Garden Shopping Off Retail

Post last updated: August 13th, 2018

I find myself shopping more and more on what I call the “secondary market,” i.e., not at retail. Flea markets, garage sales and now Craigslist. There are two reasons for this: I have limited funds and I see no reason to enrich the 1%. Following the Crash of ’08, I was replaced by two part-timers with no benefits. In addition to all the jobs being shipped overseas despite high unemployment, more and more working Americans are being reduced to part-time work. The most recent news of this came November 5, 2012, when Yahoo reported the Health Law was spurring employers to downgrade workers to part-time work to avoid having to provide health insurance. In the good old days, employers shared the wealth. Now the one percent want it all.

On Craigslist, under Farm+Garden, I found other gardeners selling plants out of their back yard at reasonable prices. This was just too good to be true for an addict. I gave Poppie each address where I was going and off I went into the Wonderland of Craigslist shopping.  

My first stop was 12 miles away in a neighborhood known for its historic homes. Some of those homes are so old the window glass is wavy. I went to buy a male and female hardy kiwi vine. My previous adventure with a kiwi vine was a bust. This backyard gardener was a former graphic designer who now works as a self-supporting artist. Some of her art is in public buildings. I kid you not, I stood in her back yard for two hours talking and taking notes as she talked. For one thing, she introduced me to another gourd I was unfamiliar with — the canteen gourd. I came home with the hardy kiwi vine, a banana tree, a small but well-shaped bromeliad, a sansevieria, some cuttings of other plants (including an exotic begonia I drooled over), and some seeds.

The next day, I drove 10 miles in a different direction in search of hardy bromeliads. This backyard gardener was downsizing her plant collection to make it easier for her husband to mow. I came home with two kinds of bromeliad (the red spotted ones need some TLC), a succulent, and a camellia cutting that may or may not make it.

I was very pleased with my Craigslist shopping expedition and the wealth of information I learned from both of these women. Here are some of my goodies:

L to R: Sansevieria, bromeliad, succulent, banana tree, two kiwi vines in black pot, light green bromeliad, red spotted bromeliad

15 thoughts on “Garden Shopping Off Retail”

  1. I know you are doing head stands with all you got. I’m pleased as punch myself. I love second hand blessings because they are always first class blessings to me.

  2. Evie, that was a great way of putting the second hand blessings versus the first class blessing to you.
    I’ll have to remember that.
    Linda, I know you are way happy with your finds.

    1. Evie – For starters, don’t leave it out in freezing weather. That’s how I lost another pot of it that was about the same size. Don’t over-water it, either. The stuff is supposed to be almost invincible. I got that pot for $2!

  3. Well, I have never looked on Craigslist. But I may have to give it a try! I can’t believe all this is out there and I’ve been missing it! 🙂 Great finds! Good luck with your kiwi vines. I wish I had a place for one here, but all spots are occupied by climbing roses! ;0

    1. Holley – Like I told Dena, use all precautions when shopping off of Craigslist. I don’t respond to plant ads from men. Don’t expect the plants to look like what you’d find at the garden center. Some of them will need some TLC but when I consider I’m getting the same size plant for $6 less, it’s worth it to me to deal with some imperfection.

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