I discovered that I have been assigned a garden budget of 660 pounds for this year and that I have only spent 10 percent of it so far. Paul had forgotten we had had the 'one-off' purchase of the petrol strimmer last year so this years budget has been somewhat boosted :)
Having had a forced break from gardening due to 30+ mph winds, snow, sleet and hail my thoughts turned to the next plant buying campaign when the J Parker spring/summer catalogue arrived in the post.
This time the free plants are an azalea with every order and spend over 40 pounds and get 10 dwarf white lily bulbs. There were also some very good offers within, restricted to one per order. This was going to need meticulous planning...
Step 1: Initial pass through marking up what I want with a large asterisk
Step 2: Create a file with all that I have asterisked with code/description/price and total
Step 3: Compare bulb prices with my Avon bulbs catalogue and amend list accordingly
Step 4: Phone the enquiry line to check there is no restriction of one order per household
Step 5: Split the order into 4 to get all the free gifts/repeat special offers that I wanted - well worth the extra post/packing fee
Step 6: Go onto website and create orders - discovered the dwarf rhododendrons were two pounds more expensive on the website
Step 7: Do the last order using the catalogue form to ensure I got the catalogue price...
75 dwarf narcissi - 11.50
45 narcissi Pheasant's Eye/Poeticus Recurvus for naturalising - 9.90
75 rockery tulips - 11.50
75 lily flowered tulips - 14.80
25 Allium Christophii - 7.95
25 Allium aflatunense - 7.95
2*6 Guernsey Lilies - 3.90
40 dwarf Oriental Lilies - free
12 Cascading Begonia - 1.95
2*6 Surfinia Repens Velvet - 5.90
2*6 Double Trailing Petunia - 5.90
6 upright Fuchsias - 6.95
2*10 Mixed perennials -1.90 - even if I only want a couple from each pack I can't go wrong at that price
2*6 Mixed Lupins - 1.90
6 Aquilegia Black Barlow - 3.95 - I know these will love my garden...
1 Acer p. d. atropurpureum garnet - 13.95
1 Acer p. Orange Dream - 12.95
1 Acer p. atropurpureum - (buy 2 get one free)
3 Dwarf Rhododendron - 8.90
6 Lost label roses - 9.00
12 Hardy Fuchsia - 9.95
4 Azalea 'Geisha Orange' - free
So in total 166.60 pounds spent, 201.60 'saved'.
Aldi's also had rhododendrons at 4.99 yesterday - it was certainly worth a trip to check them out as we needed a couple of things in Berwick anyway. They were excellent value - good large plants in 4 litre pots - so I bought three (white, pink and red).
The weather was much better yesterday afternoon so I went out with graph paper, pencil, eraser, tape measure and camera to start logging what is growing where and where there are gaps that need filling as by autumn when next year's spring bulbs arrive I will not remember. This is going to be a major task as I only completed the first 5 metres. It should get easier when I get past the rockery...
The trials and tribulations of a life of leisure...
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