Monday, May 3, 2010

I Love the Master Gardeners Sale!

So, we were finally able to have our garage sale this weekend, and I'm happy that I made enough money to pay for my motel when I head to Texas in June for the celebration at the Casablanca.

While I was out early Saturday morning putting up garage sale signs, I drove by the pavilion downtown (covered parking during the week, a place for auctions and the Farmer's Market on the weekends, and it's main purpose for being built, a cattle arena for the town fair) and noticed that the local chapter of the Master Gardeners was having it's annual plant sale.  I spend a little money at this each year and all those starts off of other people's plants has added a lot of color to my yard.  Most of my flowering plants have been purchased this way.  I have only purchased the evergreen shrubs in front of the Shack and a clematis from a retail source.  I love getting starts off of old plants, it makes me feel that my home is more connected to the past, and that I am carrying on something that is almost historical in a way.

So, what are my finds this year?

Left to right: Chives, and two pink hardy hibiscus, the green pot on the right is spearmint.

Left to right: the same spearmint as in the first photo, another, better looking spearmint in the middle, and a Mexican Hat plant on the right.

The green pot is a Gold Flame Spirea, and on the right is a bee balm (I think this one is lavender).

The one on the left is the same lavender bee balm as seen in the above photo, the white pot is a red bee balm.

The one in the green pot is Sea Oats, and a planter full of Phlox on the right.

A bunch of blanket flower (free because it was wilting).  I need to figure out where to plant it and get it in the ground fast to save it.

I also got two more spearmint plants, two apple mint plants, two lemon mint plants, and two plants just labeled "mint".  I gave one of each to my mom and sister.  No apple mint or lemon mint for me, although I think that I'll take starts off them.  Mint can be invasive, so we're going to try them as container plants.

The whole bunch set me back $9!  What a deal!

Now, on to my next dilemma, the planter box.  The past 50 years have not been kind to the planter box that runs from the garage to my front stoop (around 22 feet or so).  I always love the way that it looks filled with flowers each year, but this spring I was cleaning it out and discovered that I may not be able to use it this year.  It is leaning and about to collapse in a couple of places and most of the mortar is missing between the stones.  I will either have to remove it completely and landscape the area between the house and the sidewalk, or rebuild it.  I'm torn.  I love this great midcentury detail on my house, but I'm not sure that I will be capable of rebuilding it and making it look right.  I can't afford to have someone come and rebuild it.  Either I rebuild it myself or I remove it myself.  I don't want to plant anything in it until I decide.  The price of the bedding plants would go to waste if I have to remove it.

Here you can see my problem:

Have a great Monday!


  1. I'm so glad you made enough money to pay for your motel!

    I love getting start off plants. It make me feel like I'm part of the circle of life.

    I received the book Friday, it's gorgeous! Thank you ;)

    I hope you will write a post about your garage sale.

  2. That's too bad about your planter box, but are you sure you can't save it? You seem to be so resourceful! I'll bet one of your readers will have a good suggestion (of course mine would be, let my husband fix it). I was afraid you were going to use up all your motel money on the plants but nine bucks for the whole deal is great! So glad to hear you're going to Mick's--will see you there.

  3. Funny, I'm having a similar issue with my front planter. On the far corner a couple sections of the red brick have literally fallen over. =(

    For a while I just propped them back against the planter and had an asparagus fern cover the damage, but the fern was trimmed so now the bricks have fallen over again. =(

    By the way, there are a few Plant Conservatories and Botanical gardens around here. I got to know the folks at one major University garden and when they trimmed certain plants they let me have the rare native clippings for free. A little rooting hormone and wha-la!

    So that's something to consider. ;) Get to know your local garden folks.

  4. Hi Michael. Last week we got free plants from someone who advertised on craigslist that he wanted to thin things out -- celandine poppies, which are a shade loving plant, and some maroon day lilies, chives, and lemon balm. I then shared it all with my across-the-street neighbor, who gave me a start of lilac. Sharing plants is such fun.

    I hope you can save your wall, but if not, you can use the stone somewhere else in your landscaping, and still plant flowers along the front. Looks like you have marigolds and red salvia in there in the photo -- those are nice bright colors against the stone.

    What is the feature to the left of your front door -- is it a decorative wooden screen or something, or just a plain wall?

  5. I'm glad (and envious!) that you're going to the Casablanca! I know you'll have a blast!

    Great selection of plants! Be careful to deadhead the chives - they reseed like crazy. I just got one of those spirea's last year - very nice. I wouldn't worry too much about the gaillardia - they're very strong.


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