If you are so fortunate as to rent or own a place with a yard, chances are there isn’t much left to spend on a flower garden. Luckily you don’t need to. Here are five no- or low-cost options to grow your dream flower garden and have fresh flowers on your table.
1. Demolition rescues
I added gorgeous hydrangeas and some tulips to my yard just from the teardowns on my block last spring. But please make sure the house is going to be demolished. If it’s not obvious, ask permission before moving that posy.
Tip: Spring and fall are the best times to transplant and help ensure the roots are established enough to help the plant survive through summer heat and winter frost.
2. Divide and neighbour
You’ll find that once you offer plants to friends and neighbours, they’ll often return the favour. My Shasta daisies are now providing August displays at no fewer than five of my friends’ homes. The neighbour whom I gave raspberry canes to gave me a peony and a honeysuckle for my flower garden.
Tip: Make sure you co-ordinate your swap and replant immediately so the roots don’t dry out.
3. Spend after the blossoms are spent
Garden centres often sell flowers when they’re blooming. Once the blooms are gone, you can usually get a deal. You just have to be willing to wait for next year’s blossoms.
Tip: Dead flowers are fine, but make sure the plant isn’t also dying or you’ll be waiting a very long time.
4. Save and swap seeds
Similar to #2, one of my friends commented on how much she loved my globe thistle, so I saved the seeds for her. One of my neighbours gave me some seed heads from her hollyhocks and sweet peas.
Tip: Search online to see what time of year it’s best to sow for the particular flower seed. Some seeds need to be in the ground over winter, others you should sow in spring.
5. Seed yourself
You’d be surprised at what you can easily grow from seed, not only for yourself but to share. I started a small tray of echinacea. All of it grew, and I had enough for my flower garden and anyone else who wanted a few plants. On the flip side, I’ve also spent a fair bit on seeds that I sowed outdoors, which either didn’t germinate, died or I pulled thinking they were weeds.
Tip: Plant indoors in a sunny window until your plants are established. You can space them properly when you transplant them, and you’ll recognize what they look like!