Friday, November 18, 2011
Visiting a Big Box in the Desert
As I previously mentioned I made it a goal to visit a couple of the Big Box stores (Home Depot, Lowes) while on our Desert SW vacation. I’ll admit I’m biased, I’d much rather shop at an independent nursery anytime, one of the reasons…selection. You can find the occasional interesting (and even healthy) plant at one of these box stores, but when you want something beyond the petunia, ivy and arborvitae set you need to head to an actual nursery, not a store with toilets and lumber. And this is exactly why I wanted to visit one of these stores, what would the selection be like here, in the desert? Amazing inexpensive succulents? Or the local equivalent of petunias, whatever that might be? Oh look…it turns out to be petunias! (and mums) Unfortunately I was only able to visit one, a Home Depot in Tucson. There were plenty (and I do mean plenty!) of others along our travels but we just didn’t have the time to stop (who makes it a priority to visit a Home Depot on their vacation anyway? Yes…I am odd!). When you entered the actual nursery section (not the outside tables, those had a lot of flowering annuals along with a few succulents, pictured above) the first plants you encountered were succulents. I was surprised to see they sell mixed containers like this here, I thought they were reserved for us wanna-be’s up north (or wherever you can’t actually grow cactus in the ground) Huge Agave (americana?) for $49.98 Other cactus... These were signed as ‘desert landscape premium mix’ (1 gallon for $6.57) And these 10” specimens were $23.90 Bare-root Ocotillio, $29.93 What a pristine Opuntia! Agave potatorum 10” (container) Barrel cactus, $39.97 This box of succulent road kill was tucked under one of the tables. What do you think is going on here? They are saving them (rather unceremoniously) for what? Colorful succulents, $5.48 Manihot! Love them and I was afraid to look at the price for fear I would want to bring one home with me… Agave geminiflora… …and Dasylirion wheeleri, 5 gallons for only $14.97! Agave weberii, $19.97… so beautiful! I thought this was an interesting merchandising choice. Who uses Miracle-Gro on their agaves? Anybody? Noble Aeonium With an informative label! If I lived here I would definitely be growing Bougainvillea ($5.98) And Oleander too! ($4.97) In the back of the nursery department they had a selection of fruit trees and other edibles, including Nopales! Gorgeous Figs And Loquats… So there you have it, my visit to the big box store in the desert. There were a lot of plants that my eyes just skipped over like they do in these types of stores here in Portland. However there were a lot of plants that had me snapping pictures and wishing I could take them home. I wonder if the things that I found exciting were only such because I don’t live in the desert? Would the independent nursery riches of this area spoil me eventually? I suspect this is the case. Plus, I would much rather spend my plant dollar(s) supporting the local guys whenever possible!
Labels: Desert SW vacation