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Always one for a bargain when it comes to plants, I can’t resist a reduced section at the garden centre or a table outside someones house selling plants. Mind you the latter is usually not the bargain you might think. The plants that get potted and sold are often the ones that will take over the garden given the chance! But having said that I have bought some beautiful plants on the side of the road in the past.
Long before the lockdown and enforced stay at home, our local Garden centre was selling off their bulbs for a £1 a pack. Now when faced with packs of Tete-a-Tete, pink frilly tulips, Hyacinths and Anemone Blanda so cheaply, it would be wicked not to indulge.
They were all shooting and probably destined for the compost bin, so an awful lot had to come home with me! Put in really late, but with the flowering stored from last year, they just put on their show later, now I will have to feed them up in the garden for next year.
These are the Tete-a-Tete and some stunning dark purple Hyacinths.

These tulips were super but going over now, they were amongst pink Hyacinths and a real bargain.

The pink Hyacinths that flowered earlier.

And these ones are from previous years and now live in the garden.

Poor sad little Polyanthus plants that were in a broken section tray and cost £1 for a pack of twelve.
The bulbs were not quite so successful, they were lying about in a flowerpot and got thrown in with the plants, but all look blind this year. Into the garden for next year to naturalise and flower if they want to. The Polyanthus are also in an old metal wheelbarrow and looking good.

Other bargains are of course the plants that you grow and split into new plants, Dicentra – sorry it will always be Dicentra to me!

The glorious blue of this, is it a Veronica? It has been split so many times the garden is overflowing with it!

All of these are self-seeded in the woodland-ish path and will have to be moved, apart from the nettles which might have to go! This is quite shaded and all the books tell you that Cowslips like full sun and light soil, but these seed like mad on clay and are quite happy, though I have sat on a Derbyshire hillside (in the distant past) amongst Cowslips growing on so little depth of soil it’s amazing. So what do they really like?

Two I did indulge in as though I have have hundreds of Foxgloves, most are purple, and though I don’t mind that and the fact they seed everywhere, I thought another colour would be good. Not sure if these are going to seed or if they are hybrids, not checked that bit!

This plant, what we always called Cineraria, but now a Senetti apparently was one of those impulse buys a couple or three years ago. I seem to remember someone wrote a blog on them saying that they never stayed alive. Mine didn’t either, it succumbed to the different temperature in the house to that it was used to in the plantsman’s greenhouse. It got put outside and survived the winter, then last year it got planted (stuffed into) the small bed near the back door, shaded all afternoon, and ignored. Of course it has thrived like these things do when ignored and has spread and is flowering happily. Not sure it would survive a bad winter, which we haven’t really had.

Now for an indulgence and a mystery.
A few years back we went to Wisley for our wedding anniversary outing (more my treat that OH’s) and saw the Hosta White Feather. Naturally it was a ‘I want’ plant and eventually I got two, possibly from Parkers, but not sure.
They grew happily in their pots but then got eaten by slugs! When they re-grew they were green. Last year they got put in the bed near the pond and this year they are the cream they are supposed to be.

This blog was started to prove to all the people who ask the question “Can I plant old or shooting bulbs?” The story is you can, they might not flower as early as the rest and might have a rest the following year, but I bought packs of bulbs that were originally between £3.99 and £6.99 for £1! Now to me that’s a bargain and they will come again some time.

I can’t end this blog without a picture of one of the boys, firstly in full show-off mode, even if all he has to pose to are pigeons! And one of the boys again on some logs which I put against the Greengage tree to stop him sitting on the garden and my plants – and it’s working!

Thank you for reading this far, once I get started I do tend to ramble on!
Have fun in the garden, balcony, patio or flowerpots and may you and yours stay safe.

More blog posts by honeysucklegold

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Fab blog, honeysucklegold! You certainly bagged a terrific bargain or have a real spectrum of spring colour. Some beautiful flowers on here..and, your absolutely gorgeous chap at the finale..a real glamorous shot!

1 May, 2020


some lovely flowers doing their thing. I often buy reduced plants as they often just need a little tlc. Bulbs are usually good and as you say as long as they get a decent feed should be ok next yr too.

1 May, 2020


They did turn out to be bargains didn't they? What a joy.
Just wondering how White Feather manages to grow without any green leaves at all?

1 May, 2020


A very good lesson to us all not to be afraid of anything, buying old bulbs in sales, keeping 'annuals' to find they do come again the next year, sowing very old seed in very old soil.......what's the worst that can happen???? It takes time which is something a lot of us have plenty of.

Could you please tell me where I can buy one of those Peacock Skirts - if that's not an outfit to garden in I really don't know what is - absolute glamour - imagine the neighbours thoughts if I mowed the lawn in one of those???

Beautiful photos and blog - thank you!

Happy Weekend to All.

2 May, 2020


As the Hosta leaves age they develop the chlorophyll so they can photosynthesise Stera. Not sure how green they become as I've not seen a late summer one.

2 May, 2020


Thanks Kate, always happy when I don't have to spend a fortune on bulbs. I absolutely hate planting bulbs, but love them when they come up! Our gorgeous chap is one of three and they are in noisy mode at the moment - Spring does that - they start yowling at dawn and because there is less traffic on the roads, anything that goes past noisily gets a chorus of yowls! Luckily we have happy neighbours!

The White Feather Hosta Meadowland is unusual and this year hasn't been bothered with slugs. They are about when you move pots and I have found eggs inside the pots as well. Now we have had a few wet days no doubt they will be in more evidence, unless the Hedgehogs keep on top of them.

I can't resist a reduced plant either Seaburn, I think of it as saving the plant as especially if it's a supermarket they would only go in a bin. As for the Hostas Stera apparently they grow green veins to the leaves first, then turn green later, so that explains how they stay alive. This will be the first year I have seen this so I will keep an eye on them.

I have had several 'annuals' this year Sunnydais that have come through the winter (not that we really had one) just left in the pots and not moved to shelter anywhere. A few Pelargoniums even made it through, Verbena and the trailing plants sold for hanging baskets are up and running again. As for the peacock skirt, not sure that your neighbours would approve. Just remember that when that lovely array of feathers is displaying, behind it is a bare bottom!!

3 May, 2020


Everytime I buy dicentra it dies after a winter or during it. I thought soil in the Fenns was sandy/wet oh well.
Nice you can build a garden to your fancy, Don't overdo it!

9 May, 2020


I'm hallucinating. Just seen peacocks. We had some locally & the council rounded them up. But not all so we get one or two walking down the road. Our dog does not bark at them even though they are big dog size for him.

9 May, 2020


That's strange that it dies Bill, I thought it lived on just about anything - neglect in my case! My soil is solid (and I mean solid) clay, none of the black, peaty, organic soil associated with the Fens here! This clay, before the draining of the Fens would have been wet, slimy and just the sort of quagmire that King John might have sunk in with his jewels, sadly not in my garden.
Peacocks seem to do well if left to their own devices, it would be interesting to know how the Council rounded them up, they are a bit like herding cats, a will of their own.

10 May, 2020

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