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My Garden Brief

My front perennial garden was the first garden we planted (in 2006) and is looking great. The side garden and the island garden were planted in 2008. The island garden filled out nicely and the side garden is coming along a bit slower (it gets less sun). The shade garden and the back rose & perennial garden was planted this spring (2009).

The shade garden has no evergreens and needs a nice pop of color in the spring, since the leaves aren’t on the oaks in spring, any spring bulbs would look great there. There are also a few other plants I would like to plant there (and my foxgloves never grew), helleborus, daffodils, cyclamen, astillbes are just a few. I’m also looking for blue lavender, more silver mound and some climbing roses for other gardens. The back rose & perennial garden has a lot of work in the future years.

Fall Planting Planning

Lucky me, I received four 2009 Fall Planting garden catalogs in the mail the same day. 1) Spring Hill Nursery had a coupon for $25 off of a $50 purchase. I order a nice amount from them and love their warranty on plants. 2) Breck’s offered a $25 coupon with no minimum order (so if I order $25 of free plants, I just pay shipping). I’ve ordered from them once before and my plants came in fine. 3) New Holland Bulb Company who had no coupon and I had never ordered from before. I’ve always thought that they were sister companies (they often offer the same plants and use some of the same pictures. 4) Jackson & Perkins, always has beautiful roses, that are just a little over my price range. 

The first three catalogs offered similar products. Being a frugal shopper, I created a comparison chart. I listed the desired plants, their purchase price, shipping cost and coupon offer. I wanted the most bang (of color) for my buck.

I love daffodils, tulips are my favorite spring bulb in a bouquet, but daffodils are quickly approaching their territory. The Tête-à-Tête daffodils would look great if there were bunches of them throughout the shade garden. Breck’s offered 24 bulbs for $17.99 (that’s 75¢ a bulb) and New Holland offered 100 bulbs for $35 (that’s 35¢ a bulb). New Holland also offered 100 Minnow daffodil bulbs (tinier than the  Tête-à-Tête, white petals with dark yellow cups) for $29 (29¢ a bulb). New Holland won round round of my purchase.

I’ve long wanted cyclamen for my shade garden. Spring Hill offers 9 cyclamen for $38.99 ($4.33 a bulb), Breck’s offered 10 for $35.99 ($3.59 a bulb) and New Holland offered 25 for 49.00 ($1.96 a bulb). New Holland Wins Round two.

Grape Hyacinths would look great with both of these tiny daffodils, but I don’t want to wait until next spring to dig up more (I will of course dig up more). Breck’s offers 50 for $17.99 (36¢ a bulb), Spring Hill offers 50 for $10 (20¢ a bulb) and New Holland offers 100 for $17 (17¢ a bulb). New Holland Wins round three.

Giant Alliums remind me of fairy wands. They’re so whimsical and beautiful in the garden or in vases. As soon as I planted them three years ago, I wanted more. Breck’s offers a Giant Allium Mix (which is nice because it has different shades) 12 for 17.99 ($1.49 each), Spring Hill offered 10 Giant Alliums for 17.99 ($1.79 each) and New Holland offers 50 Giant Allium Mixed bulbs for $22 (44¢ a bulb). New Holland wins round four.

Astillbes would be lovely in the shade garden, my mom’s isn’t full enough to split. Breck’s offers 10 for $29.99 ($2.99 a plant), Spring Hill offers 6 for $33.99 ($5.67 a plant) and New Holland doesn’t have them. Breck’s won round five.

Blue Lavender was only available at Breck’s or Spring Hill. Breck’s offer 3 pots for $13.99 ($4.67 a pot) and Spring Hill offered 3 pots for $12.99 ($4.33 a pot). Spring Hill won round six.

Silver Mound was only available at Spring Hill 3 for $21.99, $7.33 is a little more than I’d like to pay per plant, but if it makes my order total to $50 in order to use the coupon it might just be worth it. Spring Hill wins round seven.

I’ve ben interested in Helleborus for my shade garden. Breck’s offers a Lady Helleborus in red or blue, $3 for 23.99 (about $8 a plant). Spring Hill offers 3 Golden Sunrise Helleborus for $48.99 ($16.33 per plant). Breck’s wins round eight. However, I might just hold off on this pricey plant.

Overall, New Holland Bulb Company stole most of my fall business from Spring Hill. I’d have to double my order of silver mound or find something else in the Spring Hill catalog to take advantage of the $25 off of $50, which requires some thought. Breck’s is giving me 10 astillbes for $5 (after the coupon) and the cost of shipping.

Ready for Roses

Jackson & Perkins in a bit pricey and from what I hear, totally worth the price tag (most roses cost about $20 each). I always look at the new Rose of the Year and wish the price tag and wish it was a bit lower. I may have found my solution. Jaskson and Perkins offers you to join their Rose Test Panel to select their future Rose of the Year Winner. You can purchase these four roses (in container or bareroot) for $39.95 ($9.99 each plant!) You also get a 20% off coupon for your next purchase. Not too shabby.

I’m lucky, my front yard gets a lot of sun and my back yard gets almost as much! Roses grow well here. I have two metal arbor frames sitting in my basement, that I would just love to have outside. I’m planning a small rose covered path into a rose/english garden, in the far corner of my front yard. I’d have to support the arbors and make sure I grow climbing roses up them. Jackson and Perkins offer climbers from $14.95 to $15.95 each (container or bareroot). However any 6 are offered for $74.95 ($12.49 each) and any nine are offered for $104.95 (a more realistic $11.66 each). I’m pondering purchasing the 6 climber package. I was thinking about connecting the two arbors with dowels running in between their gapped spaces, and putting three on each side of the walk. I always purchase container roses. I might hold off on the climbers until next year, since I’ve already got a lot of fall planting to be done (but then again, I wouldn’t have it any other way). Maybe I’ll even go for the 9 climber package and put some arbors to frame the patio/deck I want in my back yard…

Gardeners: Go get your deals!