This is the refined form of notoriety which I have gained at the local DIY store, which also happens to sell a wide range of plants for - initially - prohibitively high prices; for which you may read 'prices that I am not prepared to pay'.
But from the very beginning of the year, and right up to the very end, my weekly visits inevitably provide me with at least one or two (and sometimes nine or ten) plants that have been marked down for one reason or another; this reduction in price is signified by a bright orange label, which can be seen across the store and attracts me like a butterfly to a buddleia!
The plants themselves might have finished flowering; may be bone dry from languishing at the back of a stand, missing out on watering, or may have suffered a particularly harsh fate - as had the Acer palmatum dissectum 'Atropurpurea' below, which I bought a few weeks ago. It was reduced to one fifth of its original price after being burned in a heatwave and losing all its leaves. But all the new leaf buds are there again - waiting to shoot; perhaps not this year, but they will be back in seven or eight months time. Just a bit of waiting to be done... gardening's good for training me that way!
(It says '£6.99' :-) )
Its always something of a risk to buy 'less than perfect' plants - but it's a risk worth taking. They all go to 'hospital' when they arrive here, placed on the patio under the vine, so in cool shade - and are fairly quickly watered, dead headed or cut back as necessary. Give them a few days and - mostly - leaves begin to sprout again, flowers begin to appear, and/or they are ready to be divided up into many more plants and left to root up again for planting out in the autumn or spring.
With the size of garden that I have, there is no way that I could fill it with full price plants; but with the help of Orange Label days, plus a bit of work dividing and taking cuttings, the gardens are slowly filling up, and its always better to plant out three or five bargain plants rather than one acquired at full price. I am saving plants from the store rubbish bins and my miserly streak is given full rein to come out and play.
It’s a win-win-win situation, isn't it?
Hydrangea 'Black Steel' - a previous 'Orange Label' purchase