Monday, June 3, 2013

A Frugal Yard

We've lived in our little cottage nearly a year this month.  The house had set empty for a year and a half before we moved in so it was in need of TLC.  The elderly lady who lived in this home for many years was a flower lover and the yard displayed that love.. even though things were dry and nearly dead. It didn't take much time before the flowers perked up and new plants began popping up.

I've never spent a lot of money on flowers for our yards. There has always been someone in the family that was willing to share seeds or small plants. This past week my mom dug up her Blue Dawn (a special kind of morning glory that blooms for a long time) and shared a bucket full of roots.   I planted them along my cyclone fence for privacy. We had planned on purchasing privacy slats but they are so expensive that we decided to plant morning glories instead. I also had an asparagus fern that had babies coming up in random plances so I transplnated them along the fence, too. Receiving free vines saved us over $100.  If you don't have any flower lovers in your family then you may find free plants through FREECYCLE. I periodically see free seeds and plants offered.

I think a frugal choice for plants would be those that re-seed themselves. I've never liked spending money on flowers that only produce for one season. Cosmos, Coreopsis, Geraniums, Mums, Poppies.. there are a host of flowers that will give years of enjoyment without having to buy them every year. It's fun to share seeds with others, too. I was walking in the neighborhood one day and fell in love with some Aster plants. The next time I walked by the owner was outside and I commented how much I loved her flowers. She immediately offered me some seeds. That was so nice of her. I have found that flower lovers are generally nice people. :-)

I'm also fond of plants that don't require a lot of water.. especially since we are on a tight budget. I have quite a few plants that fit that descriptions such as Iris, Surprise Lilies, Geraniums, Dusty Miller, Tiger Lilies, Camellias and a small pink clover plant.

I want to improve my soil so that it will hold water longer. I'm using a lot of water now that the summer is heat is here.  I plan on using my homemade compost in the flower beds too and not just the vegetable garden. I have rinse water running from the washing machine to water flowers (not veggies) alongside the house. I'm still saving the rinse water from the dishes and the beginning water before it turns hot. I throw those on the flowers, too.

My yard gives me so much enjoyment. I love going out after dinner and working until dusk.  It's  great exercise, too.


How do you save money in your yard? Our vegetable garden is doing so well that I'm tempted to tear out the lawn and flowers and make it all veggies and fruit. I keep wondering why I am paying out water for decorations instead of food. But... I do enjoy the flowers.. so .. for now they are safe. :-)


  1. MMM.. just reading that was delicious!

    I in now way think flowers are are a waste of garden space. :) I do just what you have been doing--find my plants from neighbors and friends and share seeds, cuttings and roots. Gardening has been a way to reach out and meet new people for me in every state I've lived in. Also--it is my best whole body exercise--which I can do on my terms and for free. NO gym membership. After gardening--the best thing to do, I learned from an elderly neighbor at one of the places we lived--is take your dogs and go for a walk and rest those muscles. We used to walk together back then.

    We forget I think, one of our Lord's favorite places to go and pray was gardens and natural places. There's a reason for that I'm sure as it is in a flower garden that I feel in my own heart the most reason to just give thanks and rejoice. Veggies are nice, but now that I can only do a limited amount of physical work-- I grow pretty much just plants for beauty and herbs.

    Its a frugal thing to do, in so many ways it pays for itself. :)

  2. I would hate to see you give up flowers, one of the great beauties of God's creation. I just marvel at flowers. It seems that God made them for no other reason than for our enjoyment, for their beauty in our lives, and of course, to reveal His glory They are the frosting on the cake of creation! I want to simply offer praise when I see a flower garden.

  3. Do you use mulch? I am such a new gardener myself and have had to discover the difference between perennials and annuals. Perennials are more expensive, but save in the long run because they come back every yer. It's all about weeds here before the flowers. I did spend $20 on 16 bags of red mulch which is supposed to keep the water from drying out. I am putting some shrubs in big pots I got from Ikea for $3 each, keeping the weeds at bay and then mulching.

  4. You are doing great with your yard! When we moved here a friend gave me a lot of started plants from her yard. Saved me so much money! I love to see houses with gardens in the front. With our age and health it is hard enough trying to keep up to the back yard stuff! Love pretty flowers too! Nancy


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