The Garden Community for Garden Lovers

By Newbe

West Midlands, United Kingdom Gb

I have been told to buy perennial plants !! for my borders and pots, money is really tight now as I have just lost my job and I dont want to costly mistakes.Can I put them in pots ?do I buy plants,bulbs or plugs?? Help.
Thanks to you all for your advice.



Perennials are plants that come up every year. Plug plants are very small plants and if you are new to gardening you might be safer buying bigger more established plants, the kind that every garden centre is full of. Yes you can grow them in pots but remember that in summer pots dry out quite quickly and your plants will need watering , probably every day.

12 Apr, 2011


I sympathise with you Newbe, I too find funds hard to come by but have you a "pound" shop in your area? they usually stock really good selection of plants, bulbs seeds etc and can save you a fortune, now as far as planning your garden scheme this is the place to ask,many are experienced gardeners and will give you sound advice, good luck.

12 Apr, 2011


Hi Newbe and welcome to Goy. You can grow perennials, biennials and annuals from seed which is much the cheapest option. They can be planted in the ground and in containers all depends on what you want to do and the space you have.

So... you can grow lots of perennials from seed, they wont flower this year but will next. Plants like delphinium, lupin, hollyhocks, aubretia, campanula, aquilegia... there are lots and lots of perennials you can grow from seed. Scroll down to the bottom of the page click on 'P' and then go to 'perennials' this will give you lots of ideas for perennials you can then google to see if you can grow from seed.

You can also sow calendula, morning glory, cornflowers, antirrhinum and lots of other annuals and allow it to seed (which they will do readily) and hey presto next year you will have more of them. Same goes for biennials such as wallflowers, honesty, sweet william and foxgloves.

You will need to buy any shrubs you want but you can easily create a garden without these. My parents certainly never had apart from a single hydrangea.

Whilst creating a garden can cost a lot if you are prepared to grow from seed and not expect an instant garden it can actually cost very little in monetary terms and will give you an interest.

Last though plant sales and coffee mornings when you can often buy well grown locally produced plants at a fraction of the cost from a GC or nursery.

Have fun and good luck!

12 Apr, 2011


Car boot sales and plant sales can be good sources of plants too. You may be able to ask friends or neighbours for a cutting from shrubs you like, pop the sprig into a pot of compost, put the pot in a clear poly bag on a bright but not sunny windowsill and hope that it roots. And label the pot! You think you'll remember what it is, but we all know it's easy to forget.

12 Apr, 2011


A visit to the garden centre in early March is often worthwhile - at that time of year, they usually have small pots of perennials just starting to grow for about 1.99 each. Too late this year, but worth remembering for next year. If you're confused about terms, Annual means it grows, flowers and dies in one year, Biennial means it grows one year, flowers the next and then dies, Perennial means it comes up every year, but might disappear completely in the winter (some perennials remain green at the base in the winter). Most perennials can and should be dug up and split every 2 or 3 years, meaning you've got more plants too. Shrubs have a woody structure which remains above ground, and can be either evergreen or deciduous.

12 Apr, 2011


Hi Newbe, I too am new to this site and so far have found everyone really helpful, I hope you do too. I recently lost my job too and have limited funds for my garden. I tend to shop around (as I now have time to do so) I have found bargains in ALDI, LIDL, smaller nurseries, even Tesco. I recently bought 4 rhodies from ALDI which are doing great and cost a fraction of what my local garden centre charge for similar plants. £shops are great too for seeds, car boot sales, local farm shops etc. I treat shopping for plants the same as I do for food/clothes etc, never buy everything from one store, shop around, ask friends/family for clippings. Perrenials are great but you want to have something to look at in the winter time too so dont restrict yourself. Enjoy the experience of creating your garden and take your time, instant gardens are great but not very rewarding in my opinion, its nice to have something to look forward to and the joy of bringing a healthy plant on from seed is tenfold compared to just going out and buying it.

12 Apr, 2011


EBay is also a great source for plants they is a lot of small nurseries selling plants at a fraction of the cost and they are usually good quality and you have a massive choice. I also lost my job 2 years ago and was out of work for 10 months which was an experience I will never forget .

13 Apr, 2011


I do what Bamboo speaks about !

The garden centres currently have tons of perennials in 3 or 4" square pots and they're usually on offer too.
These small plants bulk up in a matter of weeks and by the end of the summer they're a large plant - very good value for money and when money's tight it's value for money that's crucial.

13 Apr, 2011


Don't forget that plants are seasonal too - our local garden centres are currently offloading Hostas cheaply. Once a plant is past flowering they're unlikely to shift them easily and would rather not be caring for them until next year. Try not to take advantage of your local independant nursery in this way (although they are more likely to care for them somewhere anyway), but the large chains are fair game as far as I'm concerned!
Annuals are a great fill in whilst your perennials are growing this year.
Also, the larger pots of perennials can be great value - from a very full pot it's possible to separate a few pieces which will grow into plants in their own right next year.

And finally, don't be disheartened by losses - we all make mistakes and none of us can control the climate.

13 Apr, 2011

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