Friday, August 27, 2010

The Hunt Is Over!

As I pulled out the plants from my back concrete planters, they came out like a plaster object from a mold.  Dirt and all with fully tangled roots were inseparable so into the yard waste bag they went.  I was determined to find my cabbages today and a few other goodies that would add to the fall effect.

My first stop was Home Depot because I always check them out first just in case a new truckload has arrived.  No cabbages yet - I can't believe it!  But, they had lots of other plants and look at the prices, unbelievable!

Agastache Blue Fortune
5 Gallon Container $12.98

Volcano Phlox
I did not know much about Volcano Phlox, but I am finding out it is a special variety because of its floriforus nature and resistance to mildew.  Here is the link giving the history and attributes of Volcano Phlox.

Sedum Autumn Fire (does not flop)

Heuchera Southern Comfort (can you believe $4.98)

Mona Lavender
I bought this a few years ago, very lovely, can't see from a few feet away - it's an up close plant!


Huge pots of Millet for $6.98
Just remember the birds will sit in it until it is all gone!

Knockout Roses

A Wall of Caladiums
These will not hold up in cool weather

This looked like a great daylily for $4.98

Diamond Frost Euphorbia
This is an annual but will hold up to the colder weather $2.98, can be brought in the house to pair with pointsettas.

I bought two great looking perennial Rudbeckia Denver and Sedum Vera Jameson which will make great additions to the planters.  I always add some perennials and then in late November winter them over in the veggie garden.  So far, I am been very lucky having them take root this late in the season.  The cabbage is an ornamental annual, but that's okay because they will last until December if you can leave it alone.

Rudbeckia Denver

Sedum Vera Jameson

My next stop was a small garden center/nursery near my home.  They grow many decorative flowers (pointsettas, lilies, etc) and annuals in their greenhouses, some perennials.  I got talking to one of workers that I have known for years and didn't take any pictures.  But, guess what - I found the cabbages, big ones, little ones, yeah!

Well, I was really in the mood now to complete my design so onward to the next family owned garden center.  This one does not grow any of their plants, but they are knowledgeable and stock high quality materials.  This is the center that has their own garden show each year with reps from all the nurseries who supply their center.

Wow!  Look at the size of these mums!

Swiss Chard
I had to have some of this.

Orange Pansies
I had to have these also.

Bronze Sedge
How spooky - can you see this on top of a pumpkin?
I bought it!

Petunia Black Velvet

Decorative Peppers
They do not hold up to the cool weather.

The pots are still one of the best attractions at this Garden Center.
There are lots more inside.

What I have noticed is that the nurseries and boutique-type garden centers are finally trying to compete with the big box stores.  They all order from the same suppliers at this point, Proven Winners, Hampshire Farms, etc.  These are automated growers with the planting, watering and fertilization being done by computer. 

Home Depot has not bought plants with their own money for the last few years.  All of their plants are on consignment with employees from the growers actually working at Home Depot.  This way they control their losses and the supplier has a stake in keeping everything in good condition.

My conclusion is that I think there is a place for all of these different types of plant destinations.  If you are a seasoned gardener I see no reason why you cannot shop the big garden centers and look for bargains.  If you are somewhat knowledgeable shop your garden center and semi-nursery with knowledgeable staff.  If you are a beginner start out with a growing nursery where they have a knowledgeable staff, and grow most of their own plant material and understand the requirements for each plant.

One factor that I feel is very important is to ask what is your guarantee?  Home Depot offers a 100% guarantee on all of their plants for a year.  There are some nurseries that offer no guarantee, some offer 50% and some offer 100% non-advertised guarantee, only if you ask.


Balisha said...

I've had fun following along with you on your search for cabbages. I learned a little along the way.The prices are so reasonable right now. It's hard to keep to a budget.
I'm searching for spring bulbs. My catalogs are all dog eared.
Fall is coming and there is so much to do. Balisha

Darla said...

What an exciting day. I have the sedge, it's cool looking. It's too early for violas, pansies and the ornamental kale and cabbages here. Am looking forward to sprucing up for the fall/winter though. These plants last all winter into the spring here.

Dave@TheHomeGarden said...

I don't have any problem with shopping at most places including the box stores. I like the nurseries because they usually have different stock that the box stores never have. Glad you found the cabbage!

LC said...

I guess I'll have to stop at Home Depot soon... I've been searching for volcano phlox for some time! L

Anonymous said...

Dear Eileen, You appear to be very well served by a number of different nurseries and garden centres. In the UK it is very rare for plants to come with any form of advertised guarantee. Caveat Emptor!!

Happy weekend.

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Balisha, several years ago when I first saw the cabbages as a decorative plant, they were very pricey. Now, you see them everywhere and they are pretty reasonable.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Dave, I agree. I will go anywhere to find a specific plant. Sometimes, I find these special plants at the big box store!


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Darla, I have seen Coffee Twist, but not this one.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Larry,

There was one person with a cart full of the Volcano Phlox. I do not have any, maybe I should go back and pick some out!


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Edith,

There is one upscale nursery that I do shop at if I can't find it anywhere else, but they only guarantee stock that they plant.

The annuals are never guaranteed, but there are two places I shop that guarantee their perennials 100%.


RainGardener said...

What a great post Eileen. Your search was fun to tag along on, the pictures were fantastic and I learned a lot. I thought it was nice that you added which ones weren't that cold hardy. I really enjoyed this. I'm not familiar with the Volcano Phlox, maybe I should check them out.
By the way, I did come to your last post and was ready to comment but ended up running out of here for something and didn't get back. Dang! I hate when that happens.

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Rain Gardener, I had better get back and buy this phlox. Another blogger said he was going to Home Depot to buy it. I need to look it up right now!


Karen said...

Wow, Eileen, now you have me thinking about heading out to Home Depot, too! What a wonderful array of plants to choose from to stave off the late summer doldrums in the garden. Some of my planters are looking very, very sad, so fresh potting soil along with new plants would make a big difference. Thank you Eileen, for doing the footwork for me!

Hocking Hills Gardener said...

Hi Eileen. Okay now I want to shop there LOL! Good prices. I will have to check out the Volcano phlox if they do not mildew. It has been so bad here this hot humid summer. Doesn't the Millet make a great Fall statement. I guess it is time to think about Pansies for fall too. Oh, I am so not ready for it to get here. Girl you know I would love a couple of those big blue containers LOL! Have a wonderful weekend.

Gardening in a Sandbox said...

I love a sale and some of those could work in my garden too.

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Gardening In A Sandbox,

I know, some of these are really deals.


Granny Lyn's Garden said...

What fun, I loved tagging along on your shopping expedition.I want to buy some of everything. Looking forward to seeing all the treasures you bought displayed in your garden.

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Thanks for visiting. I'll be planting what I bought and looking for more in the coming weeks.


Anonymous said...

Hi Eileen, You've been so faithful in visiting my blog. My sincerest apologies for not returning the favor. Your blog is outstnding.

I enjoyed reading about your nursery jaunts. Home Depot has great deals all right. I always check their clearance plants too. Just the other day I found a pristine 4-inch Lavendula angustiflolia for, get this, 75 cents!!

I love your idea of combining 'Diamond Frost' with Poinsettia!
And the Bronze Sedge in a pumpkin for "hair." Genius!

I've got lots of Vera Jameson Sedum and can attest to its beauty and toughness.

I'm glad you found the Kale you were looking for!

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Thanks Grace,

I love to see what you are collecting for your garden. I have sent your blog to my sister-in-law as she is also an avid garden decor collector. I have some of her photos at the bottom of my blog.


Zoey said...

Wow, Eileen, your Home Depot has a lot more than mine!

Nonetheless, I did find some dwarf Asiatic lilies on Saturday for $4.98. I was thrilled. I just blogged about them a few hours ago.

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Zoey, that was one of the smaller Home Depots. I am in an area where there are about four of them within five miles. I have noticed that each one of them gets a little different planting materials throughout the season.


GardenJoy4Me said...

Eileen girl you have driven me totally MAD ! .. I now have to run around .. tidy up .. have a shower and GO visit the garden centers to see what they have because your post here has SO put me in the mood !
I have a bronze sedge that makes it through our winters .. it is lonely since it is my only .. but YES !! Halloween containers and those amazing black petunias .. I think Lona did a post on them too and they are PERFECT !!
gotta' go !! thanks girl !!
Joy : )