Getting the Goods

Yesterday I descended on, what felt like, every plant store in the city to get plants and herbs for my garden project. I am somewhat of a house plant aficionado, but when it comes to outdoor plants I know nothing – quite literary nothing. So equipped with nothing more than my phone and the internet I started buying.

First I started at Costco. This seemed like the cheapest place to get plants. And while I was right, everyone and their mom were out buying plants. I have a bit of an issue with crowded places, but Costco especially gives me immense anxiety. I don’t know what it is; maybe it’s the giant carts (I am only 5 feet), the neverending isles of products, or something they pump into the air, but I knew we had to get in and out quickly. Thankfully, I went in with some sort of game plan – I needed 3 creeping juniper plants and a Roma tomato plant.

Table basil
Table Basil

The Roma tomato plant was easy. It was sitting right at the front waiting for me. The biggest question was which one to get. I don’t know what makes a good tomato plant so out came my phone – check for bugs, check the leaves and stems, and go smaller. Then I read I needed to re-pot it so I added Walmart to my list. Next to the creeping junipers, and this is where it all went astray. Did you know there are about 7 million types of cedar-like bushes/trees? So after shifting through what felt like the entire boreal forest, I found the creeping junipers. Thank god for good people because this WONDERFUL lady must have seen my struggle as I pulled out every single creeping juniper that Costco had to offer and stared at them. I tried to Google how to pick one, but the internet just kept showing me results on how to prune them and what to do if they go brown. I was close to leaving and not achieving my dreams of a beautiful lush front yard with cedars plenty. But the angel from heaven helped me pick three of the best plants and gave me some tips for care including watering them multiple times a week until the winter and covering them with burlap before the first frost. So check! Costco done.

On my way out, I impulsively bought a Table Basil (which I don’t think is any different from regular basil) and a bag of 9.97$ perennial that is labeled “Butterfly Blend” because who doesn’t like butterflies? So now add that to the list.

Next was Superstore, as I heard (from my sister) that their herbs and plants were the cheapest. So off I went and found what I needed. My experience at Superstore was easy compared to Costco. grabbed parsley and chives for my garden boxes and a couple of bags of soil as I can only assume I’ll need that. I also wanted to plant hostas in my backyard, but I wasn’t 100 percent sure where to get them, but as if it was meant to be, the Superstore employees had just put out a whole pallet of hostas so I grabbed three.

Unplanted hydrangea bush behind firepit and two yellow chairs
Hydrangea Bush

Next, I need to find a hydrangea bush. Finding it was easy enough, but the tag was about as large as a high school history textbook and it had a whole lot of lingo I didn’t understand. Hardiness? No clue. Zone? Like school zone? Unfortunately for me, Superstore was all out of angels from heaven to help me, but thankfully I had Google. A quick search of “how to read a plant tag” showed me everything I needed to know. I decided to go with the Limelight Hydrangea for a few reasons:

  • Blooms: Summer through Fall
  • Hardiness Zone: 3 to 9
  • Exposure: Partial to Full Sun

With barely any more room left in my SUV, we headed for one more stop – Plant Ranch, a locally owned plant nursery in the city. Here I wanted to get some romaine lettuce and dill weed. I grabbed what I needed and I was out of there. Armed with my goods I was ready to plant, right?

Herbs - chives, parsley, and dill - not yet planted
Unplanted romaine lettuce
Romaine Lettuce

As a side note, to create this blog post I ran into one issue – my images were too big. Who knew? After some Googling, I came across TinyPNG, an online tool that compresses photos. So if anyone out there has these same issues, rest easy TinyPNG has your back!

4 thoughts on “Getting the Goods”

  1. Mariah, I truly appreciate your gardening planning advice for outdoor plants. I truly liked what you read. I found it incredibly interesting how the “Angle of Heaven” aids in plant selection. Superstore is the best place to buy plants and herbs from the competition, according to your experience, and it also offers ideas about how much plants cost. I really appreciate, you sharing your amazing experience and your dedication to making it happen.

  2. Mariah, this was a really fun (and funny) post to read – thank you! I could immediately relate to the Costco comments, as well as how intimidating it is to go look for something and find there are about a thousand varieties (been there with roasts before…still don’t really know the differences). It sounds like you are off to a fantastic start. Looking forward to hearing about the planting process and hearing about your (and your plants’) growth.

    1. So funny Christina because we are a roast family and I have zero idea what I am buying every time! You are not alone. I am excited to see how the garden turns out as well – and thanks for following along.

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