Some years, I am pretty careless with my budget for the pots I plant up for the porch and other spots around the place. I am self indulgent about this because I tell myself that I have to make up for looking at snow all winter. We have tons of little garden centers and plant nurseries around here, and every one of them knows my secret – which is that when it comes to buying plants, I am easy. If you have some pretty plants out there, I’m probably going to buy some of them. This year, we are having to keep a bit closer eye on things, so I am being more frugal than usual, but this is a trick that I use every year, whether we are feeling flush or not.
It can be hard to find an annual that has immediate, big time impact in a pot. Especially for under 4 bucks. You can spend $8 or $10 for a six inch pot, but that is a little beyond my budget for a single plant that is going to to die come October. See the hosta in this pot? I got it at Lowes for $3.98. It is called “Patriot”, and is going to bring a nice big pop of contrast to this corner of the porch. I tucked in a couple of smaller coleus and lobelia from cell packs, and a 3 inch pot of an orange Impatiens. Total price for the plants in this 12 inch round container? $6.27. And this is a big pot – about 30 inches high, so when everything fills in, it is going to look really nice.
Then in the fall, I will pull that hosta out of the pot and plant it someplace in my shade garden out back. Double duty for SO cheap. You can do this with quite a few perennials actually – for sunny locations, plants like rudbeckias and coreopsis work well, and for shady spots, coral bells or lamium would be a nice choice, and there are lots of smaller grasses that would look wonderful in a pot with annuals. Around the end of October, or after the first hard freeze does in your porch pots, stick them in the ground, and next spring they will almost always come back up. Here in my zone 5 Upstate NY garden, I have gotten stuff in the ground as late as the beginning of November, and it was just fine the next spring. Hope you find this idea useful, and have a great day!