Frugal Landscaping

TheGardenLady’s Curb

TheGardenLady can say with confidence, you do not have to hire a landscaper to create your own garden. And you don’t have to spend a fortune to have a beautiful garden. I have created my own garden. And I cannot tell you the amount of compliments I get for my garden. Just yesterday, one neighbor told me what an inspiration my garden is. She is inspired to start a garden. Another neighbor, came over for advice on plants for a garden at his new home. I have done the work on my garden by myself; though now that I am getting too old to dig that much or carry and lay the mulch, I have someone help me. But I still dig holes, plant, weed, feed and water.

Remember that everything doesn’t have to be done in one day. Your planting schemes can evolve as mine have. TheGardenLady keeps on enlarging her beds each year to put in more plants. It is a work in progress so that every year it is beautiful in a new way.

TheGardenLady doen’t spend a fortune on plants. In fact, I am most frugal when it comes to getting plants. The reason for frugality is that plants may die or they may be eaten by deer or rabbits or voles and even if they are perennials, they might not return the next year for some reason, maybe because of a severe winter. If I were to spend a lot of money on the plants and the plants were to die, I might feel upset. If I don’t spend much for my plants, I have only wasted my own time and effort – and that is still cheaper than going to a gym. Most of my plants come from family and friends. If these die, my friends who are gardeners understand. And if their plants die, they can always come back to me to get some of their plants – usually because they have to be divided and given away anyway.

Friday’s Flower Power / Deutzia gracilis by Rainer Fritz

Many plants are bought at spring garden sales at this time of year. The Master Gardeners often have garden sales of plants donated from their own gardens. That is where I bought a Katsura tree Cercidiphyllum and my Deutzia gracilis. If the Master Gardeners sell the plants, you know the plants are healthy and hardy for your area and the Master Gardeners will give you directions on planting what you buy.

Many public gardens have plant sales. Some plant sales seem to be ongoing like at The Garden in the Woods near Framingham, Mass. or The New York Botanical Garden. And some public gardens like Bowman’s Hills Wildflower Preserve in New Hope, PA have both spring and fall sales. The end of the season is a great time for really good sales. Most nurseries want to get rid of plants so they don’t have to keep them over winter. And if you know what you are buying you can get great buys at local stores. I saw a sale at my super market for miniature rose bushes. At under $2.00 a small pot, I bought 5. I planted them and they have rewarded me for the last few years with loads of flowers. I later learned that these miniature rose bushes are among the hardiest of roses.

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A Great Garden Site: Plants Free For Life


TheGardenLady is fortunate to have her column read by people around the world.  One comment on my post Acid Loving Plants, was from Chris who lives in England. Chris has a lovely free website called Plants Free for Life that I think readers in any country would be happy to discover and read. Chris and his wife are self taught propagators of plants.
What does propagation mean? Nurseries, farms and gardens can get most of their next year’s plants by propagating them. The propagation of plants is chiefly by seeds, check out Caring for Marigolds in the 5/31 archive, but some plants will not breed true from seed and must be propagated by various vegetative methods, depending on the type of the plant, which  includes cutting, layering and grafting.   A propagator has learned ways of propagating different plants.  For a home gardener, propagating your own plants can save lots of money and is fun, too.  With your own propagated plants, you can get together with your friends and have a plant exchange so that your home and garden will enjoy more plants than you ever dreamed of having. Chris’s website will explain how to do the propagation yourself.   

The photo above is of a Fuschia called Anita.  It’s taken from Chris and Alison’s Fuschia Gallery.  If you’d like to use this photo, please contact Chris for permission at