Sunday, July 24, 2011

Grocery Store Garden Centre Orphans

This is the best time of the summer in Canada to get plants for pitance. Often if the timing is right , garden plants can be absolutely free.

Every grocery store partitions off part of the parking lot and sets up a
'Garden Centre' in May for the convenience of their shoppers. The store purchases bedding plants , shrubs and trees that are not exotic . Most fall within the average choices made by home gardeners to spruce up their yards without having to babysit the gardens to often . Common supplies and tools are usually included.

orphan hosta 10 years ago
 By the middle of July , these plants are showing signs of insufficient watering and being root bound . Prices are slashed to clear the plants out. This is a perfect time to fill your vehicle with whatever there is left . Every plant regardless of size or type is going for $1.00 or less.

Yesterday my neighbour turned up at my door with a car full of flowering plants , shrubs and trees which she had purchased for $16. The passenger seat , backseat and floors were filled to capacity. " I didn't have time to come and get you. I had to get them there and then. So I bought everything I could get my hands on," she informed me.

Orphan Spirea three years ago
  Of course I was overjoyed. She had dropped by the grocery store at just the right time . I became the willing recipient of a dozen new plants (all perennials) for my yard. I really felt like taking them all but that would not have been very considerate in the face of her generosity.

Anyone who passed through that same parking lot after closing would find a pile of what looked to be dead or at the very least 'on their last roots' plants ready for the compost.

Orphan Euonymous ten years ago
 One of the best gardens I had was in Winnipeg when my husband and I stumbled upon one of these piles. Tens of petunias , spirea shrubs and dwarf variegated junipers created a beautiful front garden of a house we had just moved into . It did not cost a cent and we did not lose one of those plants . All they needed was a good drink of water and some room to wiggle their toes  roots.

They are always seem thankful for the freedom from constrictive pots.These rejected orphans will give a glorious long lasting show , just when others in the garden are winding down.

This years orphans will join many adopted grocery store rejects like the ones in the pics .
A hearty welcome goes out to Labrador violets , another anonymous steppable, bellflowers , white anemones , Alpine Columbines , another Clematis , a Red Prince Wiegela and a French Lilac .

Go forth and multiply . Once I have planted you and settled you in , you are on your own.

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