Saturday, October 11, 2008

Frugal Landscaping - Free Plants!!

Now is the time of year to be checking out the landscaping stores for bargains on perennials and landscaping shrubbery. Yes, the plants look a bit stringy and pot bound, and if you live in the cold northern climes like I do, there is a chance of frost, however, plants put in in the fall frequently do well. They aren't struggling with mid-summer hot sun and dry soil and they still have some time to stretch out their roots before winter hits. It is a bit of a crap shoot, but your investment doesn't have to be much because everything is marked down so much! I was recently bemoaning to a friend the fact that I can't take as much advantage of it as I would like because I don't have much disposable cash, when to my shock the next time I saw him he came bearing gifts - damp, muddy, green gifts that he had bought for $1.99 at Home Depot. Yay! I am bringing several up with me to the cottage this weekend.

The other plants that I am bringing up cost even less - they were completely free! One of my girlfriends works in the trade show industry. If you've ever been a part of a trade show you know how much stuff gets thrown out after the event, simply because it is too expensive to ship. She hates to see any plant mistreated so she rescues them. She has given me grapevines, a lace leaf maple and a magnolia bush. The bush is actually staying at my house, the others went up north.

But wait! There's more...

Someone else I know works in the film and video field. Much like trade shows, tons of things get thrown out when the filming is done. I have gotten a beautiful dogwood tree and I have currently nine big arborvitaes standing like sententials around my birdbath. The only problem with these plants is that they have been a bit abused. The arborvitaes had their tops trimmed off, so they might grow oddly. The dogwood was so dry it was almost dead, the magnolia was half dead. I love bring plants back to life though, so the challenges don't scare me.

Other free plants I have gotten are: pachysandra and ivy from my aunt who had far too much. Sedium and black eyed susans from another aunt. More day lilies than you can shake a stick at from Catie. Peonies from my mother. Bulbs by the bag full from a friend who works at the botanical gardens. (When they change their displays, frequently they throw out the old bulbs.) Coral bells from one friend's mom, Moon lily seeds (which I am going to plant this spring) from another friend's mom.

I love free landscaping! It makes your home look better, increases your property value and frequently keeps plants out of the dumpster. How can you go wrong? If you are looking to add plants to your home, talk to any gardener friend you know. Offer to bring a shovel and buckets and do the digging yourself - they are almost sure to have a few hostas that need splitting.

Pretty photo of a garden from: Allie's.Dad


passivefamilyincome said...

Dawn - I envy you with your "plant connections"! I love free or almost free plants. Indoors or Outdoors, I don't care. I find great pride in buying dead looking plants at the stores that nobody else looks at and bringing them back.

Dawn said...

I love saving plants from certain death myself. The frugal gal in me loves it because I can get good stock and low prices, the gardener in me loves adding new things to the yard, and the treehugger in me loves rescuing the poor things. It works all around!