Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Garden Bargains (And Lots Of Pictures)

We've lived in this house for three years (this is our fourth summer here) and we've made a lot of improvements to both the inside and outside of the house. Although our exterior improvements really did improve the visual appeal of our lot, they weren't of the gardening or landscaping variety.

This year, however, has turned out to be "gardening year". A side effect of building and planting our raised vegetable beds is that we've been bitten by the gardening bug. Shane was bitten especially hard by it.

Gardening and landscaping can be expensive projects, but we've managed to cut the expense quite a bit by being flexible. Instead of deciding on what to buy then going out to find it, we waited for sales then went to see what was available at discounted prices. We also were able to get some things (like open, but still full bags of mulch) for pennies on the dollar, and even some plants for free or for just a few cents each.

Little by little, our lawn is taking shape; it is, and probably always will be, a work in progress. It was basically a blank canvas to begin with, so whatever we add will be an improvement, and we haven't had to break the bank to get it done.

Here are some of the things we've been able to add this year.

Hostas (33% off) before.

Hostas after.

Cannas (all bulbs - about 12-15 of them - for $1) before.

Cannas after.

Open bags of mulch and such. This...

...and this...

...and this, too. All for just $12.

White dogwood in front of house (33% off).

White dogwood in back of house (33% off).
Not as close to swing set as it appears.

Whitebud in front of house (33% off).
(Wish the owner of the empty house across the street would mow his lawn.)

Tiny maple in front of house (free). This was a seedling that
sprouted up in, of all things, a bag of sand.

African daisies (free). A Mother's Day gift from my daughter.

Hens and chicks (free). Just a few of hundreds. I found these in a box marked FREE at the end of someone's driveway a few years ago, so they weren't added this year. I'm tired of the tippy pots, but that's probably where they will stay for at least a while longer.


A.Marie said...

Oh, you are my inspiration!! Your landscaping is absolutely gorgeous and your great thrifty finds are incredible!! I really like those tippy pots, by the way! :)

SonyaAnn said...

WOW! It looks great and I love the before and after pictures. I wish it were all that easy. You for get about all the work in the middle of these pictures.
Keep up the good and hard work!!!

Wanda said...

It all looks great and it is inspiring to read how inexpensively it was all done. I saw your tippy pots and remembered that I INTENDED to do that a year or two ago, but completely forgot there was even such a thing! Maybe I'll get it done this year. ...Maybe. Wish me luck!

Sharon said...

You'll have to teach me how to do the tippy pots. And btw, this August (late), you can come with me to the "othr" house and help me divide stella d'oros, daisies, and hosta if you would like. Oh yes, I have some lariope (variegated and plain) too. See you soon!

Annie Jones said...

Thanks for the compliments!

Sharon, I'll take you up on your offer to divide plants later this summer!

For all of you wanting to know how to do the tippy pots, it's easy. Either drive a metal rod (we used a piece of reinforcement bar) into the ground for a permanent fixture or figure out how to attach one to a base if you want to be able to move you pots. Once the rebar is in place, slip the first large terra cotta pot over it and fill the pot with soil. Slip the next smaller pot over the rod and tilt it as desired, then fill it with soil. Repeat with progressively smaller pots (or you can use the same size pots if you like. Once they are filled, plant them with whatever you like! If you want, you can put something on top, like a colorful bottle, a terra cotta teapot or whatever. We left our unadorned.

Lisa B. said...

I'm so jealous! I have been looking for hens & chicks (reasonably priced) for a couple of years. I broke down last year and bought a small 2x2 pot of them and they didnt make it over the winter.

Landscaping has been a work in progress at my home for several years. lol I add, take stuff away then add again. I'm never satisfied with it.