Do You Know What This Means?

News Flash!

Tampa, Florida New Year's Day

We interrupt the droning on of philosophical flights of fancy accompanied by photos culled from the archives to bring you this breaking news story!

Real growing plants, the kind that can be planted outside when temperatures moderate have been spotted at the local grocery. Not only spotted, but swooped up and placed gingerly into the shopping cart.

Tiny evergreens from the grocery floral department, being passed off as miniature Christmas trees have already been strategically placed on the sill above the kitchen sink to wait for consistenly nonfrozen ground to be planted out. (Chamaecyparis lawsoniana ‘Ellwoodii’ 2011)

Other such mini trees are happily growing outdoors from previous years. (Cupressus macrocarpa ‘Gold Crest’ in 2008 and 2011)

January 2010

Every January it is the same varieties on offer, purple crocus, most likely C. vernalis, and the miniature daffodils, N. ‘Little Gem”. But that is okay. They will join their brethren that have already been planted out into the garden beds after January purchase and greenhouse/sunroom holding until spring in previous years. Locations have been noted in the journal and photos taken to help us remember who is where.

So without further blathering on, may we introduce Real Live Plants, with flowers even! (That are not orchids.)

And so, dear reader, what does it mean, you might be wondering? It means Spring, that blessed event of rebirth in the garden, is coming, in its own sweet time. Are you as excited about it as I am?

Just a note, buying plants at the grocery shows up not as garden purchases on the budget records, but rather as necessary food items. Just sayin’~

ps. Don’t tell The Financier, okay?


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37 Responses to Do You Know What This Means?

  1. Hmmm, what that Don or you who thought of buying plants at the grocery for that reason? πŸ™‚

    I am just as excited as you are about the coming spring but it is still some way off, I’m sorry to say. Of all the seasons spring is my fav. On the Bliss blog there are some outdoor plants in flower that are definitely NOT orchids.

    Yolanda XX

    Hi YE, thanks for stopping by. I will have to check out those non orchids! We consider plants from the grocery as food for the soul. πŸ™‚

  2. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    Tee hee, I won’t tell if you won’t. I have made some of those purchases lately too. tee hee….

    Hi Lisa, thanks. The secret is ours to keep! Good thing The Financier doesn’t read my blog, so he claims. πŸ™‚

  3. Sylvia (England) says:

    Frances, I am glad I am not the only one! My plants bought at the supermarket (grocery) come out of the food budget as well. I wonder what I will find tomorrow when I go for my weekly visit. I was thinking of getting an orchid to cheer the living room up now the Christmas decorations are down, but now you have made me think of the primroses and spring bulbs that are likely to be waiting for me. Wonder if the budget will stretch to both!

    Best wishes Sylvia (England)

    Hi Sylvia, thanks for joining in the fun! I can rarely resist the primroses since they can be counted on to bloom in the house all the way to spring planting outside. I love seeing the ones from previous years purchase, sometimes needing dividing to make yet more plants. One can never have too many primroses, or daffs or crocus. But I do love the orchids, too. I know you will make the right decision! πŸ™‚

  4. Linda says:

    Im longing for spring… but here it is winter yet… and will be for a couple of month…..

    Hi Linda, thanks for visiting, so nice to see you! We have the same amount of winter left here, sad to say. We are now under a winter storm watch, more snow to come. But it is spring in the greenhouse, thanks to the grocery. πŸ™‚

  5. I love the “showing up as necessary food items”! What a lovely boost to the spirits.

    Hi Janet, thanks. Necessary is the correct word, right? HA Our spirits need to be fed as well. πŸ™‚

  6. Donna says:

    I always need “food” this time of year for a spring jolt…can’t wait which is a problem…need to grow some seeds soon so I have something to occupy my time…grow light has arrived..time to plant…thx for the pics and reminder to go to the grocery store!!!

    Hi Donna, thanks for joining in. Good luck with those seeds. We have found the grow light to be a wonderful invention for winter gardeners. Sometimes we are desperate and will buy anything resembling a flowering plant, other times we buy only those things that can be planted outside later on. But we always have to go to the grocery, so like to take advantage of saving gas and time with one stop shopping! πŸ™‚

  7. Carol says:

    Wow, we are so far from being able to plant outside yet… I haven’t seen any plants at my grocery store. I’ll have to look this weekend. I do need some flowers for the 15th!

    Hi Carol, thanks for dropping by. We too are not close to planting outside yet, but having nice plants inside will help spring to come faster. I hope your search for flowers is a roaring success. πŸ™‚

  8. Randy Andrson says:

    Just wanted to let you know even the head of the house hold goes to the grocery store and comes home with non food items on occasion. But living in a colder climate leaves some of those little christmas trees are best left as patio plants. I just saw a picture of a Dogwood bud and all I can think of is “Oh glorious spring” Thanks again!

    Hi Randy, thanks for adding from the perspective of the head of household! I have been working on The Financier for nearly forty years to get him closer to the earth, so to speak. It is working, he now knows the names of many plants and is on board for trees and shrubs being added. He has always done the heavy lifting and digging of large holes. It helps get him vested in the garden. BUT, he is not to the point of picking up plants at the grocery, yet. Maybe if I put them on the list…A Dogwood bud, oh yummy to my tummy! πŸ™‚

  9. Darla says:

    And you are a smart plant shopper I see…necessary indeed!

    Hi Darla, thanks. There are necessities and then there are necessities…HA πŸ™‚

  10. Eileen says:

    Frances, I loved seeing those spring beauties. The little trees are a great idea, going to look for some this weekend.


    Hi Eileen, thanks. I hope you find some little trees of your own this weekend. The newest ones are very blue, the photo does not do them justice. One of the Gold Crests died, I moved it in summer, totally my fault. Don’t make that mistake, plant it right the first time! πŸ™‚

  11. We have a wonderful grocery store in WNY called Wegmans. They carry such beautiful plants and all five of my orchids came from there. I buy plants wholesale for my business, but it is hard to resist a beautiful orchid calling my name as I push the cart by. Plus three of them are ready to bloom for their third time. I have my fingers crossed for pretty flowers soon.

    You news alert story was cute too. Great morning smile giver.

    Thanks Donna. Lucky you! I have heard of Wegmans, we have relatives in PA who love it. The orchids certainly help get us through the winter, good deal on the rebloom from *Groceries*! πŸ™‚

  12. It’s slowing coming. Love your little trees, and those herbs (real live plants) are darling.~~Dee

    Hi Dee, thanks. There is still a whole lotta winter left, but thinking about what is to come, and the photo archives helps pass the time until then. πŸ™‚

  13. My Kids Mom says:

    Every year, for my mid-January birthday, my mother sends me three months of bulb gardens (gardening catalogs offer lots of these). I’ve already enjoyed having red tulips and white daffodils for the December pot, and I still have two to go! Each spring I put the bulbs in my gardens for future surprises.

    Hi Jill, thanks for stopping by. What a wonderful gift from your mother. There can never be too many bulbs! πŸ™‚

  14. Dave says:

    Real live plants are very cool – I need a few of them! I planted one of the chamaecyparis last year but it didn’t make it.

    Hi Dave, I am sorry for your loss. We lost several evergreens last summer, due to the drought I believe. But that means more room for new plants! Real live ones are the best. πŸ™‚

  15. I like that strategy. So now that you have Chamaecyparis lawsoniana ‘Elwoodii’, will you be getting Chamaecyparis lawsoniana ‘Jakeii’? :^)

    HA, MMD, I get it! Help me look for one, okay! What a great movie and soundtrack! You better THINK! πŸ™‚

  16. gail says:

    Frances, I love slipping plants in under the budget radar. Not sure about your part of TN, but, the grocery stores seem to offer much nicer plants then our local nurseries! I love that the days are getting longer~xxoogail Lovely photos and a real pick me up on this gray, cold morning.

    Hi Gail, thanks for stopping by. Yes, the nurseries are pretty much in hibernation now, but I believe the plants available are thought of as marketers as Valentine’s Day stuff. Okay by me! πŸ™‚

  17. Hi Frances, well, the winter solstice is well behind us and the days are getting longer…spring will come but not quite yet…enjoyed your cheering post…

    Hi Mike, thanks for the reminder. The sun is noticeably higher and the warmth when it is shining is stronger. We are not there yet, but it is coming. This time of year is hard, there can be very warm days followed by terrible cold and snow, a real roller coaster ride that plays with our minds. Flowers and plants help. πŸ™‚

  18. Yum yum, those new “groceries” sure look pretty! Haha! Great photos, they really add a few degrees to my already raging garden fever. πŸ™‚

    Hi Eliza, thanks. It adds extra joy to grocery shopping, for sure! Garden Fever sounds like a good name for a book! πŸ™‚

  19. Cindy, MCOK says:

    Thanks for the reminder … I need to run by Lowe’s and see if they have any potted daffodils yet! Since we’re forecast to get an arctic blast next week, their blooms will be all the more welcome!

    Hi Cindy, thanks for visiting. Lucky you to still be in gardening season down there in your corner of Katy! Stay warm when the next cold snap comes. πŸ™‚

  20. Kathleen says:

    Yay! If they are in your grocery store, then they must be coming to mine soon. I’ve been looking for some tulips, daffodils, anything but nothing to date. Now I am ever more hopeful!
    ps I just saw your comment regarding the name of my orchid. THANK YOU!!! I knew you would know the answer. Seeing your orchids pushed me over the edge to purchase mine so I also thank you for that. It’s such a rewarding hobby and I am feeling very pleased with myself for successfully getting them to rebloom!!

    Hi Kathleen, thanks for visiting. The store also had tulips and hyacinths, they might come home with me later on. I love the mini daffs and the purple crocies take fabulous photos. Both are very hardy when planted outside in the spring. I am so proud of your orchid rebloom, and what beautiful photos of it! πŸ™‚

  21. One says:

    Did you dress up those real growing plants or were there wrapped up in purple and yellow at the grocery store? They are so beautiful, I wouldn’t be able to resist them.

    Hi One, thanks. The paper wrappers came with the bulbs, I love them too, so festive! πŸ™‚

  22. Oh yes, Frances I’m ready! You look like you have some fun stuff to carry you till then. H.

    Hi Helen, thanks for joining in. The indoor stuff helps make the time pass faster, and feeds that plant buying monster that dwells within. HA πŸ™‚

  23. Marguerite says:

    A HA! Fantastic piece of advice. I’m going ‘grocery’ shopping this evening!

    Hi Marguerite, thanks. Have a lovely shopping trip for necessities! πŸ™‚

  24. And blooming plants bought at the grocery store do count for Garden Bloggers Bloom Day.

    Oh yes, that is right, Kathy! Primroses and bulbs make excellent January bloom day offerings! πŸ™‚

  25. Too funny. As I type this, a pot of tete-a-tetes, indeed from the grocery store (and the food budget), nods beside me.

    HA Sorry Gardener, thanks for joining in! A fellow serious grocery shopper, I see! I hope this is a trend that will encourage the groceries of the world to stock more plants! πŸ™‚

  26. easygardener says:

    Creative accounting – an essential skill for a gardener on a budget who is under self imposed restrictions for the coming year!

    Hi EG, thanks for adding to the conversation. Perhaps you know that I am a retired accountant? The plant budget needs all the help it can get! πŸ™‚

  27. Hah! Now that the gardening bug has bitten R, the tables are turned. It is he who can be found sneaking plants (by that I mean TREES) in under the radar.

    HA Ricki, that is a twist! So two can play at that game, eh? I laugh to think of The Financier as a closet plant buyer! πŸ™‚

  28. Catherine says:

    Now I wish I would’ve picked up the tete-a-tetes that I saw at the grocery store earlier today. I was excited to see the first spring plants there today.
    I laughed about the plants showing up on the grocery budget. There is a grocery store which gets some really nice perennials by us and I always figure my husband won’t realize I even bought them since they show up as a grocery store purchase πŸ™‚

    Hi Catherine, thanks for joining in the conversation. It is thrilling to see spring plants after the holidays at the stores. They can really brighten the wintry gloom. Is that why they invented Valentine’s Day as a flower giving holiday? Unless someone were to go item by item on the receipt, plants from groceries ought to be a safe purchase for the budget conscious among us. πŸ™‚

  29. patientgardener says:

    I love those bargains. I spend ages looking and choosing nice species and then end up being bewitched by some special offer in the local store or plants that are reduced!!

    Hi Helen, thanks for visiting. When there is little else on offer, these bulbs and primroses look mighty attractive. That they are at the grocery makes them even more so, especially at this time of year. πŸ™‚

  30. Get. Out. You’re planting?? I’ll be planting too! In another 6 months. In your post I spotted another picture of those super fantabulous beaded curtains. Where can I get those??? Enquiring minds want to know. HNY ~ kate

    Hi Kate, you are funny! I am not planting yet, I am holding these things in the house until about March when they will be planted out. As for those curtains, they are plastic beads from Walmart strung on waxed linen and tied onto a tension rod. You can’t buy them, you have to make them yourself. It is fun. Measure your space, cut the linen somewhat longer and start stringing those beads. A good project while watching tv. πŸ™‚

  31. Rose says:

    Ha, ha, your secret is safe with me, Frances:) Youngest Daughter once accused me, as I was unloading yet another trunkload of new plants, of “spending her inheritance on plants.” Since then, I like to hide new purchases strategically around the house so that no one gets too panicky that I’m maxing out the credit cards:)

    Those little Christmas trees look so good in your garden. I think I may just have to go “grocery shopping” today.

    Hi Rose, thanks for keeping this little tidbit under your gardening hat! No one needs to know the exact spent on plants, ever! Hope you had frun *grocery shopping*. HA πŸ™‚

  32. Sandra Jonas says:

    Ha Ha! An old trick. I have a friend who gets ‘cash back’ at the grocery store to be spent at the nursery!!

    Hi Sandra, thanks for visiting. Yes, the old cash back is a very good way to squirrel away money for nurseries and blogger fling meetups. Never too much at once, little here, little there, it adds up! πŸ™‚

  33. It’s a good plan this buying of plants as food – I may have to follow your lead. I’ve just found your blog and I enjoyed looking back through it – lovely pictures.

    Hi Henry, thanks and welcome. I appreciate your taking the time to go back. There are three years of blog posts here, I go back and read them myself during the down time of winter. As for the plants as food, well, I am an accountant (retired)! πŸ™‚

  34. Kat says:

    Frances I almost spit out my coffee when I got to the end. Sneaky… sneaky… but you know what? Even the birds are a bit noisier this morning in my neck of the woods. Between the hawk calling for a mate and the finches chirping about some new food source it sounds like they are asking Mother Nature to ‘bring it’ and soon.

    Hi Kat, my friend, thanks, that is just the kind of reaction I was looking for! It seemed the sun had a little bit more warmth to it, was higher in the sky, but now it is cold as the dickens. I just refilled the bird feeders. Hope Mother Nature is listening to your birds! πŸ™‚

  35. Frances,
    Were you in Tampa New Year’s Day? I looked at your BEAUTIFUL photo of (familiar) buildings and sunshine and (quizzical head tilt here) then noticed the caption.

    I’m all too familiar with your grocery buying strategy and one I often slip in at Target and Walmart (both have year-round garden centers here) as well.

    Your kitchen window sill is perfectly adorned now with reminders of spring. I see the famous muhly in the distance, too. A lovely view.

    Hi Meems, yes, we were there for the college football bowl game. Our team lost, but we had a great time anyway. Tampa is a gorgeous place, that was our second visit. The weather was delightful, much better than the week before had been, we were told. I wondered how close you were to where we were staying downtown. Thanks for visiting here. I haven’t cut the muhly yet, but the time is nearing when it must be done since the bulbs in there are showing. It still brings a smile as the dishes are washed. πŸ™‚

  36. Cinj says:

    Do you ever find yourself looking for a like button when you’re reading blogs? lol

    I’m planning on moving my strawberries and planting more herbs this year. There are always so many plans and so little time to go them all in.

    Hi Cinj, thanks for visiting. It might be because I am logged into wordpress, but there is a like button at the top! I have never used it though, on blogs that is. I am moving the strawberries into the safe haven behind the rabbit fence. We only got one berry last year, boo!

  37. Jennifer says:

    I enjoyed the humor of your post. Flowering bulbs are for me necessary winter survival gear.

    Thanks Jennifer, glad you liked it. When I went back to the store, all the bulb pots were gone. Others must feel the same way. πŸ™‚

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