I always check the sale racks in the garden sections of the big box stores since occasionally you can find some great deals. I never buy annuals that are on the sale rack since those are usually on their last leg. Perennials on the sale rack are usually a great deal. I check to make sure that they look disease free, and otherwise generally healthy.
I found these flowers on sale recently, and they were an amazing deal. They were originally around $20, and marked down to just $3.50 for these huge 3.5 gallon containers! Most did not have flowers on them at the moment, but the descriptive tag on the side told me that they are white roses and pink geraniums…things that were on my shopping list anyway! Roses and geraniums are so hardy that I should have no trouble with these. I don’t have the space prepped yet where I am planning to plant these, but they were such a good deal that I just couldn’t pass them up!
I always plant flowers from seed since it is so much cheaper this way, especially for annuals and wildflower mixes. I usually plant the seeds directly in the garden, but since I had a little trouble with that recently (original post here), I decided that I will start more wildflower seeds in nursery containers, covered with plastic wrap, to create a mini-greenhouse effect. This should help them get a better start, and will help me make sure that I am actually planting flowers in my garden, and not more weeds.