May 25, 2010
Frugality is Not Dead
This post is dedicated to my grandmother, from whom I inherited a love of gardening and an admiration for thrift - the virtue, not the plant (Armeria maritima is called thrift). Not that she will ever read it, since she doesn't have a computer. But after posting about my extravagant plant purchases this spring (see that post here), I feel the need to write about my frugal habits, too.
I have made use of seeds in my garden, which is a very thrifty way to get plants. Never mind about the entire flat of annuals that I nurtured on my kitchen windowsill for six weeks this spring, then set out in full sun with the cover on and STEAMED to death in a mere hour or two . . . no, let's not dwell on that. Instead, let's focus on all the new columbine (Aquilegia) plants that are growing from the seeds I scattered last fall. The top two photos show 'Melba Higgins', and the one below is 'Clementine Blue'. The new plants aren't blooming yet but should look something like the parents in these photos.
Actually, I didn't kill all of the seedling annuals - some of the 'Dolcissima Fragolino' petunias survived, so I planted them out this week. I ordered more 'Victoria' salvia seeds to replace the dead ones, and I hadn't used up all the 'Twinny Peach' snapdragon seeds, so I replanted those.
My other frugal habit involves a knife to divide plants. Along with two 'Blue Moon' wisteria vines, I ordered two 'Pink Double Delight' coneflowers from ForestFarm.com. The coneflowers that arrived were large enough to divide into four plants each, eight total. You can see a couple of the little clumps above.
Last fall I cut apart my clumps of 'Walker's Low' catmint (Nepeta) to spread around the yard. They're just starting to bloom now, and will continue until October. I love this plant enough to put up with the seedlings that pop up all around the mother plant.
When I found 'Marcus' salvia at WalMart - definitely a store for the thrifty - I snapped up six pots and cut them into 11 plants. The 12th cutting didn't end up with any roots, oops. That's always the danger with dividing little plants. Marcus is supposed to be a miniature form of 'May Night', with slightly lighter-colored flowers and a similar long bloom time. I was in need of some low growers around the front yard, so I was excited to find these.
So there you have it, Grandma. I'm not completely lost to frugality. Phew, I feel better now.