23 Aug 2010

Places to Find Economical Landscape Plants, Vegetables, Perennials

columbine flower

[Columbine – Aquilegia – plant purchased at a college plant sale for $4.00 ]

While waiting in line for coffee this morning, I chatted with a woman lamenting about how she got a great deal on her new house, but badly needed to fix-up the front and back yard at minimal cost. I told her that a great place to purchase inexpensive, yet healthy landscaping plants is at local universities and community colleges that have horticultural courses.  They usually have plant sales during each semester or quarter and they always have great prices.  You will find natives, perennials, shrubs, trees, sometimes vegetables, and sometimes unusual plants.  Compared to retail nurseries and big box stores, you will save up to 50% off for 1-gallon and 5-gallon potted plants.  When redoing a landscape–that’s significant savings. Also, not only are you saving a lot of money, your purchases usually help the students raise funds for their horticulture program.  Try checking-out local arboretums and public gardens too– some fund-raise with seasonal plant sales.

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03 Oct 2009

Columbine

Aquilegia Columbine

Re-sprung after two days of cold heavy rains.

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26 Mar 2008

Long Spurr Columbine

Pulled most of the sepals away to better
see the tube-like petals, deep-channeled spurs adapted for their pollinators (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/06/070607112814.htm).

Nosing the nectaries, you’ll find a faint blend of green citrus spiced with sugar.columbine_front.jpg

The petal shapes clearer from this view.

columbine_behind.jpg

25 Mar 2008

Columbine Flower

Whenever trapped by a cycle of self-cribbing or stale ideas–
the best study of new forms can be found in the fields:

columbineside2.jpg
Aquilegia spp