I went to our local Lowe’s this weekend and found some total steals on perennials. I actually ended up going to both the local Lowe’s stores and getting different things at each. They had gallon perennials on clearance for $1 each, and groundcover for $1.50 a six-pack. I picked up over $200 worth of plants for $25! What a deal! Some of them aren’t looking spectacular, but they’re all healthy enough that they’ll survive and thrive in future years if not this season.

I found a few things that work with my front-yard color scheme, including Munstead English Lavender. I was planning to add lavender to this area anyway (I ordered some which will arrive in the fall), so that worked out well.

front yard

Munstead English Lavender

I also found some Butterfly Blue Pincushion Flower, which will hopefully grow somewhat quickly and add some height interest.

front yard

butterfly blue pincushion flower

Finally for the front yard, I found some Periwinkle Vinca. Not the most exciting plant ever, but it goes with my plan and should thrive and fill in relatively quickly.

front yard

The shrubs I planted between our house and the neighbor’s driveway have not thrived (probably due to the neighbor’s child ripping them out of the ground repeatedly), so I found another option: ornamental grass. I picked up some Adagio Grass and Maiden Grass and put them in. I am not completely giving up on the shrubs until next year – I hold out the tiniest shred of hope that something underground will survive and sprout in the spring. We shall see. The grasses should hopefully fill in over time, and as you can see, the grapes that sprouted there (one good thing the neighbors have done for us is leave bits of them there) are growing like crazygonuts.

between house and neighbor's driveway

between house and neighbor's driveway

I also found some plants for the bed beside the driveway: Petite Delight Bee Balm, Petite Wonder Bee Balm, and Red Fox Speedwell.

petite delight bee balm

petite wonder bee balm

red fox speedwell

I also found some groundcover for the corridor between the garage and the (other) neighbor’s fence. It’s Moneywort, which has a striking light green foliage and will theoretically flower in yellow.

between fence and garage


I feel really good about getting such great deals! Even if I lose a percentage of these plants, I still come out ahead money-wise, and hopefully I’ll learn more about a bunch of new-to-me types of plants and gain experience, too. If anyone has any tips or advice about any of these plants, I’m all ears!

More photos on Flickr.


weekend update

So I finally decided that I’ve had enough of the neighbors walking on the seedlings in our front garden (nee yard) and put up a temporary fence to keep the garden safe.

temporary fence installed

It stretches all the way along this side of the yard, so hopefully it will be effective. We could theoretically fence off the other edges, too, but I’m not convinced that’s necessary. As you can see, I also planted three new bushes there – blueberry, black raspberry, and red raspberry. I usually like to get edible plants from heirloom seed or from the farmers market (or other reputable organic sources), but I gave in and got these from Lowe’s – the farmers market had nothing to offer and the seeds I’d planted here got trampled to death. I’m guessing that I’ll need to protect these from the birds once they start fruiting. Anyone have suggestions of effective ways of doing that?

In other front garden news, a number of the other plants I put in are doing pretty well! The dark lord geranium is looking good:

dark lord geranium

I also noticed that something is sprouting up through the mulch on the side of the house – I think it might be grapes. Can anyone confirm or deny?

something growing up through the mulch - grapes?

In the back gardens, the daylilies and asiatic lilies are budding and getting ready to bloom.

asiatic lily


asiatic lily

The lilies beside the garage are really, really tall! Some of them are approaching the point of being taller than I am!

garage-side garden

The golden sweet snow peas are still blossoming, with a gorgeous purple color:

golden sweet snow pea blossom

There are also scads of pea pods! I’ve been eating them right off the vine while I wander through the veg garden. They are so sweet and the texture is divine!

golden sweet snow peas

So the other day, after I finished hosing off the aphids that were hanging out on the potato plant blossoms, I noticed what I thought was an odd-looking ladybug. It wasn’t a ladybug, it was a colorado potato beetle. Yipes! I picked it off and killed it, and found, picked, and destroyed the leaf under which it had laid eggs. I searched but didn’t find any others, but then a day later, I found these!

unknown insect: Colorado Potato Beetle larvae?

They’re larval colorado potato beetles, and they were chomping the hell out of the potato leaves, as you can see above. Ugh! I think I’ve gotten rid of all of them now, so hopefully we’re done with that. I did order some ladybugs and praying mantis eggs which should arrive soon. I fully expect them to fly away, but hopefully a few will hang out and make a home in my garden (and a meal of any other pests). We already have some good pest-eaters in the garden, one of whom made an appearance this week:

toad in the toad house