Six on Saturday: 18.5.19 Plant fair Bargains

Last Sunday we headed out for a family outing to the Floral Hall plant sale. The Floral Hall is a community venture and the yearly plant fair raises money for Marie Curie. Amy, Alice, my mum and I headed out to grab some bargains. The stalls were a mixture of homegrown enterprises and local nurseries. Last year I picked up lots of ophiopogon at 50p a pot. This year there seemed to more of the nurseries and less of the homegrown but still good reductions on many of the garden centres. We got there early and plants were selling fast. I was on the lookout for something to replace the white camellia I intended to take out. This camellia came with the garden and hasn’t proved hardy enough. Too many of the flowers come through frost damaged so I’m cutting my losses and replacing it.

We had a good shop around the stalls and then stopped for a cuppa and a toasted teacake before returning home with our spoils. Alice had a good run around outside the Floral Hall and investigated their rather grand bug hotel.

1. Dahlietta-Suprise Paula

So kicking off the first of my purchases is one bought by Alice and Amy. I gave them some pocket money and this was their choice. Not a bad choice either. This is a short, compact option. I’ve potted it up in a medium pot. It should, in theory, continue to flower through to Autumn. This is my first year taking part in #Dahlialove I had said I would just start with two varieties and see how it went but the fairs purchases takes it up to five. The flowers remind me of raspberry ripple. Better than their choice last year of oxalis.

2. Dahlia table dancer

This second dahlia purchase is a cactus variety. I bought for the colour rather than the name. The flowers will be spikes of purple with white tips. For now, I am moving the dahlias in and out at night for another week or so until I feel safe that they will be alright outside. I’ve read pinching out will help these become bushier. Anyone care to comment? Help appreciated.

3. Acer Palmatum

I bought this Acer to go near where the white camellia was. Towards the back of the garden, I have a whitebeam and a black cherry. Currently, I’ve kept this in check but they could grow to be massive. So I am planning in for some smaller trees in case I need to remove the two existing trees. This is an Acer Palmatum ‘going green’. It can grow to about 2 to 3m. The leaves start bright green and are described as changing to shades of yellow and orange before dropping leaving bright green stems. With the red dogwood further along this should give some nice winter stems. I do have clay soil but I’ve added lots of organic matter the last few years so I’m hopeful it will take alright despite not having its perfect conditions. Not really a reduction on this one but it looks to be a good healthy plant.

I also bought an Acer butterfly. This one is smaller so I am starting this one in a pot. It has nice contrasting  white edges. I’ll let it put on a bit more height before finding a space in the border. I think this one is quite tender so I’m going to try and keep it sheltered for now.

4. Hosta, possibly big daddy

I bought two of these cheap from one of the homegrown stands. They weren’t certain of the variety but thought possibly big daddy. Whatever it is it has nice big green leaves so should give a good bit of foliage for my front garden plans.

5. Alice’s choice

Alice wanted this mouse. I think Amy wanted her to get a hedgehog but this was what she wanted. It’ll go nicely with last weeks fairy house and help in keeping Alice invested in the garden. It’s up out of the way on her mud kitchen for now while the builders finish their work.

6. Heuchera ‘marverlous marble silver brown/green’

I’d talked last week how much I was enjoying my heuchera foliage. These three were cheap as chips and have wonderful veins running through them. It looks like heucheras are gong to spread from fern corner into the opposite border. Gradually I’ve fond myself creating more shade as I actually like a lot of shade foliage plants. The foliage on these is stunning. A definite winner for me.

I’m very happy with my purchases. Sadly, the building work continues so I still can’t sort the garden properly but good to have a few purchases ready for the front once it’s done. Today we are celebrating Alice’s birthday from earlier in the week so will be busy through the day. Three years old and such a joy to both of us. I hope you all enjoy your weekends.

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30 thoughts on “Six on Saturday: 18.5.19 Plant fair Bargains”

    1. The spring green grows 3m according to the label 5m according to the RHS. Butterfly 2m according to label 4m according to RHS. I reckon the company don’t want to scare people that they are going to get a bigger tree than they want but I’m alright with 5m. That can fit in the space.

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  1. Lots of new plants! That first dahlia is very nice. I guess if the cactus type dahlia is like other dahlias then pricking out should help it bush out. Love the delicate leaves of acers.

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    1. Yes, planning to snip the dahlia down. Won’t matter on the small one as that only grows 30 cm. But cactus should benefit. I really like acres. I’m hoping it isn’t too delicate for my sea breezes but it is quite sheltered at the bottom of the garden. Between the fence, climbers and existing tree I’m hoping they will be alright.

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  2. Some nice plants there and a cute mouse! I have just bought some dahlia tubers at a knowck down price, whether they grow or not is another thing, but if they don’t I won’t have lost much.

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      1. What do you plant them in? I will use a container (not sure what size) and maybe John Innes #3 mixed with normal compost. Is that suitable?


      2. I’m starting them in spare plastic pots then some going in the border and some were shorter varieties for pots. It’s my first year growing. I think I used John Innes for seeds and they’ve grown fine. I’ve got some dalefoot peat free to try. I think they need quite a good feed so be adding some slow release fertiliser and then topping up with liquid feeds.

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  3. I think I would have bought that adorable mouse too! I am not normally one for “cutesy” in the garden, but slowly its creeping in! A pink flamingo managed to find its way from the Dollar Tree into a bed just yesterday!

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    1. I went through a few years of killing them off but they seem to be in tge right places now. I’ve got a few red ones clumped together and they are the most reliable of the ones I’ve got. But thought these will add some nice contrast.

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  4. Nice! I grow Marvelous Marble Heuchs I started from seed a couple years back. They are gorgeous. Those early dahlias are pretty sweet! Ours have just poked through the soil, while I’m still planting others…


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