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Local Greenhouses... how do you maximize your $$?

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Michigan has sprung a leak, the horses and grounds are being washed... I get to take time to sip coffee, read the forums and watch the horses graze.  It is a good morning!  However, I will have to postpone the planting the new arrivals 'til tomorrow. 

I am "maturalizing" my road frontage to abate the County's and electrical utilities sprays and mowers (and to keep me from having to mow, too!).  I have 400 feet by 10 feet of slope to tame.  To that end, I have been busily injecting my frontage with hodgepodge of flowering plants in a variety of color: manarda, bluetts, flowering almonds, herbs, lillies, iris, delphinium and just about plant a friend is willing to donate to the cause.  But, I can't just count-on the few plants my friends are willing to part with and I've had to look to the greenhouses to fill the void. 

Much to the consternation of my pocket-book, greenhouse shopping is expensive.  I, simply, can not afford the market price on the perennials.  I wondered the grounds of my local greenhouse in mild despair of finding any good buys until I reached the "employees only" area and took a quick peek inside.

I discovered my local greenhouse has a couple of dilemas:  what to do with their potted flowering bulbs that did not sell (while in bloom) and what to do with plants that have been, mildly, affected by frost.  After speaking with the owner, I discovered those plants were headed for the discount rack but most would be overlooked and end-up in the trash.  I offered to take 100 plants off his hands for 50 cents each.  He agreeded, provided I return the pots and trays.  I'm not going to pay retail again... I can wait for these to flower, again, next season! 

Does anyone else have tips for maximizing your dollar's mileage at the local greenhouse/garden center?
Posts: 4437
Location: North Central Michigan
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yeah, awaiting the storm here right now..snuk out and planted my plants before it got close this a m

i did the same thing here..along the county right of way..i planted pretty much the same type of things...i have 2 fl almonds and a few other short shrubs, but i have depended mostly on divisions or seeds of my own plants...and would be happy to share seeds with you as they come on this spring.

i have daisy, gaillardia, poppy, hardy geranium, tulip, daffodill, cr phlox, hollyhocks, mallows, mondarda, daylillies, siberian iris, clematis vines (these came on their own wild), tradescantia, lychnis, some wild queen annes lace if my hubby doesn't pull them and chicory, i'm sure i'm forgetting alot of things..i generally take the seed and continue to walk along the road and put more and more,..i have left word for the county to NOT mow..that we will take care of it..but if they DO mow..it is all something that will grow back on it's own..they don't spray here..if they did they would likely get shot
Susanna de Villareal-Quintela
Posts: 143
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I would be more than happy to trade plants and coffee with you, Brenda.   

It has been a few years since they have sprayed herbicide in our area, too.  I think they have discovered mowing is cheaper in the long run.  They still mow the top-portion of our ditch whether we have it mowed or not.  Fortunately, it's only the top 3 feet and we keep the "non-mowables" below that level. 

Hope you enjoyed the day.

Posts: 965
Location: ZONE 5a Lindsay Ontario Canada
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Ask an employee when their sales are and hold out til then. Also, things like asparagus spears, onion sets and other bulbs can go down to 50% off at the end of the season.
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