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Saturday - April 19, 2008

From: Billerica, MA
Region: Northeast
Topic: Seed and Plant Sources
Title: Cutting costs on purchase of plants in Boston
Answered by: Barbara Medford


I spend OVER $600 per season on annuals for my gardens here in the Boston area each year. I wonder if there is any place you are aware that I can buy discounted plants? I grow the typical geraniums, mums, impatients, etc. If I save some money...I can plant more. I love flowers! Thanks. Denise


Sorry, recommending discounted plants is a little out of our line. What we can do is make a couple of suggestions, answering questions you didn't ask, about how to have attractive landscaping for more months of the year, and without replanting everything, with the attendant expense, pots, fertilizer, etc. for annuals. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to the care and propagation of plants native to North America, none of which are on your list of annuals. We do this because a native, growing where it is supposed to, will be less susceptible to disease, require less fertilizer and water, and be more resistant to insect pests. Further, we would like to suggest planting more perennials each year. We can also recommend some native plant suppliers in the Boston area. The upfront cost may be more, but if you do it gradually, converting from non-native annuals to native perennials, in a few years you will have a lower maintenance, lower cost garden that is good for the environment.

Just as a sample, the first thing we're going to do is go to our Recommended Species and select for Massachusetts, herbs (flowering plants), and perennials. When we did that, we got 41 possibilities, from which we have selected an even dozen that will give you flowers in several different colors from early Spring to mid-Fall. You can then repeat our process, either choosing other flowering plants (herbs) you like better, or selecting for shrubs, trees or grasses, and adding the soil moisture conditions and amount of sun. And, as promised, here is a list of native plant suppliers in the Boston area.

Achillea millefolium (common yarrow) - blooms July to September, white, pink

Anemone canadensis (Canadian anemone) - blooms April to June, white

Aquilegia canadensis (red columbine) - blooms February to July, red, pink, yellow

Asclepias tuberosa (butterfly milkweed) - blooms May to September, orange, yellow

Campanula rotundifolia (bluebell bellflower) -blooms June to September, blue, purple

Coreopsis lanceolata (lanceleaf tickseed) -blooms April to June, yellow

Lobelia cardinalis (cardinalflower) - blooms May to October, red

Lobelia siphilitica (great blue lobelia) - blooms July-October, blue

Lupinus perennis (sundial lupine) - blooms May and June, blue, purple

Monarda didyma (scarlet beebalm) - blooms July, August, red

Monarda fistulosa (wild bergamot) - blooms May to September, lavender, white

Rudbeckia laciniata (cutleaf coneflower) - blooms July to October, yellow

Achillea millefolium

Anemone canadensis

Aquilegia canadensis

Asclepias tuberosa

Campanula rotundifolia

Coreopsis lanceolata

Lobelia cardinalis

Lobelia siphilitica

Lupinus perennis

Monarda didyma

Monarda fistulosa

Rudbeckia laciniata






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