My Seven Holy Rules of Plant Sale Season

Incredibly hot weather (strangely) is here to stay and our local garden center is holding  a plant sale to get rid of their last spring starts and leftover potted plants. Do you know what that means?!? It’s adopt-a-plant tiiiiiiime!!

A simple trip to the grocery store during this heady time of year turns into a meander through the sparse rows of lonely plants and sun-scorched starts and somehow (somehow!) my cart fills with orphans before I even reach the produce section.

Mexican Oregano

But! I make myself feel better/justify myself by abiding to these rules, well, more like guidelines.

My Seven Holy Rules of Plant Sale Season

  1.  Herbs and other small starts must be ≤$3
  2.  Large perennials must be ≤$5
  3.  All plants must be fragrant and adhere to my garden’s limited palette: silver, gold, chartreuse, or blackish-purple foliage and, if applicable, white or pink blossoms. This avoids wasting time with one-off plant placement.
  4. Exceptions are made for, 1) Grasses, which can incorporate silver, gold, pink, white, and hints of green, 2) Broadleaf Evergreens, as long as the blossoms fall in line with Rule 3.
  5. Only purchase large, well-established plants. The small ones have been in the sun in small containers for an extended period of time. They are much more likely to die before or shortly after you get them in your pot or the ground. Speaking from experience.
  6. Acknowledge that it is possible to experience a shopper’s high and to begin to lose all sense of priorities while buying new plants. Rein yourself in when you find yourself cringing at the price per pound of meat or mushrooms yet gleefully buying one inedible plant after another for twice the amount and not giving it another thought.
  7. Break with tradition and make all this effort worth it by actually taking the time to plant or pot up the precious green treasures within a day or two. Avoid the crushing guilt of not doing so. Again, speaking from experience.

Therefore, with reverent respect for the Holy 7, in July I brought home SunSparkler Lime Zinger Stonecrop, Echeveria Prolifica (my first Echevaria!), and Salsa Verde Stonecrop Sedum.

Echeveria Prolifica July 2015 | Splash Of Paprika

Earlier this month I tossed Tricolor Sage, Golden Jubilee Anise Hyssop, Thai Basil, Dani Lemon Basil, and Spicy Bush Basil into my cart.

Spicy Bush Basil

And Creeping Rosemary.

Creeping Rosemary

And Strawberries and Cream Ribbon Grass. And an Apple Blossom Clematis (finally!!). The Clematis and Ribbon Grass were only $4.50, each, though! Somebody had to save them from an ignominious death, right? Right? Anyone?

Sigh. That’s what I thought. Must repeat to self: plants (in nurseries) don’t need saving, plants (in nurseries) don’t need saving, plants (in nurseries) don’t need saving…However, my front yard is looking really good right now with all my little plant babies tucked into their dusty new bed along the sidewalk…

Front Bed Along Sidewalk | August 2015

Front Bed Along Sidewalk | August 2015

Maybe picking up a few cheap plants here or there isn’t too much of an issue. Especially since I scored two Fringed Lavender last week.

Actually, within the boundaries of the Holy 7, a plant sale is a great way to save money as well as discover new plants. As of just a couple of months ago, I could not tell you that lavender can indeed have fringes and oregano could be furry and curly. And now I know and can spread the word. Onward Plant Sale Soldiers, I say!