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April showers bring May flowers, but first you have to have flowering plants in your gardens.
Flower gardens can quickly get expensive unless you know of ways to cut costs. Over the years our thrifty family has found several ways to save money on flowers.
8 Ways Thrifty People Plant Thriving Flower Gardens
1. Ask for Cast-offs
Avid gardeners clean out their flower gardens every year–and they don’t just remove leaves and weeds. Most years, gardeners tear out plants that have overgrown their area of the garden and are threatening to take over. Most gardeners are more than happy to give these cast-offs away for free to other gardeners.
I had a friend who simply shared in a Facebook status how she desperately wanted some plants to fill in a new flower garden she was creating. She ended up with more than enough free cast-offs from local gardeners to fill her new garden. All she had to do was drive around town collecting her free plants.
2.Wait Until End of Season
Most of the perennial flowers that can be found in the flower gardens at my home were purchased for 50-75% off in end of season sales. In our area these sales take place in late September. I take the plants home and plant them right away and hope that they will put down good enough roots to last the winter.
So far I have done this with dozens of plants for a handful of homes and have only lost two plants (it might be more, but I can only remember losing two).
This tactic does mean you will have fairly empty flower gardens the first year you move somewhere, but it sure does save a significant amount of money.
3. Grow Mostly Perennials
Annual plants bloom for one season and then die, never to bloom again. Perennials bloom year after year and often grow to take over such a large area that you can then be the giver for the person using the first tip in this post.
Still, I do love a few annual flowers so I keep two flower boxes full on our front porch each year. I make my annual plants a mother’s day gift from the kids. It is a tradition for one or all of them to come to the flower garden store with me to pick them out every Mother’s Day weekend for the last several years.
All the other flowers in my yard are perennials. So think thrifty, make annuals your sprinkles, but perennials your icing.
4. Use Discount Gift Cards
I buy our annuals every year from a locally owned garden center so I can’t use this tip for them. However, the place where I buy our deeply discounted perennials each year is a chain hardware store, so I do save an additional 5-7% by purchasing a discounted gift card from Cardpool a week or two before I know the sale is going to happen.
Raise.com is a fairly new option on the discounted gift card market where you could also purchase a gift card at a discount.
5. Look in Unexpected Places
We have flowering trees in our yard that came from Aldi and I have also seen them carry bulbs for spring tulips and daffodils from time to time.
Aldi might not be the first place you think of buying flowers from, but they certainly are an inexpensive source of flowers when they carry them.
6. Shop Yard Sales
I held a yard sale with a friend who has an amazing green thumb one year and she did really well selling the plants she tore out of her garden the day before and placed in pots from the annuals she had just bought for her front porch flower pots.
I have also purchased flower garden accessories and tools at yard sales such as a rose trellis, a garden spade, and flower garden edging.
7. Shop Local
Often local gardeners will band together and hold a local plant sale. Sometimes the money is given to charity. The plants are usually sold for inexpensive prices and since they all came from local gardens you know that they are flowers that do well in your climate.
Local garden centers are also great places to buy your annuals each spring as the plants generally have been started from seed in green houses in the garden center, meaning they have not been shipped miles and miles and therefore are generally hardier–at least that has been my experience.
My local garden center owners and their workers also provides me with much more help answering questions such as “what grows well in a shady area” or “what soil do I need” or “how often should I water?” The answers to these questions ensure my annuals will survive through the season, protecting my investment.
8. Think Long-term
In general, most of us live in our homes for several years and therefore we will have several seasons at least to work at our flower gardens.
If you think long-term, you can save money as you can leave your flower garden a bit sparse–allowing plants to fill out the spaces naturally. You can wait for end of season sales because you know you are going to be able to enjoy the blooms in following years. You can ask each year for cast offs and slowly fill your flower garden for free over the years.
These 8 tips will help you create a wonderful flower garden full of blooms without robbing your wallet.
Do you have any money-saving tips for flower gardens? If so, I would love for you to add them in the comments below!
For a list of 52 different websites, apps, and stores our thrifty family uses to help us keep our expenses low, click here to visit our Thrifty Tools Resource Page.