'Tis the season of the garden centre clearance sales and there are bargains to a plenty to be found!
Have you ever hovered over a rack of clearance clothing and found yourself eyeing a dress or skirt with a loud, ugly print or huge, unflattering pockets, and thought, "Humm...I can see why this made it to the clearnce racks!"
Well, I had similar thoughts as I did a little retail therapy at my favourite nursery this week.
Small canon for your garden anyone?
I mean seriously, who would buy such an odd garden ornament?
A gorilla in a Canadian garden?
Is it just me or would that be just a bit weird?
And see that little yellow sticker next to the price tag?
It reads, "Warning! Winter Indoors Only".
I didn't get a chance to ask anyone, but do they mean "indoors" like indoors on your livingroom coffee table or "indoors" like indoors in a back shed?
Either way, can you imagine hefting this fellow "indoors" every winter?
On the other hand, isn't this just a bit too Canadian?
And I found myself questioning some of the prices. $63.99 for a concrete cat! It's cute, but that's a very pricey kitty, if you ask me!
There were some tasteful sale items as well. I've always admired these classic benches. $338.99 marked down to $99.99! Oh, so tempting!
And then, there are the discounted perennials, trees and shrubs on sale too. But the question is: "Is this a good time of year to be planting?"
I think that depends on where you live. Deborah, who lives in the great state of Alabama and writes Deb's Garden blog notes in a recent post, that fall is a great season for planting in her area:
"Fall is the best season to plant new perennials, shrubs and trees and to transplant existing ones in my garden. Our ground doesn't freeze in the winter, so plants have months to establish their root systems before the growth spurt of spring and the heat of next summer puts stress on them."
Here is Canada, however the fall season is much shorter and plants have considerably less time to establish themselves before the snow flies. As an additional stresser, the fall season here in Ontario can be dry, as well as cold. So, I'd would have to answer the question from my northern perspective: "Is this a good time to be planting?" with a cautionary affirmative:
Yes, but when you get home, be prepared to spoil your plant purchase with extra love and attention.
It's not expert advice, but here is what I usually so.
First up, I give the plant a good drink. I remove the pot and submerge perennials in a large dish filled with several inches of water. (Shrubs I put in a bucket with 5 or 6 inches of water.) I let the thirsty root ball soak up the water. When it is saturated, I remove it from the dish or bucket. If the plant was pot bound, I loosen the roots before planting. I don't usually use root booster, but nurseries often recommend it.
The real trick of getting your sale item to over-winter is not to neglect it during it's early days in the garden. The fall is a busy time and let's face it, the garden often takes a back seat to other more pressing things. It is very easy to forget to water that new plant. Tend the plant carefully though the fall, and it is more likely to be there in spring.
Don't forget to keep your receipt, just in case your sale purchase doesn't make it! (Note: Watch out for retail signs saying "Final Sale." I've learned the hard way that those plants, shrubs and trees are not guaranteed.)
So, what did I buy on my little shopping excursion? I bought some half price hosta, a few shrubs, a few sedum...
some Japanese anemone (Not on sale). One white and one pink one.
And I got a Rose of Sharon (Proven Winners, 'Blush Satin'). I have only wanted one forever. It is only $15! How could I resist?
Can't you just here the Japanese Beetles sending up a cheer of excitement over this last purchase?
Rose of Sharon is their favourite dish!
Have a great weekend everyone!
P. S. If you have any great fall planting advice for gardeners in general or your own area in specific, please add it into your comment.