*Pictures courtesy of Proven Winners
By: Marion Webber
Now is the time to catch some of the summer sales at your local greenhouse or farm markets. Plants still look attractive, but the price is reduced so you can purchase much more for the same amount of money. Trees, shrubs, perennials and annuals are all reduced in price. It may take a little work to bring back some plants, but with a clip of old leaves and a little pruning, your plants can look great in no time.
Proven winner varieties are quite expensive in the spring, but the discounts make them affordable and a beautiful addition to your home. You may even look at plants with different color foliage. Sweet potato vine is very colorful whether you choose the lime color or a darker maroon. The foliage can be cut back to make the plant bush out and be twice as beautiful in your pots or containers. They can be used for a filler in a spot that didn’t quite fill out, adding instant fullness to make your planter beautiful!
Another choice is coleus. Coleus comes in so many colors and textures. They are so appealing to the eye, whether planted alone or in a mixture of plants. The colors last all year, and can be trimmed back and kept short. They are care-free like the sweet potato vine. One good thing about these plants is that you have the color without a flower so you don’t have to worry about the flower not looking good when you are having guests over.
Senorita Rosalita cleome is a beautiful little bushy plant. It reaches two to three feet tall and are very attractive. You just plant them and forget them after they have been established. They don’t mind not having a lot of water. The cleome gets beautiful light purple flowers all over, and are very attractive planted alone or in a large pot. Because of the size of the plant you would have to put them in an extra large pot. This is a real “find” to get these this time of year. That may be a little bit difficult, but worth the search.
Sedum is another great plant for full sun. They are drought resistant, and come in an assortment of colors, shapes and sizes. They are care-free and can be divided each spring to start new plants.
Perennials are also great finds this time of year. Many of the succulents should be marked down. Most of these will be overgrown in their pots at this point. It’s the perfect time to buy one and take it apart to start several plants from the one main plant. The plant will thank you for it as they can really get over crowded. If you have an extra-sunny dry place to plant it, this would be the perfect purchase. Also, the daises, lilies, coreopsis and so many flowers will be blooming now so you can get a good look at the colors and choices to make to add to your gardens. With all perennials you purchase you are really investing in your season next year as they return year after year with
splendid color! Be sure you look at where your plants will be planted. You need to know if they will be going in the sun or shade. Shady plants will not be happy in a sunny area, especially starting this late in the year when the sun is so hot. Be sure to choose shade-loving plants such as coral bells, astilbe, ajuga and ferns. The benefit of these plants as well is that next spring you can divide them and have two of the plants you purchased on sale now! That is a win-win proposition. Perfect time to make your purchases!
Hostas are now available to grow in the sun or shade. Be sure to read the tag because the shade plants do not do well in the sun. They will grow more slowly and the leaves may scorch. Hostas can be split up every spring. You can start another plant from the one, or you can give one away to someone looking to start a new bed. You may even find a plant exchange and take it to one of their events, and in return come home with something new!
Trees and shrubs will take a little more work as far as watering. You want them to get a good start, so be sure to plant them when you are home and not gone on a vacation, unless you have someone to water for you. But the choices are endless. This year was one of the most beautiful springs I have seen with so many colorful trees and shrubs. We didn’t have a late killing frost that usually ruins the flowers. The lilac trees were everywhere looking just amazing, and the scent in the air left you breathless. I went past one house totally surrounded by huge lilac trees. You could smell that beautiful aroma in the air as you drove by. I can’t imagine what it smelled like inside the “lilac walls.”
Another great thing to purchase is exotic potting containers. Spring prices can be really high. Look for them also in garage sales. You can find the most unique planter there and at flea markets. It is always fun to find something you would not find in a store. Use your imagination and be creative. Also, look for items for your fairy gardens. There are always little animals and cute pieces that would fit perfectly into your garden without spending the high cost at garden centers. This is just another way to get out and enjoy the summer sun and have fun looking for that perfect little addition.
What a better time to get out to the farm markets, flea markets and garage sales. You never know what kind of treasures you will find when the price is RIGHT!
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