There’s a Little Bit of Irony in My Version of Retail Therapy


… especially when it is initiated by plant loss. To be clear these plants will not be living in THAT garden. They are for my community plot and the roof.


I spent $18.99 plus federal and provincial taxes of my hard-earned dollars on this plant, an Echeveria ‘Black Prince.’ I think we can all agree this trumps the $7.99 sempervivum. I have never seen such a thing and when I saw them sitting in a small cluster at the store I had to have one regardless of the outrageous price. They had more at the store that were in bloom. The flowers are red unlike the familar blue/grey Echeveria that has orange flowers. I actually walked around the entire garden centre twice silently contemplating the madness of this purchase before giving in, an act that I think shows some attempt at thoughtful restraint and impulse control.

Gayla Trail
Gayla is a writer, photographer, and former graphic designer with a background in the Fine Arts, cultural criticism, and ecology. She is the author, photographer, and designer of best-selling books on gardening, cooking, and preserving.

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16 thoughts on “There’s a Little Bit of Irony in My Version of Retail Therapy

  1. That is beautiful. I would have bought it for you if I had been there. Well, I also would have picked one up for myself.


  2. That is one gorgeous plant! I’m not sure I’d pay so much for it… but I’m not sure I wouldn’t, either. I may have to keep an eye out for that one. Regardless, you deserve a treat after the week you’ve had.

  3. Wow, that’s gorgeous! I just got a bunch of succulents for a few containers I have.. “The Black Prince” would have been a nice addition!

  4. Well, there’s a time and place for restraint and impulse control and there’s a time and place for buying your heart’s desire. I think you made a wise and necessary purchase. Plus I count one, two, three large plants and maybe a baby in that container. So the cost per plant is pretty reasonable.

    It really is a handsome black prince. I’m tempted to go look for one this weekend.

  5. Sometimes something in a shop just pulls at my heart strings. I do not splurge often, so when I feel that pull, I’ve learned to give in. I think that if you walked around contemplating it that long, you would have regretted not buying it. I promise you won’t wake up at 2am and think “OH NO! I wish I had that $18!” but I bet you would have been sad that you didn’t bring it home!

    It’s beautiful, I hope it fills up a big giant container and is very fruitful for you.

  6. Gayla, which garden centre did you go to? I’m also in Toronto but not sure where to score such interesting plants!

  7. Hanah: These plants are from Fiesta Gardens (South of Dupont and just West off Christie. I don’t remember the name of the side street but you’ll see Fiesta Farms the grocery store right at the corner. Fiesta Gardens is just a little further in). It’s the best selection I can find in one place as someone living downtown who also doesn’t drive or have access to a car. I frequent lots of other stores too but Fiesta has a bit of everything. Just don’t go there for soil.

    Elaine: The large red plants are shiso. There are also 4 pots of different types of basil, zinnias, marigold like ‘Lemon Gem’ but larger, and lots of nasturtiums for my hanging basket.

    Everytime I go I fill up exactly one small box because it is all I can carry by hand.

    The echeveria is a tender succulent so I’ll have to find a spot for it indoors over winter if I want to get value for my dollars.

  8. I believe that your impulse to reward yourself with something so beautiful and simply all about ‘you & what you do’ is RIGHT ON … I think your hard-earned money has been very well spent!!!

    … out of the ashes rises something truly royal and hearty!

  9. Wow, what a beautiful plant! And I can’t think of anything better to indulge retail therapy with…I agree with bre, it is a reward, an indulgence that is all about you.

  10. The money is so not the point. You liked it, and it made you feel good to bring it home, a feeling you needed that most likely will not go away for as long as the little darlin’ lives; there is nothing wrong with that. As therapy goes, it is actually quite cheap!

  11. That’s a sexy little plant. I hope it brings you tons of joy. Yes, Fiesta Farms is wonderful.

  12. I think the 18.99 was worth it. Sometimes we can’t be cheap as we normally are. I know how you feel and I rarely give in to an expensive plant purchase unless it’s something I’ve never seen before.

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