Monday, June 4, 2007

One-Year Plant Guarantees

After work last Wednesday, I had plans to go to Lowe's to return a couple of things that I'd purchased there that didn't make it through the winter. Last fall, I bought three of Joe Pye Weed (Eupatorium rugosum 'Chocolate') and one ornamental grass (Carex testacea 'Prairie Fire'), among other things, but these two didn't survive and Lowe's guarantees their perennials, trees, and shrubs for a year from the date of purchase. Walmart, Home Depot, Menard's, and Meijer do this, too.

I think management counts on the human factor for this much like they do with rebates. How many people actually take advantage of them? With each, there are the usual hoops to jump through - original receipt needed and dates to be observed.
I feel a little bit uncomfortable walking up to the return desk with a plastic bag full of dead plant material, but that's what you do when there's a guarantee like this.

I've done rebates for most of my adult life, though not as much in recent years. But this dead plant thing is new for me, since I've only been serious about gardening for a few years. The first time I returned something, it was a pink dogwood tree from Walmart and when spring came around last year, the dogwood didn't. I hated that, because it was so pretty when I first got it.

I missed the year limit they have for the guarantee by two days, but I thought I'd try it anyway. I assured them that the dogwood was just as dead two days before and the store manager okayed the refund with no problem. It was only $10, but every little bit adds up.

Today, I was well within the year, since I'd made the purchase last September. It only took a few minutes for them to credit my account. I could have turned around and walked out of the store and gone home, but what kind of plantaholic would I be if I'd done that? Never mind that I'd just returned from a big trip to Cleveland last week, with one day spent shopping in four fabulous garden centers. I just wanted to look........

And because I had store credit at Home Depot and it was a mere block away and on the way home, I wanted to look there, too. And a mile or so further down the road was Henry's Greenhouse, which I'd driven past many times, but had never stopped to see. Might as well do that today. You know ... just to look.

You want to look, too?

Porcupine Grass (Miscanthus sinensis 'Strictus')

This was to replace a clump that didn't make it through the
winter/spring. We had two in this location. One made it, one didn't.
The cement pillars we found two years ago while walking along the creek.
Someone had dumped broken concrete, old bricks and these.
We don't know what their original function was, but we
like what they're doing now.

Crimson Pygmy Barberry (Berberis thunbergii var. atropurpurea)

Also to replace one that died over the winter/spring.
It survived the winter, but the two weeks of freezing weather we had
in April did it in. Another one, planted at the same time
in the same location, did fine.

Euphorbia 'Diamond Frost'

I intended to buy something with color for these little areas just inside
one of the arbors. But in about two weeks, lots of little hot pink
flowers (Oxalis tetraphylla 'Iron Cross') will be blooming among this.
I would never have guessed this was a Euphorbia.
It's only hardy to zone 10. Every garden center I've gone to this spring
has this, and I'd never seen it before now. Must be a hot item this year!

Coreopsis rosea

I got this to add to a small clump that I already had.

I've had problems growing this. It just never does well.
You'd think I'd give it up ...

Rudbeckia 'Irish Eyes'

These will be added to one that I'd received a couple of
weeks ago from Bluestone Perennials.

Dianthus 'Bouquet Pink Magic'

I've never been a huge fan of Dianthus, but there was no way
I could leave the garden center without this charming feathery beauty.

Snowy Woodrush (Luzula nivea 'Lucius')

I've never seen this grass before, but I loved
its fuzzy look. It will grow to a height of two feet.

Flowering Maple (Abutilon sp.)

They aren't a maple at all, but the leaves sort of look
like maple leaves. I have a slight weakness for these.
I've got two smaller ones that I've had for a couple of
years and neither of those look nearly this big or healthy.
This large lovely thing was only $17, and there are
three plants in there.

Sunny approves of the Veronica
(Veronica spicata 'Icicle')


greenlegs80 said...

My Sunny! Oh how I miss thee...

Unknown said...

Wow... I love those cement posts, too. You did good things with them. :) And the abutilon--I can't believe you found that for such a great price! I have a weakness for those, too. Especially the orangey ones and some with the funky leaves. Do you overwinter your "parlor maple" inside like they did in Victorian times?

Kylee Baumle said...

Oh, Kara, I know how you feel. :-( But thank you for asking us to take Sunny. He is a real sweetheart!

Kim - Yes, I overwinter the abutilons. They bloom off and on while inside, too. I've got one blood red one and an orangey one. Then I got a variegated one that blooms orange also, at Lowe's in Cleveland. :-)

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