigated Solomon's seal, more pulmonaria, helliobores, and will add some more hosta tomorrow. I'm working on splitting some of our larger hosta to fill in some areas along the steep bank behind the house (hostas are a love of mine in the landscape... they're so easy to grow and propogate and they'll grow in almost any situation). My phlox and lady's mantle began to self-sew last year, so there are baby plants popping up all over the garden, which is a nice surprise and a great way to fill in the blank spaces. Now that some of our gardens have been in existance for three years, it means that I now have the joy of sharing some pass-along plants with friends, so they'll benefit from some phlox, pachysandra, lemon balm, and lady's mantle.
Of course, with all this spring gardening, this required the obligatory visit to Lowe's. I went with the plan of scoring some Easter lilies on sale after Easter (they'll come back year after year, so don't toss it after the blooms fade if someone gave you one... plant it!). But, alas, there were no Easter lilies to be found... but there were a TON of spring perennials on the clearance rack for, wait for it, 50 cents a piece! They weren't dinky little guys either, one and two-gallon plants. All they needed was a little water, some deadheading, and they were perfect for my gardens. I grabbed five bachelor's button plants and some other things I don't remember the name of, but for under five dollars, I walked out of the garden center with eight perennials that will add color and texture to my gardens year after year. It doesn't take much to make this girl happy... a trip to Lowe's and five dollars well spent!
How's your garden growing this year? Have you had the joy of sharing plants with others, or started your garden with pass-along plants friends gave you? Any good deals you've found at local garden centers? I'd love to hear how you're living and saving green this spring!