Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Big Box Bargains

I've had very good luck with my Big Box Store bargains, so periodically I'll stop in just to see what may need to be rescued. I consider it my organic duty to help a few plants out now and then and save them from the compost pile. Last week, I went twice. It had been awhile and I needed to make up for lost time. ;-)

Following our trip to the Botanical Conservatory in Fort Wayne on Sunday, Romie and I stopped at Lowe's and while I didn't find any orchids in need of rescuing, there was this yucca-looking thing. It had some damaged spears that needed to be cut off, so I asked a nearby sales associate if they would consider discounting it. He looked it up, noted that the original price was $15.53 and asked if $10 was okay with me. Sure! The green ceramic pot was worth that. So I went home with Bargain #1, even though I don't know exactly what it is I have. I like it though.

On Friday, after work, I visited another Lowe's on the east side of town that was on my way to an appointment and sure enough, there were two Phalaenopsis orchids just waiting for me to take them home and give them some tender loving care. As I was walking out of the garden department with them, the employee in charge smiled and said, "I wondered how long it would be before someone like you snatched those up."

One, labeled incorrectly 'Brother Little Yellowboy,' was in full bloom, with five healthy leaves. I'd read that Phalaenopsis normally have four or five leaves at a time, unless very healthy, in which case they can have as many as ten. For this one, I paid $10 and it came in a cream-colored ceramic pot.

The second one, labeled 'Wedding Promenade,' had me pretty excited because it had six healthy leaves and visible plump green roots, and TWO spikes with burgeoning flower buds on them! Price paid? $7.50.

I took them home and got them out of their soggy moss planting medium and repotted them in an orchid mix. As I was doing this, half of 'Not Yellowboy' fell into the sink. What the heck? Ahhhhh...there were TWO plants in that little pot! That meant I'd gotten two orchids for $5 each. Not bad, eh?

Oh, and as I had a 40% off Borders coupon, I just had to stop in there to see if there were any books that needed rescuing as well. (Isn't there always?) I found Plant by Janet Marinelli, a DK Publication that features native plants from all over the world. This will be a good book for reading about the origins of some of the parents of today's hybrids. This book lists for $50 and it was on the bargain table for $9.99.

I'd read about Down to Earth With Helen Dillon in Horticulture magazine and used my coupon to purchase it for $17.95.

So I guess that answers the question as to whether I got a new orchid or not...


Frances, said...

You really got some good deals there, especially the orchids. I have the Helen Dillon book and enjoyed it immensely, rereading portions several times. Your first photo may be some type of agave.

Frances at Faire Garden

Anonymous said...

Kylee: Good for you for rescuing those plants. They already look quite happy! I will be interested to hear how you like those books! I would love to see Helen Dillon's garden. Maybe the next Spring Fling can be in Ireland! LOL

Robin (Bumblebee) said...

Isn't it amazing how affordable orchids are these days? I was in the Whole Foods Market in Annapolis earlier this week where they had a display of DROP DEAD GORGEOUS orchids for $19.99. I had to restrain myself since I already have about 10 to care for.

Robin at Bumblebee

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I cracked up when I read "organic duty". tee hee... I too feel that duty from time to time.

The Lowes is notorious in my mind for wrong labeling of plants. I am always finding plants with wrong labels.

Your purchases look well worth the rescue.

Nancy J. Bond said...

Looks like you got some excellent bargains! I hope your 'rescues' all do well! Happy Hearts Day!

Susan said...

I, too, can't resist a plant bargain. I found one (similar to yours) at Home Depot this morning for $12. My sister found the best bargain lately. She saw a cardboard sign on the side of the road that said orchids for $4. They were absolutely HUGE & healthy. Both she and my mother scooped up their fair share.Enjoy your bargains!

Aiyana said...

I use the same excuse to buy more plants and books. My husband tells me my job is not to save the plant world or to buy a book because there's an empty space left on a shelf--regardless of the bargain. I don't listen.
BTW, the yucca-like plant looks like a Hesperaloe parviflora.

Cindy Garber Iverson said...

This post just makes me smile! :D I love that you rescue plants. My most memorable rescue was of a white hydrangea that was ready to be chucked into the dumpster. It now grows in our front garden and covered with new buds waiting to send out new spring leaves. I'm so glad you found some orchids to give a home to.

Cindy at Rosehaven Cottage

Kylee Baumle said...

Frances ~ I started reading the Helen Dillon book the day I got it and I can tell that I'm going to like it a lot. Agave was also something I'd considered because it looks so much like one we'd seen at the Botanical Gardens that day.

Layanee ~ Oooooh, Ireland! Now wouldn't that be great? But I can't even make it to Austin! *sniff*

Robin ~ Yes, they're definitely coming down in price. Our Meijer stores have GORGEOUS ones of all kinds for $20 and $30.

Lisa ~ I know it's not really Lowe's that has them mislabeled; it's their supplier. But it's still irritating!

Nancy ~ Well, Lowe's even guarantees their plants like these for a year, so if I am unsuccessful, I could always return it. I won't, though, because as I said, the ceramic containers were worth what I paid.

Susan ~ FOUR DOLLARS!! Wow. I would have gone crazy, and my older daughter too! At that price, you can afford to lose one or two. Sounds like you got a great orchid bargain, too! Good job!

Aiyana ~ It does look like that, doesn't it? Looks like it could be marginally hardy for our zone, too (5). I don't think I'll risk leaving it outside next winter, though.
Oh, my husband says the same, but he has his "things" that he has a weekness for, too. It's just not to the degree that mine is. Mom and I were talking today and defending our passion for plants. Gardening is something that never ever gets boring. There are always new challenges no matter what the size of your garden is.

Cindy ~ At least now I can identify which plants are worth trying to save. When I first started out, I couldn't, so I didn't even bother. Since that time, I've found some fabulous bargains.

Shady Gardener said...

What a wonderful time you had! I'm so jealous! ;-) Guess I'll have to go shopping!

Anonymous said...

Thanks, now I am going to have to check our Lowe's for needy plants. Most of the orchids that I have now, I bought there at clearance prices, but I haven't stopped in a while, but now that you have reminded me......

Betsy said...

Hi Kylee, just discovered your blog, and your other blog- I can't wait to take some time to read "back". I love reading about and seeing your garden tours!
I too have a Helen Dillon book I found on the sale table at Borders, "Garden Artistry" and like you, I think her books are inspirational.

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