Saturday, 15 January 2011

A Cutting Garden for a Pound

Do you view the price of plants as an indicator of quality?  The perceived notion of ‘Well, it’s expensive so it must be good quality’ is sometimes justified but on many occasions, and more so with pedestrian planting, it is baffling at best.

Today I ventured in to testing out the hypothesis that price does not necessarily justify quality and as such in the next year I want to see if plants bought at a pound shop really can compete with pricier rivals.  I’d like to say this non-scientific experiment was planned but alas it was not.  In fact it followed the reason I popped in to town, a haircut, and it preceded an equally impulsive fifteen-minute shopping spree in Topman costing over £130.  All in all a good start to the day given that I was home by 10.30am.

Some of you may remember that last year I had the bright idea of creating a cutting garden (the competition has ended sorry) on the allotment and minus a few purchases my plans have gone a little awry.  That is until now.  On my crazed, yet cheap, Poundland shop I bought a mix of Dahlias, Paeonies, Gladioli, Asiatic Lilies and Poppies that should go a long way to producing some great blooms for the home.  They’re not really what I wanted but such a bargain was too hard to resist.  From what I could see the quality of what was on offer was not too bad either and after a little rummaging I picked out tubers, bulbs, corms and bare rooted plants that appeared largely healthy.  It seems that I caught the pound shop on a day when the plants still appear quite fresh as there was very little leggy growth to be seen and many of the bulbs, corms, onion sets, seed potatoes, etc were still content in their dormancy, something that cannot always be guaranteed.

So there we have it.  A cutting garden on a serious budget.  I plan to get most things planted up in the next few weeks and look forward to reporting back here on the blog.


  1. Hey Ryan,

    Sounds great! I'm also a believer that expensive is not always the best. Some of the best roses I ever bought, and certaily the best Wistera, was from Woolworths. They were in tacky cardboard boxes, cost about £1.99 and looked fairly dead. However, they've done better than many other plants from expensive garden outlets!

    Can't wait to see the cutting garden progress.....don't be wearing all that new swagger when your building it! :D

  2. Great post and I'm looking forward to seeing the outcome!

  3. This is my first year in a house with a garden and it terrifies me! I'm on a tight budget so I look forwards to seeing how you get on with these bulbs :)

  4. Probably can't go wrong with a bag of sunflower seeds (sold as bird seed) as well?

  5. I thoroughly approve.I read somewherev that at Nettos they have flowerseeds for 19p. I'm going tom go and have a look tomorrow and if the seed quantity in the packets is reasonable i'm going to fill my boots

  6. I've bought those cheap packets before and they have been great. I think that because we dont spend much on them our expectations are lower so we are easier to please whereas if we had spent a lot we might expect more,

  7. I bought veg seeds in Netto last year for 19p a pack and the dwarf beans were much better than T+M! Well worth it and at 99p a pack of fresh beans in the supermarket you can't go wrong.

  8. Great idea!
    Are you doing a compare and contrast?
    Either why I am sure it will turn out some interesting results.
    Good too for us to have something to follow!

  9. Bargain! Will be very interested to hear how it all goes.


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