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Author Topic: Perennials for Africa! ( or at least Amanzimtoti!)  (Read 2994 times)

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Offline Mel

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Perennials for Africa! ( or at least Amanzimtoti!)
« on: June 27, 2009, 12:10:10 PM »
Hi All,

To bring some of us out of hibernation (and while I have a mo, so please excuse me if I'm not very active on a thread I'm starting, but it'll hopeflly give you all something to talk about)... I thought I'd tell you about a gardening project I want to undertake, and at the same time get some info on a supplier, if any of you know one:

Here's the plan:

As mentioned, I love growing perennial like Physostegia 'Obedience Plant'/'False Dragon Head'; 'Michaelmas Daisies'; Rheumannia 'Chinese Foxglove', Achillea 'Yarrow', etc that make new little runners each season.  I love keeping them healthy and seeing them multiply, and then give them away to friends.   I was given about 3 strawberry plants about 2 years back and last season I finally had enough to give 2 or 3 away also. 

However, now that I've been in this garden for about 3 years, and improved the soil over time, the few 'samples' of each that I brought with me to multiply have been doing so well the last 2 seasons that I've decided I'd like to package them in those black bags and sell them at a 'fleamarket' type of place.  Guess you all 'wished' you lived here, coz at the mo I don't have enough friends who need the type of supply I can offer :) The plants are even escaping the flowerbeds and sending runners into the grass!  I don't have enough space (with good sunlight) for them...

So, where does one buy these black bags, (I gues they would come 'in bulk) and what about growing the little plants in them?  Surely pure potting soil is too dry and barren?  I guess I would use the smallest ones, because all of the perrenials I have are shallow-rooted except for the achillea that can go a bit deeper.  Also have groundcovers like Erigeron that are 'taking over'...!

I have other ideas for this project, to make the purchase look more appealing than just a black bag, like pics of the plant in flower, etc, but all in keeping the cost down (sorry to my local nurseries reading this) so that the end result is a day-out spent talking to garden-lovers and letting them take home with them the type of plants that I like, for a good price!  (Bit of pocket money for me on the side!)

Sounds like a win-win :)
Best Regards,

Mel.

Offline abby

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Re: Perennials for Africa! ( or at least Amanzimtoti!)
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2009, 00:53:32 AM »

................Sounds like a win-win :)

 :love: a win-win

Sorry cannot help out with black plastic bags

But the folk around here use disposable empty drink containers either polystyrene or plastic cups

Coffee /drink shops are usually quite happy to dispose of their used cups.

Apropos pix - it may be an idea to have a larger pix of the blooms you are selling on a stand among them and hence your spot more visible and you take you pix home for another day.

Whilst helping my niece at the markets, her hubby and I used to do a singing duet " Lavender for Sale" - a song always brings the crowds even if it is not good singing and puts people in good humour to buy.

Good luck with your venture  :)
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Offline Mel

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Re: Perennials for Africa! ( or at least Amanzimtoti!)
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2009, 07:48:42 AM »
Hey Abby, speaking of drawing a crowd, I knew if this thread drew none, you would still be sure to reply  :clap:

Yeah, that is my idea of the pics.  Nice bright, etc, and take-home again.  Perhaps little ones on the plants too... I will weigh up the cost of printing/vs benefit at the time.  First the bags, else this thing aint happening.

Thanks re cups.  No, they need to be bigger.  Our black bags are approx 15 cm in diamter, and the small ones about as deep as a normal disposable cup.  Most of the plants are shallow-rooted, but need a bit of spread.  You probably know the Michaelmas Daisy roots...

The singing... the idea is to 'draw the crowd'... ;)  But yes, that is a great idea.  Well done! Where I plan to sell though is a place where people don't walk, they drive past.  So I guess we'll have to construct a mime ;)
Best Regards,

Mel.

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Re: Perennials for Africa! ( or at least Amanzimtoti!)
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2009, 07:48:42 AM »
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Offline abby

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Re: Perennials for Africa! ( or at least Amanzimtoti!)
« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2009, 09:23:20 AM »
Hey Abby, speaking of drawing a crowd, I knew if this thread drew none, you would still be sure to reply 



Mel
We would not like to see you talking to yourself in the forum now would we  ??? LOL
Never regret anything that made you smile.

Offline Michael

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Re: Perennials for Africa! ( or at least Amanzimtoti!)
« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2009, 09:30:41 AM »
Mel. I have an ad in the free local classifieds that says 'Wanted: plastic plant pots, to swap for plants' You'll be amazed how many people have loads of old pots, and funnily enough, they all want more plants! Then you put all the plants for swapping in odd pots and the sale ones in the more uniform looking pots.
Your potting mix must be coarser than your garden mix.

Offline Mel

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Re: Perennials for Africa! ( or at least Amanzimtoti!)
« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2009, 21:03:34 PM »
Thanks Abby, for guardinig my sanity ;)

Michael.  Good tips, thanks.
Best Regards,

Mel.

Offline Kareen

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Re: Perennials for Africa! ( or at least Amanzimtoti!)
« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2009, 10:51:55 AM »
Hi Mel
I think I might be able to help you with a few grow bags, just PM me, and we can discuss. I'm planning (and hoping to be ready) to take part in a Spring Fair in September - I wanted to do potted herbs, but after having run a bit of a test, I found that our weather is just too cold right now for the poor seedlings to survive, even in my little nursery. I MIGHT have a lavender or two germinating, but the chives and garlic chives and devil chillies are not interested in germinating - planted the seed on 24th May, so I've sort of given up hope. I'm going to try do some pickled onions, beetroot, biscuits, lemon syrup, and a few other things. However, back to the planting/sowing. I collect tins - baked bean tins, tomato tins, and have a few friends saving their tins for me. Just wash them well, buy a tin of spray paint, give them a spray, and knock a couple of holes at the bottom and you have a great little planter. Perhaps the bigger tins - like the big dog food tins, etc. would work?  Just a suggestion. I'm going to continue with my herbs in spring, and sell for a bit of pocket money.
"Give thanks for unknown blessings already on their way" - African saying

Offline Janet (aka Misty)

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Re: Perennials for Africa! ( or at least Amanzimtoti!)
« Reply #7 on: June 30, 2009, 15:20:15 PM »
Good luck with the plant fair (or is it affair?LOL)
Pity you are so far away, I have a stack of pots and would have loved to swop some for a few of those plants - do you have any idea of the looks I get when asking for Obedience plants at most nurseries around here? They have never heard of them, can't pronounce fiso...fisio....fi-what? (sic) and also hadn't ever heard of Japonica/Japanese Flowering Quince or Forsythia.......

Now I wonder what reaction I am going to get to my request for Soapwort? LOL
Janet
aka The Wicked Witch of the West

Offline Rena

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Re: Perennials for Africa! ( or at least Amanzimtoti!)
« Reply #8 on: June 30, 2009, 15:56:19 PM »
Janet

Can give you obedience plants as well!
Retired - now full-time gardener - and loving it!

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Re: Perennials for Africa! ( or at least Amanzimtoti!)
« Reply #8 on: June 30, 2009, 15:56:19 PM »
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Offline Kareen

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Re: Perennials for Africa! ( or at least Amanzimtoti!)
« Reply #9 on: June 30, 2009, 17:47:44 PM »
Mel.... found you some bags - quite a few in fact - check your PM.  LOL Janet... I've got some soapwort growing in my garden, but I really have never noticed if they make seeds, will have to have a look when they flower again
"Give thanks for unknown blessings already on their way" - African saying

Offline Janet (aka Misty)

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Re: Perennials for Africa! ( or at least Amanzimtoti!)
« Reply #10 on: June 30, 2009, 18:36:46 PM »
Janet

Can give you obedience plants as well!

Rena I hope you have a list of what all you have for me - I have forgotten long ago already there is so much!!

Kareen you know I remember seeing drying flower heads on mine, but funny I never took any further notice and I didn't bring any with when we moved - stupid me!

Janet
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Re: Perennials for Africa! ( or at least Amanzimtoti!)
« Reply #10 on: June 30, 2009, 18:36:46 PM »
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Offline Etienne

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Re: Perennials for Africa! ( or at least Amanzimtoti!)
« Reply #11 on: July 03, 2009, 17:13:04 PM »
Janet, every time you see a "Kiss-me-at-the-garden-gate-goodbye" you are looking at a Saponaria cultivar did you know that?
I used to grow Soapwort but since maybe 2 plants sell in a year i can't afford to keep it anymore. You see i started out with such amazing diversity in certain lines but over the last almost 10 years i realized it's not really worth it. Growing rare plants is almost always a bust. You see people almost always buy the same old things over and over again. Grow something they know and they feel comfortable. So you can't really blame the poor guy that work at the retailer. They buy the stuff in and hopefully know something about the plant, even if they never had any experience with it. Nurseries almost completely ceased to exist.  :'( People in SA has already voted with their wallets. Remember that in general next time you are looking for a plant and can't find it is because people aren't buying it.

Forums like these are really the places i look forward to hear of strange and special and hard to come by plants.


Offline Mel

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Re: Perennials for Africa! ( or at least Amanzimtoti!)
« Reply #12 on: July 04, 2009, 11:18:52 AM »
Hear, hear, Etienne!

I think that maybe we should have a thread about nurseries that stock unusual plants... but am suggesting it and not starting it coz I don't have such a nursery to list :(
Our local ones here all seem to stock the common plants... as you say is the trend!
Best Regards,

Mel.

Offline Janet (aka Misty)

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Re: Perennials for Africa! ( or at least Amanzimtoti!)
« Reply #13 on: July 04, 2009, 18:27:01 PM »
Etienne it is so sad, we are losing some lovely plants that way! Fortunately there is Rena near me who may not be a nursery, but seems to have an amazing variety of extra plants to give away! And I have found a nursery with both pale pink and usual bright pink japonica as well as forsythia - as well as 3 varieties of elder!! They mailed them to me as bare root plants and I am busy planting them out this weekend.
I did not know that about Saponaria, wow, I love this forum, there is so much info on here. :good:
Janet
aka The Wicked Witch of the West

Offline Calvin

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Re: Perennials for Africa! ( or at least Amanzimtoti!)
« Reply #14 on: July 04, 2009, 20:33:39 PM »
Mel

I would be happy to start up a thread about nurseries that stock unusual plants. Some that spring to mind here in Benoni are Four Seasons Nursery and Florian Nursery. I will look up contact details etc for them and post asap.

In the Midlands area there are also a few. In Hilton is Gale's Nursery and the Hilton Garden Centre at the Rotunda (particularly interesting ornamental fruit trees). There is a small nursery next door to the Belgian chocolate store just off the Howick/Tweedie offramp from the highway. Further up the road (whichI'll look up the name of) is the Midlands Garden Center at Piggly Wiggly Farm Stall and their other branch in Nottingham Road.