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Plants and shrubs for the garden seem to get more expensive every year. I use a little trick when I plant new items. Some plants that are bound together in pots can be separated and you can get two or sometime three plants from one pot.
I searched around the garden area of my local big box store and found a shelf of underachievers for very little money. I took them home and nursed them back to health for way less than if I had bought the premium plants.
Given to buying flowering plants on impulse and not getting them into the ground before they die, I have made myself promise to get plants into the ground the day I buy them. This may mean I'm gardening under a halogen lamp, but less dead plants!