Thursday, August 13, 2015

Now is the time to buy plants to fill in the empty spaces!

I am fortunate to have a son-in-law that just built a porch in front of my house. It is a simple wooden deck, and turned out very nice.
A gardener on a budget can get pretty overwhelmed at the thought of landscaping a home that has few plants!

Enter my Weirton K-Mart. I made the trip over to see if they put anything on sale. When I visited in the beginning of summer I was very impressed with the quantity, quality and variety of the plants they offered. But I couldn't buy anything because they were not in the budget and I wasn't ready to plant yet.

I must give kudos to K-Mart because they are the only commercial retailer in my town that takes good care of its plant stock  consistently  -  such as regular watering. Our Kroger's does a good job with a very limited quantity, though. They had a lot of help in early summer thanks to the weeks of rain we had. But I noticed the K-Mart staff watering on more than a few occasions. I won't even mention WalMart - it's such a shame. But I guess their strategy is to sell as much as possible as soon as the frost is gone and what ever happens to the rest of the plants happens.

When I made my trip last week to K-Mart to see what was on sale, I was thrilled to find that basic shrubs were marked down to 4 and 5 dollars apiece. I bought thirteen plants and they were in very good shape. My challenge now is to keep them healthy until planting time. And that won’t happen until I can figure out how to amend the soil in front of my house.

Here are some of the plants I got:

Girard's Pleasant White Azalea

Girard Roberta Azalea

Azalea "Johanna"

Crimson Pygmy Barberry "Nana"

Spiraea japonica "Goldmound"

Rhododendrons - "album" (white) and Catawba zembla (pink)

And finally I bought four of these:

spreading yews

One thing I was surprised about: All of the plants will take part (6 hours) to full sun. I always thought the yews were sun lovers, but the tag says part sun.  I have full sun for most of the day and I don't want to burn up the yews - or any of them. So the goal is to mulch heavily to keep the roots cool and moist. Any other ideas?

Now the challenge is to prepare the front garden soil and keep these plants alive while we appear to be undergoing a mini-drought. I got thirteen plants for under $60.00, so the NEXT challenge is to help them grow to their full beautiful potential!


  1. Great choices! If you have a Lowe's near you,try their clearance rack.Great buys to be had there.

  2. Yes, I have one I'll be going over there sometime soon! Thanks for your comment!

  3. You got some great deals! I think most of those plants/shrubs are pretty hardy and will grow in just about any soil. I don't think they're that fussy. Good luck with your new gardens. And your porch looks very nice!

  4. Thanks, Sue! I think you're right - the shrubs I bought are all the old standards that will grow anywhere, thank goodness! I'm just hoping they don't get too much sun.