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Economy Delivers Big Time Garden Bargains

01 September 2012
Fall blooming Crocosmia is guaranteed to bring the hummingbirds in year after year

It's a great time to go shopping for your garden.

The economy has created some really exciting opportunities for family owned Garden Centers to pass along to their hometown customers. Growers of spruce, pine, cedar, and other evergreen trees are making deals like never before. I'm excited because these plants tend to be very slow growing and, therefore, expensive because of the time they spend growing at the farms. Not so for this buying season! I was able to line up truckloads of evergreens and other more expensive trees at 30-50% off our normal prices and some of the growers even threw in free shipping. I've never seen anything like it!

A good example is the Blue Wonder Dwarf Alberta Spruce, Picea glauca. This is one of those fancy new plants still under patent because of its intense silver blue foliage. This variety of spruce is painfully slow growing and, consequently, very expensive. Last year at this time it retailed at close to $40, but now because of growers' overstocks you will find it at the Garden Center at under $18! I scooped up a bunch because they make such terrific container plants and living Christmas trees.

If you are thinking of adding evergreens to your landscape, this fall is the year to plant these majestic beauties. As soon as the growers sell through this crop they won't plant new ones out of economic fear and prices will spike starting next summer. Mark my words; I've seen enough crop failures and the subsequent price reductions in years past to know what to expect.

I learned years ago that growers like to clear their fields and greenhouses to make room for new crop plantings. I am buying up truckloads of new plant material at growers' clearance prices and will feature them for the next few weeks at the Garden Center. Check out your local Garden Centers because we all seem to be doing the same thing and featuring similar summer sales. Mine is called the "Monster Monsoon Sale". It's a great time to scoop up exceptional deals at all Garden Centers. This also is when flowering perennial favorites such as mums, pansies, snapdragons, and other fall bloomers highlight the planting season.

Another new landscape plant in full bloom now is the Caramba shrub rose. I know that many of you consider roses difficult to grow, but you can shelve your fears with this one. Going back to its old-fashioned original form this rose proves to have minimal problems with bugs, mildew, and other issues that hybridized varieties can have. More importantly you will have stunning red flowers in the landscape from May through November with no special pruning techniques or care. That's what I want out of a landscape shrub, lots of eye candy and a minimum of care! Caramba roses are only available from late summer through fall; so don't wait until spring to look for this perennial favorite.

Breath-takingly striking is an appropriate description of a colorful bloomer lighting our landscapes now through late fall. It's the Columbus Montbretia, Crocosmia, an unusual mountain perennial. Its arching spikes of bright yellow, red, and sunset orange lily-shaped blossoms have long dramatic stems perfect for cut flowers. Butterflies and gardeners alike take great joy in this showpiece, but the greatest enjoyment is by hummingbirds that consider these deep-throated flowers a 'must visit' in any garden.

Cool days and warm soil mark the fall planting season's reason for successful larger tree and shrub plantings. So this is a great time to plant a hedge, landscape shrub boarders, and orchards. Remember to ask for my local planting guide that explains proper soil preparation, staking, fertilizers, and watering guidelines.

Until next week, I'll see you in the Garden Center.


Caramba roses fill the yard up with an easy care flower that is equally fragrant.


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