I admire gardeners who spend time each fall choosing top-notch bulbs for their spring displays and pay a fair price to the premium retailers we all rely on. Oftentimes, I do the same. But I also love plundering local DIY stores during the big bulb markdown that coincides with Thanksgiving. These leftovers, though not “choice,” are perfect for a one-time show.
I was a bit late in my search this year, so selection was limited. I’m happy, however, with the cheerful collection of 165 tulips and daffodils that cost less than $25 total, or roughly 15 cents per bulb.
Luckily, I ended up with the perfect number for the four black plastic pots I’ve used in past years. Will you think I’m a cheapskate when you hear I recycled old potting mix for this project too? I hope not.
The containers are the perfect depth for 3 layers of bulbs. Tulips go in first, and then the big daffs before the small ones. Pot pairs will be slightly different when they bloom, as two containers are planted with ‘Fortune’ daffodils, while doubles fill the other set.
While on the subject, have you ever wondered where “cheapskate” comes from? Here is some of what World Wide Words has to say: “The best suggestion we have is that skate was originally a Scots contemptuous word, still known in a weakened sense in Australia and New Zealand, where it’s usually written as skite. We retain it in blatherskite for a person who talks at great length without making much sense.”
Finally, here’s another good value for bargain hunters–Ideas for an Inspiring Garden–the Greater Greenville Master Gardener’s 16th Annual Symposium to be held on Saturday, February 11, 2017.
Featured speakers will include Kelly Norris, Director of Horticulture at the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden who will present an “A-list” of stunning plants; Gary Smith, NY artist and landscape architect on harnessing your creative spirit for expressive design; and Bill Thomas, Executive Director and Head Gardener of Chanticleer, with a behind the-scenes-look at what the Washington Post has called “one of the most interesting and edgy public gardens in America.”
The symposium also offers two sessions of concurrent programs provided by Norris and three additional speakers: plant explorer and nurseryman Ted Stevens of Nurseries Caroliniana, garden writer and photographer Pam Beck, and permaculturist Eliza Lord. The first session offers a choice of Stevens on plants for Southern gardens, Beck on mixed border design, and Lord on sustainable gardens, while the second offers Stevens on soil science and plants, Beck on shade gardens, and Norris on bearded irises.
Registration, including morning refreshments and lunch, plus a fabulous vendor’s market full of plants and other garden necessities, is a steal at $70 ($75 after December 31 if there’s still room). If you’re eager to go, don’t hesitate, as tickets are already dwindling. To register, simply print a brochure from the GGMG website and get your check in the mail pronto!