The Garden Community for Garden Lovers

Another freebie plant!


In the past, I’ve been lucky enough to salvage some pots from going to the tip. I’ve been given sick or dying plants by friends and colleagues. Friends who’s relatives have sadly passed away have offered me plants. I don’t always say yes, some aren’t either suitable for my garden or are not to my taste.

This is by far the strangest way I’ve acquired a plant yet!

I was visiting friend last weekend. They live in the City Centre and as I was just about to get into the car something caught my attention!! In the City Centre here, they have large communal waste bins. I was in the middle of saying to my mother, look at that, someone has just dumped a whole load of garbage without putting it in the bin. She suggested that we gather it up and put it in the bin. No way I said, you don’t know what’s in there!!!! She proceeded anyway – you’re off your head I said. If you spill anything over you, you’re not getting back in the car! I didn’t want to be driving home with her stinking the car out. Anyway, domestic row over and done with – she got back to the job at hand.

“What’s this?” she said….my reply was “I don’t know and I don’t really care, get a move on!”

As she made her way back to the car, I notice that she had something in her hand. A potted plant by the looks of it, as I looked in the mirror. I don’t do house plants, they die! I called to her, “just put it back in the bin!” “At least have a look” she said, “doesn’t look like a house plant to me”. On making a quick ID, “put it in the boot!!”

Here it is….I hope I’ve correctly ID’d this as an Agapanthus – would you agree?

Dead and dying flowers

Healthy enough, don’t you think?

After a bit of a struggle with the pot and a pair of scissors, I resorted to the trusty Stanley blade to burst it free from it’s pot.

I cleared out all the dead and dying matted material on top of the plant, teased out the roots as much as I could. I was betwixt and between whether or not to give it a feed. I plunged it into a basin with water for a short while, if nothing else it helped me tease out more of the roots.

Here it is, potted up into a bigger pot. It’s amazing just how much it’s picked up over the week. It’s probably breathing a great sigh of relief!!

My other Agapanthus lives outdoors for winter but protected from the wet. I think I will keep this one in my neighbours greenhouse for it’s first winter just as a precaution.

Coincidently, a pot half the size of this was on sale at a GC today, labelled with 50% off – for £20! I think I got another bargain. All for the price of some elbow grease and a little compost!

More blog posts by scottish

Previous post: Japanese Acers

Next post: September ends!



now that was a good find. And did you say 'sorry mum' :o)

20 Sep, 2013


I agree, a good find, but you don't half have some expensive plants up in your area, lol, Derek.

20 Sep, 2013


Probably thrown out because there were few flowers which is not surprising seeing how pot bound it was .
Did mum work on the Bins in a previous

20 Sep, 2013


Mums know best lol.......a bargain I would say!!

20 Sep, 2013


Fantastic Scottish.They are expensive in GC's as u say. I assume this is one of the deciduous ones rather than the evergreens that we see more of down here.i say that because the leaves seem quite narrow like my deciduous one(Headbourne hybrids) or do u think it's an evergreen .either way a great find!
There's a lot of roots there....I think I'd be tempted to try make at least a couple plants out of it(although they tend to be shy of flowering for a couple of years if u do that)

20 Sep, 2013


I'd say you were right there Paul, looks like mine the Headbourne hybrids type which is good Scottish. As it's the hardiest I've come across, a cracking find that :-)

20 Sep, 2013


That's wonderful ! lol I'm glad you rescued it :o) It's going to be lovey next year :o)

21 Sep, 2013


you have to be joking!!! £40 for a pot of Agapanthus??? Flipping fantastic plant rescue! :)))

21 Sep, 2013


Your mum is five foot nothing is she not. Give that lady a medal. That is a great rescue. You had better look out, for someone who does not do gardening she sure sounds as if she is catching the bug. Could you cut off a couple of rooted bits and plant them outside to help decide whether it is hardy or not. From what others are saying it might well be.

21 Sep, 2013


Wow, what a find, good old Mum!
I'll bet you could split this next year...after it's recovered from its trauma...and get lots more plants. What a lucky find :)

21 Sep, 2013


Yes Agapanthus.............extremely expensive to buy and this one would look just fab in a new smart pot.....great find. Good old ma. :)

21 Sep, 2013


Cheers, everyone :)
SBG - I expressed my gratitude which kind of included an apology. Pleased she didn't listen too me. Although that usuallys par for the course;)
Derek - a large sized pot of these ready growing is expensive up here. I wouldn't buy them at that price. My others were bare root bought from homebase for a few quid. Funny money sometimes!
Bjs - Not sure about a bin man - but she has been here before, I'm sure! Had it not been the bin that Sue uses she probably would have left it well alone.
DD2 - yes mums know best, but don't tell mine I said so ;)
Paul, completely unaware of which type it is. I thought deciduous mainly because it has similar foliage to my white one. I thought about splitting it up but didn't want to put it under too much stress particularly at this time of year.
SL - thanks for confirming Pauls suggestion. Very pleased with this find :)
Hywel - I'm hoping so! You've got your old avatar back, easier to recognise you :)
Snoop - Indeed!! Mother always knows best but as I've said, don't tell her I said that ;)
Karen - yes, couldn't believe my eyes!! Dobbies!! It did have a better than normal plastic pot. They probably put the price up before they reduced it!!
Scotsgran - I didn't want too stress it too much. I'll do this next year. It might well live in the front garden - those gladioli are certainly loving it, so stands to reason this might too! I hope she doesn't get too involved in the garden. She likes too many plants that I don't :)
Waddy, thanks. Yes, as has been said and suggested. I'll give it a go. It shouldn't be too hard to get some rooted shoots of in spring.
Grandmage - A new pot.....yes, that would be nice. Thanks for the idea - I will purchase it a nice shiny pot in springtime :)

21 Sep, 2013


Hi Scottish, looking at it again, I think it may be the lilliput strain, everything is smaller than normal, the flower stalks only gey to about 15", I have had 1 in the garden for about 8 years, they're decideuous and appear to be completely hardy, having survived temperatures down to minus 22deg c in the 2 recent bad winters we had, Derek.

21 Sep, 2013


Thanks Derek - although difficult to tell from what's left the dead flower heads were rather small. We shall see what the flowers look like next year. Minus 22, that's good news. Didn't quite get down that low here in those bad winters.

21 Sep, 2013


Yes ... this is the avatar I like best ... it's just that sometimes I fancy a change for a bit lol :D

21 Sep, 2013


Brilliant find, Scottish...or should I say Mum. They cost a fortune for mature ones here too...and no wonder. I planted bulbs three years ago and I'm still waiting for a flower. But, that might just be me doing something wrong... :)

23 Sep, 2013


Thanks Karen, my white ones took 3 years to flower, but I suspect the weather had more to do with it! Perfect for them this year.

25 Sep, 2013

Add a comment

Recent posts by scottish

Members who like this blog

  • Gardening with friends since
    14 Aug, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    23 Feb, 2011

  • Gardening with friends since
    9 Aug, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    17 Jan, 2012

  • Gardening with friends since
    27 May, 2012

  • Gardening with friends since
    22 Jan, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    2 Nov, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    15 Jan, 2010

  • Gardening with friends since
    16 Mar, 2010

  • Gardening with friends since
    1 Mar, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    8 Apr, 2010

  • Gardening with friends since
    5 May, 2010

  • Gardening with friends since
    14 May, 2011