So I waited and waited. I checked. And waited. And waited some more. Perhaps it isn't going to happen, because they keep selling out before clearance time. I will try to keep my eye out for neglected, scruffy specimans I can get at a discount, but I found my backup plan. While checking for sales once again, I found some lovely perennial grasses on clearance that I have always loved. It's miscanthus grass, a nice ornamental choice for year round texture and interest. It has graceful curly blades that rustle nicely in the breeze. It wasn't what I expected to use, but it's tall and slender right now and will function nicely as a placeholder until I can find (or afford) the topiaries I really want.
Either the chickens or the rain or the wind (or some combination of the three) has had its way with my grass, as it looks a little bedraggled at the moment.
On another affordable note, I spent part of Friday digging up free monkey grass to transplant to our walkway. The donor has what appears to be miles and miles of the stuff lining every bed in her yard, and she wants it all gone. I have a feeling I may be digging for a while, but I need to do it in spurts so I have time to get each batch planted. No sense in doing all that work only to have the plugs dry out and shrivel up. But I'm not actually sure you can kill monkey grass, so perhaps I'm being too cautious!