when is a bargain…not

NOID Deodora cedar

You may recall my excitement over the sale at Means, where we picked up this Deodora cedar for a mere $9.99. R is the tree planter in the family. When he came in from planting this, he was worried. The root ball, he said, was quite small, with evidence of some hacking off of large roots. Now this tree comes in dwarf, upright, towering, sprawling and probably several other varieties I don’t even know about. Often when we buy something from Means it takes some time to recover from transplant shock. If this is one that eventually reaches mammoth proportions, I would not be at all sorry for it to take its time.

fave tool for weeding

Nothing beats a hefty screwdriver as a weeding tool. You know how it is with tools: they keep wandering off. So…off to Home Depot for yet another replacement.

Agapanthus

But did I stick to the tool department? Heck no! What’s a trip to Home Depot without a stroll through the garden center? I spotted these lush, healthy looking Agapanthus ‘Frederick St Park’ on sale for $2.98 (there’s two of them there).

rootbound Agapanthus

I had to cut them out of the nursery pots, and then cut away a lot of the roots wound around and around. This was not easy to do without losing a flowering stalk.

Agapanthus flower

Which I did, but waste not want not…it made a nice focal point in a little posy of sweet peas.

potted Agapanthus

All potted up, they continue to put on a show without missing a beat. I’ll move these onto the porch when cold weather returns. I’ve tried Agapanthus in the ground a couple of times and lost them. We shall see.

Cotinus coggyria ‘Golden Spirit’

Another Means purchase, the Cotinus coggyria ‘Golden Spirit’ in the back pot set us back all of two bucks. What do you think? Do these plants qualify as “bargains”, or have I been played for a sucker? My own thinking runs along these lines: even if every one of them were to conk out by the end of this growing season, I would feel like I’d gotten my money’s worth and then some.

26 Responses to “when is a bargain…not”

  1. Shirley Says:

    They are a bargain because you enjoy them and some of them might surprise you by sticking around for more than season.

    I use an old screwdriver as a weeder too, I have a weeding tool but haven’t seen it since last summer.

  2. Alison Says:

    I definitely think you got a bargain on all of them. I mean — 2 bucks for a Golden Spirit Cotinus? Wow. Hope your cedar thrives.

  3. Jenni @ RainyDayGardener Says:

    I love a good bargain and I think you got some. Bargains can be risky, but where would the fun be if they weren’t? Cheers!

  4. Loree /danger garden Says:

    Bargains indeed, no matter what the outcome, and they just might surprise you!

    Nice to know I’m not the only one who uses screwdrivers for weeding! I’ve got a handful of oldies with wooden handles that were my grandfathers, perfect for the job! I did however win a “cobra head” weeding tool at the Fling, we’ll see how it lives up to the screwdrivers.

  5. Peter/Outlaw Says:

    I agree, bargains. Still cheaper than cut flowers that wouldn’t last as long, right?

  6. Petunia Says:

    I am addicted to the sale rack at our local Lowe’s. Last year I got most of my perennials from there and this year they didn’t disappoint. :-)

  7. Mark and Gaz Says:

    Bargains! And a screwdriver as a weeder, why haven’t I thought of using one as such before?? Fab idea that can prize out weeds even on delicate situations!

  8. Heather Says:

    I vote for bargains. A smoke bush for $2?!? I’m jealous!

  9. Wendy Says:

    of course you came back with a plant - I saw that coming a mile away! Lovely arrangement!

  10. ricki Says:

    Shirley~The pronged end on the weeder is good for some things, but the screwdriver can wiggle down through gravel with relative ease.

    Alison~I like the way you think.

    Jenni~I guess all gardeners must be risk-takers.

    Loree~I would hate to lose a tool handed down from a grandfather, but maybe it would inspire a more careful approach. I do use a shovel that was my dad’s.

    Peter~Ooh! Cut flowers! What a great comparison. I can justify a lot more purchases with that one.

    Petunia~I’ll hope for some of your good luck.

    Mark & Gaz~Glad I could pass along one of my stumbled upon tricks.

    Heather~My ‘Purple Robe’ Cotinus is sending up suckers. Maybe I can successfully dig them for the next swap. Free is even better, right? Your green eyes may now return to their original color.

    Wendy~Glad to see that your gardener’s intuition is intact.

  11. PlantPostings Says:

    Oh, yes, I’d say they were a bargain! For the reasons the others mentioned and more. I’m going to have to try more perennial plants in pots–you’ve inspired me. I would never think to put Astilbes and Agapanthus in pots. Sounds like you pull them onto your porch during the winter, but do you water them or just leave them to go totally dormant and then start watering in the spring?

  12. Anna K Says:

    Definitely a bargain! You’ll love the Golden spirit! And what’s not to love with Agapanthus! Nice!

  13. ricki Says:

    Beth~The porch is covered, so I water (sparingly) through the winter. I like to keep a few things in pots just to liven up the entry. Others get moved around until they tell me where they would like to live.

    Anna~Everything featured here is doing well so far. Yes, I am thrilled with the Golden Spirit.

  14. julie a. fukuda / portland tree tour Says:

    I agree - flathead screwdriver is the best weeding tool I’ve ever used. I also lucked into the $2.98 Agapanthus sale at Home Depot - fun!

  15. Sarah/Galloping Horse Garden Says:

    You’ve just described my typical trip to Home Depot. I go in for one thing (not a plant) and come out with something else I never knew I needed or wanted but couldn’t pass up. Is it a bargain? Who knows. But it’s fun.

  16. ricki Says:

    Julie~Great minds, and all that.

    Sarah~Yep, fun is what it’s all about…and sometimes everything works out.

  17. Diana Studer Says:

    glad to see Agapanthus being cherished!

    When were you at Blotanical? During this glitchy waiting for 2 time?

  18. ricki Says:

    Diana~My Agapanthus collection keeps growing. I now have four varieties. It was quite a while ago that I struggled with Blotanical, and couldn’t quite get the hang of it. I’ll be watching you on BB to see what you think. You WILL post about it, won’t you? Sorry for the kind of snarky comment from Andrew over there. He must indeed have had a bad day.
    Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment.

  19. Diana Studer Says:

    unfortunately Andrew has banned me from Blooming Blogs. Deleted me altogether! Whether because I mentioned Blotanical 2, or because I removed the BB badge from my sidebar, I don’t know.
    Thanks to Andrew - you and I will have to find another way to keep reading each other’s blogs.

  20. Diana Studer Says:

    hmmm can’t be the badge issue, since you don’t display it either.

  21. ricki Says:

    Diana~Well, that just sucks. I will write him a note today, not that you probably, at this point, want anything more to do with BB. I never did display the badge, mostly because I’m lazy about such things. Maybe it was stinging to have it removed.
    I will put you in my Reader, which will bypass any need for a go-between.

  22. Janet, The Queen of Seaford Says:

    Hope your D. cedar comes around, such a nice tree. Remind me what zone you are….I would love to put some Agapanthus in the ground…….not sure if they will survive. (Need to read where they are hardy too!)

  23. ricki Says:

    Janet~Portland is generally considered to be zone 8, but we are a bit out of town and more like 7b. I see Agapanthus being grown successfully in the ground, but not by me. These will stay in pots.

  24. Grace Peterson Says:

    Are you kidding me??? I’ve been looking for that Cotinus for a long time and they’re WAY too pricey. You got a steal my dear. And Home Depot does indeed have some great plants. I’ve been happy with what I find there and the prices are great. I love the little Agapanthus. Great find!

    The cedar looks fine. I’d just make sure it doesn’t get too thirsty and I bet it will be happy as a clam.

  25. ricki Says:

    Grace~Everything doing fine so far…fingers crossed. I’ve had good luck with everything from Home Depot.
    too.

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