ABC Wednesday - I is For...

...Impulse Buying

All of us who garden do this don't we? No garden visit is complete without a little something from the plant sales area on the way out. We tell ourselves it'll be a nice souvenir of a lovely day out, or it's just what we've been looking for, it's an absolute bargain, or it'll be ideal for...

...ideal for where? If you're like me, you bring your new most treasured possession home and then reality hits. There's absolutely nowhere for it to go. I get round that temporarily by putting it in quarantine - after all I don't want to introduce any new nasties into my garden. And there it stays - I've just managed to plant out a lovely Phorium 'Jester' in the front garden. It's been in quarantine for two years and it had to wait for a variegated Rhododendron ponticum to die before it could be planted out in a chunky Mayan pot. Looking at my nursery area I've got a tree fern, two Heuchera, a Syringa palbin, a Prunus mume, a smoke bush, chocolate mint, Christmas box, lavender, two kinds of Sanguisorba, a Hydrangea quercifolia, two kinds of daffodils, that Clematis x aromatica that's twinkling away nicely on this month's slideshow (purchased last Friday - yes the RHS show did unblock my resistance to using my half price plant voucher at the local garden centre) and an Astrantia all looking for new homes. I've just put in a massive bulb order, but couldn't resist augmenting it with all the plants on special offer, such as some Dicentra spectabilis 'Alba'. In May five kinds of Dahlia will join them. All these will find a home - some are lined up for my planned garden revamp and I've just spotted a nice Heuchera shaped area that's opened up in one of my borders. But what on earth possessed me to buy this Holly tree (another I - Ilex aquifolium 'Argentea Marginata)? I think it's a lovely tree and yes, at the moment I could find a space for it, but only if it stays the size it is now. That's just not going to happen is it?

I suspect I'll have to resort to my usual solution to excess plant buying - guerilla gardening.

What do you do with your impulse buys? And what's the oldest plant you have waiting to get planted out?

Do you fancy doing a little Impulse Buying too? Right now? James-AS has donated a couple of tickets to Malvern Autumn Show on 27-28th September as part of my WaterAid fundraising. The tickets can be used on either day and it's just been announced that Toby Buckland, the new lead presenter of Gardeners' World will be in attendance on the Sunday. Also, fellow blogger Deb will be showing off her first show garden there - click on the link for a sneak preview of the design and the run up to the show. I've been to the Spring show and it's a lovely venue - one of the best ones for a garden event. I'm also hoping to be there. So if you'd like to come too, I've put the tickets up for sale on eBay, with the proceeds from the sale going directly to WaterAid. Searching eBay for Malvern Show should take you straight there. If not, leave me a Comment and I'll give you the Item Numbers.

And after that, why not visit the ABC Wednesday blog for more pictures and stories.


  1. Impulse buying - to me the most dangerous things are photographic equipment and technological what-ever.

  2. Absolutely Runee! And another buying weakness I have is books. I need to live in a library, with a massive garden...

  3. Whenever I go to a garden centre I say beforehand -
    " I'm not going to buy anything today " but of course I do - that small plant with colourful flowers and then when I get hope the problem of where to plant it ..

  4. I try to curb my impulse buying of clothing and shoes but sometimes the little devil on my left shoulder wins the argument with the angel on my right shoulder.
    That is what I tell my hubby anyway.

    Bear((( )))

  5. I've tried lately to use the 24 hour rule - if you see something you want but don't need, wait 24 hours to see if you can really afford it, want it, need it. It often works, but lately I've been dreaming about a beautiful scarf and matching gloves that would be perfect with my chocolate brown winter coat. hmmm...wonder if they're still there?

  6. Shoes are my impulse buy. Good isdea for the I.

  7. The oldest plants I have waiting to plant out are 6 years old - and they are going into the ground this Autumn - I have to say they were not an impulse buy - but carefully considered - however, then I decided to move house so they stayed in pots. Hydrangea fireworks and a specialist bamboo.
    As for impulse buying at either the garden center or the book shop Moi? ... Never!
    You have bought yourself a lovely Holly.
    I cannot believe you have all those plants "in quarantine" actually thinking about it .... yes i can!

  8. Ha,ha, can I relate to this! Shoes used to be my fetish, but once I decided comfort was more important than style, I don't go shoe shopping that often. Plants, though, are another matter.
    I've decided I simply must spade up more yard for all the new plants on my wish list for next spring.

  9. Hi everyone - I certainly identify with all your impulse buys ;)

  10. Hi VP
    Just wanted to let you know that the above plant Hydrangea "Fireworks" is now in the ground - after all these years, it looks a bit shell-shocked
    (24th October 2008)

  11. Hi Karen - I'm sure the shell shock will soon turn into a 'oooh, this is lovely, I'll just spread out a bit more and get myself comfy'!


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