A few weeks ago I noticed these little berries on the lantana, which Gail has already shown on her post. This is the first year I've planted the pink and reddish varieties of lantana, and I must admit I've been disappointed that they haven't bloomed more. Interestingly, though, these are the ones producing berries; the yellow lantana, which has bloomed profusely all summer, has no berries.
The showiest "berries" in my garden aren't really berries at all--these are the fruits on one of the flowering crabapples. The pink and red varieties of the crabapples have already lost most of their leaves and much of their fruit, but this white one, which blooms last, still looks very colorful.
We have over twenty pine trees on our property, and they are covered with pine cones at the moment. I usually pick some from the ground in the fall to use in Christmas decorations or crafts with the grandchildren, but most wind up being chopped up by the lawnmower and left on the ground.
Does anyone remember my saying back in June that I would buy no more plants this year? Of course, that was an impossible promise to make, and if I remember correctly, I amended it to say no more annuals. I've been in a bad need for a "plant fix" lately, so I've made a couple stops at garden centers recently just to check out sales. Last week I went to one of the best (and most expensive) centers in town primarily to check out sales on garden statuary or ornaments. I didn't find much in my price range, but they did have their large selection of hostas on sale for 20% off.
This Hosta Sieboldiana "Northern Exposure" was one I couldn't resist. I love big hostas--the tag says this one could grow as wide as 70"! That could certainly cover up some bare spots in the shade garden. Besides its size, it has deeply corrugated leaves and fits the criteria Mr. McGregor's Daughter gave for slug-resistant hostas. (Hmm, where did those yellow leaves come from? Excuse me while I go turn on the soaker hose for awhile . . .)
Yesterday I had some time for a little more plant shopping and visited our favorite garden center, Prairie Gardens. Display cases and bins were full of spring flowering bulbs. As always, I am enticed by the pastel hues of spring. Even though I've already ordered quite a few tulips and daffodils, I picked up some sale packages of crocuses, bluebells, and hyacinths.
It's much too early to begin planting bulbs here, especially since we have had temperatures in the low to mid-80's all week. The best time to plant bulbs in our zone 5 gardens is in mid to late October, but I have planted them as late as November 12. No doubt I will be back to buy even more bulbs next month.
Prairie Gardens had already replaced most of its shelves of gardening supplies and ornaments with rows and rows of Christmas decorations, but I did find a few stray bargains on a clearance aisle including this bird bath. It's nothing special, but I still haven't gotten around to trying to glue together my broken ceramic bird bath, and the price on this one was too good to pass up. The top is molded plastic, but it doesn't look as tacky as it sounds; besides, the deer won't be able to break this one!
Back in the shrub area, though, I found some real bargains. All the hydrangeas were marked down 50%. I could have gone a little crazy here, but I controlled my impulses and limited my purchases to just this one hydrangea.
This is my first macrophylla--I'm a little disappointed in the mopheads, which, as their name implies, tend to flop over. This one is called "Let's Dance Moonlight" and is supposed to have "vivid" pink blooms with "attractive reddish-bronze foliage in the fall." At $6.99, I thought it was quite a bargain. I'm regretting, though, passing up some "Limelight" hydrangeas for $20.00. I may just have to go back next week . . .
While shopping, who should call but Beckie, saying I needed to check out another plant outlet. Danville Gardens Two is a small branch of a larger, very nice center in a nearby town that carries some selections you won't find any place else. I bought some annuals here earlier this summer, but I didn't realize they were still open this late in the season. This was definitely the place for bargains! (Joyce, are you reading this?) I drove over, intending to buy a couple baskets of mums.
Tables and tables of large mums in every hue imaginable greeted me. I couldn't make up my mind what color to buy! I had planned to buy just two, but I picked up my usual mauve color, then decided I needed some "real" fall colors, so I bought a rust one and a yellow one. On my way to check out, I noticed this yellow charmer with the orange centers, and I couldn't resist.
So my two mums turned into four, but at $5.00 apiece, I didn't feel too bad. I later saw some similarly priced at Walmart, but they were 1/3 the size of these!
But my real bargain here was this Boston fern. I haven't had an indoor fern in years, but again the price was too good to pass up. This photo doesn't show the true size of this plant, but it is huge. I've seen similar ones in nurseries selling for $40-$50. Guess how much I paid for this fern?
Would you believe $5.00?? Who could pass up a bargain like this?!
I may not have "berry" many berries (groan), but I am thrilled with my bloomin' bargains!
Have a good weekend, everyone!