Had the pleasure of a visit by good friends early Saturday morning where they mentioned they were going to stop by our local nursery and garden center later in the day. My eyes lit up immediately, but I tempered my enthusiasm by looking at my wife and sheepishly commenting "she won't let me near the place." To my surprise, she said "go ahead, you can probably get some good deals." That's all the encouragement I needed. Later that morning, with the kid reluctantly ("that's the worst store ever...plants make me droswy") in tow, I headed off to Prairie Gardens.
The late summer sales were in full force (20-60% off all plants) -- great news since our cool summer so far means that we can actually plant without fear in late July! I ended up buying two Becky Shasta Daisies (Leucanthemum x superbum 'Becky'), two Arizona Sun Gaillardia (Gaillardia x graniflora 'Arizona Sun'), and three Heuchera x 'Plum Pudding'.
But the prize of the trip was a Passiflora caerulea (blue passionflower) that was heavily discounted. It's a plant I've always wanted to grow, and now that a close friend has a sunroom where we can overwinter tropicals, I can finally justify the expense. There were only two left at the garden center, and both looked a little worse for the wear. But at $16, who could complain. Once I got it home, repotted it, added some height to its trellace in the form of two wooden stakes, and realized what I thought was a three foot plant was actually a 6-7 foot vine weaved in and over itself, I was even more pleased that I went ahead with the purchase. I'd imagine we'll see flowers on it with a few days, judging by the several clusters of large buds. Can't wait!