The $ 48.00 “Free” Earth Day Tree

24 Apr

By Renea Winchester

Like most Earth lovers, the thought of receiving a FREE tree was enough to launch me out of bed early and straight into the nearest Lowe’s store. With only a million trees available, they were certain to go fast !

I expected to find a long line of others eager to do their part to make the Earth a greener place. Instead, I found a third of the parking lot filled with vegetable plants, tropical Hibiscus, shade-loving Hosta, hardy Impatiens, and Roses…oh the roses were divine.

“I’m in heaven,” I said aloud to my husband who had insisted on driving. He learned years ago to either set a budget, or chauffeur and pray that I can control myself when in the presence of Petunias.

“Hmm,” he said while tightening the grip on the Durango’s steering wheel. “I’ve got to pick something up in the hardware section. I’ll come get you later.”

“You mean, you’re leaving me alone,” I said. My smile widening as I bent to touch a Bearded Iris. “Are you sure about that?”

I tried to buy only one item: a Foxglove whose purple petals demanded attention. But Hibiscus are my husband’s favorite, and they had a red one!  Of course I needed to pick up a flat of Marigolds to plant in my vegetable garden. They deter pests, or so I’ve been told. The flat of New Guinea Impatiens (bright orange, of course) needed to come home with me. They were miserable nestled beside the pink Dianthus. And since the price of gas is so high, might as well save a trip and grab another bag of potting soil.

Oh, and I also picked up a lovely Loblolly Pine courtesy of Lowe’s.

“Looks like the “Free” Earth Day tree cost almost $50.00.” I said to my beloved on the way home.

“Hmm,” was his only reply.

Renea Winchester  blogs about gardening with a 78-year old farmer. Learn more at


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