08 November, 2009

Gardening on the Cheap -- Fall is a Great Time for Planting and Finding Bargains

While these guys were slacking off this week, I was busy planting 46 new bushes, shrubs, and small trees...

Can you spot all three critters in this picture?
The kittens blend in with the sheepskin we have tossed at the end of the bed to keep our toes warm.

That's right. Forty-six new plants went in; this doesn't count the twenty flats of myrtle I also added, or the half dozen ferns. (Or the four shrubs I still need to put in the ground.)

Home Depot, Lowes, and Menards were clearing out their garden centers. I picked up everything from 75 to 90% off the original price.

This includes an eight-foot Japanese Maple for $15:

The flats of ground cover were $1.50 each (regular price $11); as soon as I planted them, they began to bloom. How's that for a late fall pick-me-up?

I got Mugo pines for 75 cents, and other dwarf evergreens for a buck a piece, on average. Here's the corner garden, looking out toward the street. The path is made from bits of rubble we've dug up from the yard.

A large butterfly bush, normally $24, now only $6. And enough eunymous to fill in all the empty spots—90 cents to a $1.17 each. I went back to Home Depot three times to fill up the trunk of my PT Cruiser with the eunymous, and I'm contemplating going back tomorrow to see if there is anything left.

Miscellaneous shrubs, each one was an unbelievable bargain:

But here's the absolute best part, a Celtic-inspired concrete birdbath that they were practically paying me to take:

And a cedar arbor and wisteria vine, which I still need to find a spot for. (And nail down the top bits; that's why they look wonky.)

You want to hear the grand total, don't you? Had we paid full price for all of this--including the bird bath and arbor—it would have been roughly $1250. We paid...

...drum roll, please...

only $305!

Can you believe it?

It doesn't matter if some of the shrubs don't survive. It doesn't matter if I'll need to thin out the borders in a few years as the shrubs get big (don't worry, I'll find new homes for them when necessary). For now, for very little money, we have lush, full garden beds. I'm already looking forward to spring to see everything in full bloom.

Next year--because I promised Ted "no more bushes"--we'll be focusing on garden structure, edging, trellises, and our much-anticipated fence for the back yard. The goal is to be able to recycle as much as possible for it, so if you have a lead on some free rocks, let me know...


Karen Anne said...

That's an amazing looking birdbath. I've always been careful about those concrete ones though if they have unattached tops, since a top fell on a kitten in my yard years ago when she reached up to drink out of it and put her paws on the edge.

Sorry to be a downer, just don't want it to happen to another kitty.

Lady Quilter said...

I have to admit. Joanne did some kick ass planting and yard work this year. Even strangers, walking past, stop to admire, telling us they look forward to next year's yard. Way to go Jo!!

Tonia said...

I don't know much about gardening, but it looks like it's going to be an amazing spring at the Box House!

And - OMG - could the critters be any cuter?! The kitty tummy is just begging to be petted.

donna said...

Only three critters? I was sure that I saw five or six:) Cute.

Luv the birdbath. Karen Anne's comment has some validity. I'll probably be checking everyone's birthbath now.

My body aches thinking about how hard you've worked. Spring is going to be gorgeous at the box house.

modernemama said...

Love the plant sales