The vaguely green-fingered thoughts of a rambling rose.

Bargains and Addictions

I'm a bit of a plant-a-holic. I am incapable of window shopping. I rarely go for top priced specimens, I do like a good bargain. While recently looking for a gift, I came across a section in my local DIY store that was selling off some plants cheaply that were past their best. If you check these sections for perennials, you will almost be certain of a bargain. Given a little water, planted into some decent soil, they may well continue to look a little sorry for themselves, but next Spring they will repay you over and over again. For a tiny fraction of the original cost.

Take these lillies for example. A couple of weeks ago they will have probably cost in the region of £6-£7. But since they no longer have any flowers, no-one wants to buy them....except me, for just 90 pence!! One very happy Rambling Rose! These hardy beauties, while not scented, will more than make up for it with colour, and have been planted into my front border to settle in for next year's display.

The more observant ones out there will notice that not only does the lower photo show tiny bulbils growing around the stem, but the top photo shows bulbils growing the in the leaf axils. I shall let these grow on and eventually they will begin to produce their own life support system in the form of roots. I'll then remove them and pot them on. It should take around two to three years to mature to a size large enough to flower. This will be the first time I have actually tried this, so watch this space.

Other plants I found in the bargain bin included this salvia. The Man that Can spotted a similar plant while at the Botanical Gardens, and mentioned how much he liked it. It therefore seemed an obvious addition to the madness that is our front border.

Do you recall the pretty blue-flowered hebe set for a starring role in the island bed? Well The Man that Can got his grafting boots on and it was planted after the large older white-flowered hebe was rudely wrenched from it's bed, and replanted into the space the Phormium vacated after the hard winter.

It looks rather lost beside the juniper, but it'll soon fill out.

Staying in the front border, I just had to show you the vivid red Crocosmia. They really stand out with the privet hedge backdrop.

A general view of the border

The baskets were swapped around from the backdoor to provide something a little different to look at, and a good view of the Spring-flowering clematis.

More Spring-flowering plants in August

More bargains include these wall baskets, and some of the plants within. They are a little awkward to water, but they provide a pretty frame to the kitchen window.  It's difficult to see from this angle, so perhaps I should get a better shot with the assistance of a stepladder, but each contains a fuschia, ivy and coleus, along with something to carry us into Autumn. In the coming years I hope to have these planted up somewhat earlier, so less of the base will be visible.

I cannot leave the front garden without showing off the towering Verbena Bonariensis with it's spindly stems and fat purple heads, they appear to float above the flowerbed. They're a big hit with the bees and butterflies.

I wonder now what season we're heading into...

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