My time and money for yard work has been limited this year, but I really love to have a few potted plants on my front and back porches. My hard working perennials take care of the yard for the most part. There are also a few plants that survive the winter in my pots.
On my way back from the hospital yesterday I stopped at Walmart to purchase a few plants to tuck into some of these already established pots. I felt that the prices were a little high.... $3.00 for one little petunia? As usual, I cruised the clearance section and found some pretty healthy plants marked down. I purchased Petunias for 50 cents, Sweet Potato Vines for $1.50, and large pots of Impatiens for $1.00. I divided each of the Impatiens into four plants.
So, when purchasing plants my advice would be to check the clearance area and also to purchase plants that can be divided into many plants. If you check the pots sometimes there will be 2 or 3 plants in there or it may be the type of plant that can just be pulled apart into several divisions. I have almost always divided any perennials I bought in the past before planting them.
This is a planter my daughter gave me for Mother's Day in 2007. It hangs off the outside of the railing on the front porch. The green and white variegated vine survived the winter. I tucked in around it 2 red petunias, a sweet potato vine and one of the divided impatiens. After the plants have grown some I feel this planter will be filled in beautifully!
This pots sits on the top step on the front porch and also had a surviving vine. I tucked some of the same plants around in it.
Our back porch is mostly shady, so the impatiens do really well back there. This pot has four of the plants I divided. My sweetie did some work on some old broken tomato cages to use in the pots on the back porch. The purpose of this is to deter our cats who love to sleep in the pots. I was able to make four nice sized pots for the back porch. When these plants grow a little they'll fill up the pot and end up huge by summer's end. I also tucked in a couple in some other established pots. One pot has hostas in it and the little impatiens will complement the hostas well.
I have impatiens on the back porch most every year and sometimes they reseed into the same pots and come up the following year. I need to keep that in mind at the end of the summer and try to help this process along. I love free plants!!!