Autumn Plant Sales

It's the plant nursery autumn sale season, and I am planning a large spending spree. There are two big sales to visit over the Easter weekend - I've been looking forward to them for months.

 A perfect shrub for autumn colour.

This is a very serious moment - almost as serious as waiting for the next World Cup when one's country lost badly in the last one. Newly prepared patches of dirt are waiting. Fence-lines have been cleared of rubbish and spread with compost. The garden is ready.

 This photograph was taken at last year's Easter plant sale.
Dog with Sale Plants

The plan is simple - if it's a cheap flax (Phormium), buy it. Species flaxes for the fence-lines, cute coloured hybrids for the mixed borders. If it's a cheap Pittosporum, buy it. There's always a place for this praiseworthy shrub - in the Wattle Woods, in the Hump... If it's a cheap tree, ignore it. Unless it's a ten dollar variegated Tulip tree or a five dollar dwarf Japanese maple.

 A good variegated Hebe, though it can be a little frost and snow tender.
Hebe Waireka

Rescue Rules

Plants worth rescuing include all 'nice' roses, all red Cordylines, and all jolly decent, useful shrubs (like Choisya and Hypericum). Perennials are to be ignored unless amazingly cheap, and there are at least three of them.

Foliage plants which already litter (poor choice of word?) the Moosey gardens - Hostas, Bergenias, Heucheras, Canna lilies, Carexes - would welcome any new additions. At the right price, of course. Sale price perennial purchases are for the impatient gardener, and I rather enjoy dividing and recreating my own perennials. But at fifty cents per plant - well, why not?

When will I learn? The last nursery autumn 'sale' I went to was a complete flop, price-wise. Last weekend at the rose sale I struggled to spend sixty dollars. My last great rescue - pots of pretty pink daisy perennials - has had unspectacular results. Stop flowering then - that's no way to show your gratitude!

The car trip to the sale is terribly nerve-wracking. Will a trailer be required to carry away the spoils? The Second Law of Nursery Sales states that trailers are only needed if the gardener hasn't brought one. Hmm...

 Big bags for ten dollars...
Flaxes and Grasses for Sale

Overall, all a gardener needs is a wallet and an easy-going, non-judgmental Non-Gardening Partner to guard the trolley and willingly carry things. The NGP must never, ever be heard to mutter 'What do you want those for?'

Extreme flexibility is required of the gardener. Nursery sales are the perfect place to rediscover a mania for mass plantings of Lavender, or Daylilies, or tussock grasses. There may be nowhere to create such a garden area, but that's no problem!

 A beautiful shrub for the rockery.
Emerald Gem Hebe

Hebe Heaven

And remember - there's always space in a garden for a Hebe. Bargain bins are Hebe heaven! Right. Eight a.m. and the Bargain Bin will be open for the very first time. This is the defining moment. I'm off!

A Happy Footnote

This year's Great Easter Sale was a success! The Head Gardener made three separate visits in two days. Shrubs rescued include Nandinas, Cordylines, Astelias, trailing Rosemaries, variegated Corokias, Phormiums, summer-flowering Senecios, assorted Hebes, and five grand Pittosporum specimens. Fifty-cent perennials include red Monarda, yellow Anthemis, and white Pelargoniums.

Self-disciplined for once in her gardening life, the Head Gardener resisted all Lavenders and roses.