Nope, not food-on-a-stick time; it’s the beginning of mid-summer plant sales in local garden centers.  If you’re one of the many new gardeners in 2020 you will find these sales an indispensable part of growing your garden. Maybe as a new gardener, your veggies are looking great and you want to flex your muscle. No matter what your expertise, this is the perfect time to stroll through your local garden center and choose a plant that speaks to you.

If there’s a perennial that you were thinking of adding to your garden, but vegetables took priority, now’s the time to splurge. If you’re the adventurous sort and want to try a zone five plant, now’s the time to be courageous. If you like a challenge, then this is the time for a walk through the “not quite perfect” aisles of the garden center.

The plants may range from flowering perennials to small shrubs. Check the tag to see if the plant requires full sun or partial shade. Also, I have found that the size of the plant listed on the tag is often underestimated. Make sure your choice isn’t crowding another plant. This will allow for airflow, helping to keep your plant healthy.

I like the challenge that those “not quite perfect” plants offer. I’m lucky enough to have space in my garden for plants to be in a holding area for a season or two. I plant, fertilize with compost, water them in, and add mulch. If they make it through the winter, I incorporate them into one of the perennial beds.  I have a lovely black lace elderberry that I rescued a couple of years ago.  It’s missing a few branches, but I love the fine cut and color of the leaves.

Pictured below is my choice for this year. This lavender is a zone 5 plant and looks a little scraggly, with some brown stems.

Debbie Graham TSM
Debbie Graham TSM

I’ll trim back all of the stems, add some compost, plant, and water it in. Because it’s a zone five plant, I’ll plant it in a more protected area and cover it with leaves in the fall. Hopefully, next summer, I’ll have enough to scent my home.

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