Plants are one of my favorite scores at yard sales. Over the years, I’ve collected ferns, rubber plants, a ficus, and several unidentifiable leafy items that don’t turn up in my plant identification book, all from people who were moving and couldn’t take their plants with them. As I cart off the pots, you can see a Sophie’s choice moment in the owner’s eyes (along the lines of…maybe they would survive the hot moving van), but I assure them that I will look after their ivy; I’m angling to be the patron saint of unwanted plants.
Last year, I hit the jackpot with an abundant basil plant that yielded batches of pesto, and this week I went home with four tomato plants for a dollar. Plants aren’t cheap at the garden center, and my perusal of moving sales has provided a healthy collection of green for half the cost. Plus, it hurts less when your pepper plant of two tiny striving red peppers shrivels into a brown twig while you’re on vacation because you forget that it might like a little water while you’re away.