Field of Science

Always looking for bargains

There are certain things in life that you continue to seek, for example, an excellent wine under $10 a bottle and great bargain plants. This is the time of year when big box stores heavily discount their plants to empty out their garden centers. Mostly the plants are  not worth the effort, however, it doesn't cost anything but a little time to take a quick look. TPP was pleasantly surprised to see a number of small shrubby magnolias that were in particularly good shape for late summer. TPP's second caveat is that most of the plants in late season sales are not of much interest to the more sophisticated gardener, but TPP had to change his mind after seeking red currants and only finding them, and excellent plants too, at a big box store. To TPP's great surprise, one of the magnolias was M. kobus var. loebneri (M. x loebneri), which sort of looks like a star magnolia in growth habit, but it flowers a bit later and the flowers are light pink. Wow! The next worry is that potted trees and shrubs can be rather root bound especially late in the season. TPP recommends giving the pot a tap and pulling up the root ball for a look. In this case the root ball was in great shape so it will only take a few minutes to spread the roots out nicely which is necessary because this greatly improves the early growth ultimately the survival of the plant.  And here's the best news of all; it only cost $20!  Oh, yes, a new magnolia that's already 4' tall and ready to flower in the spring, and only $20.  Now where to plant it? 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ouch. What a find! I'd be racked with envy, but I not only have no "big box" or even a "little box" to take my $$, I haven't got a climate to allow such a plant to live long and flourish. That's life on the edge of the Labrador Current for you.