Creating a flower garden, whether it is in containers or in your landscape, adds a desirable visual appeal and warmth to your environment. But flower gardens can put a strain on your pocketbook and budget when you factor in the cost of plants, tools and chemicals you think you must buy. Creating your flower garden more frugally will not diminish its appeal or quality, but will save you money.
Start Your Own Seeds
Buying plants is one of the biggest expenditures for gardeners. With planning and patience, you can have an abundance of every type of plant you want in your garden by starting them from seeds. You will need to start your seeds for your flowers indoors six to eight weeks before you intend to plant them in your garden. Your seeds can be sown in free seed starters like egg cartons, lidded plastic pastry containers that you punched holes in, or pie pans. If you start looking around you will discover alternative seed starter containers you already have, instead of the expensive ones you can buy.
If you do not want to buy seeds, in the fall begin to harvest and gather seeds and seedpods from flowering plants your friends and neighbors have that you admired. Make sure you dry them completely before storing them over the winter in airtight containers. And do not forget to label the container so you will know what seeds you saved.
From Other Gardeners
Some flowering plants are not easy to start from seeds, or they grow from bulbs and rhizomes. In those cases, ask someone you know who has the particular plant you want if you can take a cutting or divide the plant. Bulb and rhizome type plants, like lilies, daffodils and iris, multiply yearly and often gardeners let it be known that they freely will give away unwanted excess.
Frequently checking at your local garden centers and discount stores for marked down or end-of-season flowering plants can save you a significant amount of money. End-of-season bargains are particularly cost saving when you want perennial plants. These plants will die back in your garden when you plant them in the fall, but come back strong the following spring and summer, for half the price of plants bought in the spring.
What Tools and Where
You do not need a lot of garden tools, but you should get quality tools. Cheaply made tools, which usually cost less, will end up costing you more in the long run because they often break sooner, which means you must repurchase the tool. Quality tools should last you a lifetime. Rakes, shovels, trowels, shears and a hoe are the basic tools you will need for your flower garden. Shop sales, the Internet, and garage or estate sales for the best deals on quality gardening tools.
Growing your flower garden organically can save you significantly because you do not buy and use expensive chemicals. Locate a local livestock farm and ask if you can have, or purchase, manure to use for your fertilizer. Chicken, goat and sheep manure can be used with little preparation, but horse and cow manure will need to be well-rotted before adding it to your garden soil. Also, by saving your kitchen scraps and turning them into compost to be added to your garden soil, you will be providing the needed nutrients for your flowering plants.
Selecting companion plants that draw beneficial insects into your flower garden will keep harmful insects and pests from attacking your plants, reducing your need for commercial insecticides.
Use What You Have
Before you go out and buy something you think you need for your flower garden, stop and look around your home for something that might work. Plant stakes can be made from wood scraps or branches, trellises from old bed headboards. Containers do not have to be fancy terracotta pots; old kitchen pots, pans or pitchers make charming plant pots. Wire vegetable baskets, far less expensive than garden baskets, make ideal hanging plant vessels. Garage sales can also be an excellent source for the extras you desire for your flower garden.