Plants and Finishing Touches
If you’re still reading Part 3 of the Budget Gardener series, then you’re as much into saving money as you are in to gardening. Good for you! Let’s grow some green without losing green from the wallet!
Many of the tips for finding plants and accent garden pieces can be duplicated from the same sources as parts 1 & 2. However, if those stores, sites, and family/friends fail, you sometimes don’t have to look farther than your own garden and house. That’s right, what you need might already be in your possession!
- Multiplying your own garden: Many perennials are not only able to be divided, but also thrive when divided. They get overcrowded with themselves and need to be separated into smaller plants. This is a great opportunity to expand your own garden or initiate a swap with someone else. Great flowers like sedum, mums, aster, etc. love to be tossed up and divided, and replanted. In fact, never assume it’s too late to put a plant in the ground. We had a rose bush that needed to be moved and it literally fell apart in the process. We figured there was nothing to lose so my wonderful husband shoved (literally) a few healthy branches in the ground, mounded some dirt over it and called it a day. I’m not condoning this method, however, that rose bush is our biggest and healthiest to date. Now I don’t suggest tossing your plants around like a salad, but if you think you’ve damaged it, don’t underestimate the hardiness of an established plant. I won’t get into the methods of dividing a plant since there are many sites, books and videos on that topic. Give it a try and you’ll be surprised.
- Look in the field. If you have a wild field near your house, chances are there’s tigerlilies or black-eyed susans (or whatever is native to your state), growing in the wild. As long as it’s no one’s property, dig up one or two. They multiply on their own and will do the same in your garden.
- Be a “rescue” shelter for someone else’s unwanted plants. So many times I’ve heard someone say that they’re going to dig up a plant or bush from their yard because it’s time for a change. Put the word out that you’ll happily take any unwanted plants/bushes and give them a home at your house. I have two such holly bushes that were “rescued” from a friend.
- Repurpose household items in the garden: For the finishing touches and accent pieces, there are many creative ideas. Mosaics are a beautiful touch in the garden whether it’s your child’s handprint with glass stones, or one that you make yourself. You can also use household items such as an old wooden ladder for a tall trellis, an old door with hooks for storing tools, an old shutter or two for accents or a trellis, and many other types of pots. If you have an old kitchen chair, just cut a hole in the seat and drop in a potted plant. Looks around your house and move some of the indoors outside. One of the most creative ideas I just saw was of 2 front doors “tied” together with wood across the top to make a beautiful garden arbor. How original!