Mary, Mary on a Budget – How Does Your Garden Grow?

My friend Diana gave me some of her perennials last  spring.

It was like Christmas!

  She gave me Hostas, Iris, Sedum, Peonies,  Lilies of the valley, a Yucca, and a type of ground cover she calls copper penny.



My garden was only 2 years old so I didn’t have much that was mature enough to divide and give her in return but I did bring her some Stella d’Oro daylilies and a dozen fresh eggs.


I think a garden full of plants obtained from friends is the very best kind of garden.  As you stroll through it and look at the beautiful blooms, it brings back such nice memories of the people who gifted you with plants.


Bartering your eggs, crafts and/or services for plants is one way to help your garden grow on a budget.


This is my ‘haul’ from an ad I put on Craigslist offering to barter eggs and homemade jelly for plants.  From top right  and going clockwise: Siberian Iris, daisy, perennial geranium, astilbe, phlox, balloon flower, liatris and a large clump of garlic chives

Networking with other gardeners you know from work, church, the neighborhood, Facebook, blogging, school or just about anywhere,  can get you free plants, cuttings and seeds.

Arrange a ‘plant exchange’ between you and your gardening friends.

Request plants or gift cards to gardening stores for birthdays, Christmas and Mothers’ Day – especially Mothers’ Day – the perfect time of year!

In the spring Craigslist and garage sales often advertise plants for sale at low prices or sometimes even free if ‘you dig ’em’.

Garden and Home improvement stores often have a ‘Dead and Dying’ table.  If they don’t just ask!


Hmmmmm……. are you above dumpster diving?  Haha!

When starting a perennial garden on a budget first buy plants that spread and are easy to divide and in a few years you can double your investment.  Some good varieties are Yarrow, Day Lilies, Hostas, Echinacea, Daisies, perennial Geraniums, Irises, Sedum, and ground covers.

Here is a link with info about dividing perennials:

Buy Heirloom varieties of flowers and vegetables so that you can save the seeds to plant next year.

Here is a link with info on saving seeds:



If someone invites you over to take divisions of their perennials be polite and bring your own shovel, a plastic tote, buckets or bags to place your plants in and a bag of topsoil to fill in the holes you make.

If you are not able to plant your new additions as soon as you get home just keep them moist and in a shady spot until you can.

Be patient!  Rome wasn’t built in a day as they say and neither is a good garden.  Splurge on a few quality plants or that one special plant you ‘just have to have’  each year. For me it’s a Clematis!clem

Then wait and see what comes your way.

You don’t have to break the bank!


roses43   Happy Gardening!

 Leave a comment and let me know how you garden on a budget!


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