For many city dwellers, small garden spaces are an absolute oasis and much needed escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Though the options when planning such a space are limitless, the costs of achieving the desired look may begin to add up quite quickly. Luckily, there are several easy ways in which to save money and create an amazing outdoor space while staying within the confines of a tight budget. Below are 5 surprising places to find low cost goodies for the garden:
1. Online Sites and Communities – In our modern age, the internet is obviously an invaluable resource. However, it can also assist in the creation of a beautiful outdoor space. Online gardening communities and forums are filled with passionate growers. Many of these groups are willing to share their gardens, as well as offer group plant swaps or exchanges. Being an active member of these groups is a great way to grow your garden at a low cost, and expand your knowledge.
Phone applications, Facebook marketplace, and other websites, like Craigslist, are often exceptional places to find bargains on anything from plant containers to outdoor patio furniture that is being sold at fair prices. When purchasing using these methods, make certain to take necessary steps to do so safely. Always take proper precaution when meeting anyone online to purchase goods. Pay close attention to any signs of fraud or malicious intent.
2. Flea Markets, Estate/Yard Sales, and Garden Clubs – Many garden features can be found locally at flea markets and sales of various types. These sales are especially fun to browse, as they guarantee to offer a very unique selection of garden goods. Quirky planters and garden ornaments (gnomes, mirror balls, etc.) can offer an original flare to outdoor spaces.
Local garden clubs are also a great place to find bargain prices on high quality plants. Often used as a fundraiser, buying from annual garden club plant sales support local gardeners, as well as offer a great alternative to buying plants at retail prices.
3. Free Mulch – Many gardeners use mulch in various applications throughout the garden. While weed suppression is an obvious benefit, utilizing mulch also helps to retain moisture and decrease the need for frequent watering. Excess mulch material is often offered free of charge by local tree trimming services. In many cases, this will also include free delivery to the home.
4. Retail Stores – While the cost of plants purchased at retail stores and garden centers may begin to add up, there are some ways to get the most for your money. Don’t be afraid to browse the sale section of these stores. Many garden centers will only charge full price for plants that are lush. Though plants that have been marked for clearance may not look as healthy as others, they can oftentimes be nursed back to health once planted in the garden. In addition to the sale rack, many retailers may throw away plants that they believe to be beyond quality for sale. In some cases, these may also be worth “rescuing.” Before ever taking any discarded plants, always make certain to ask permission from the retailer.
Your local dollar store or thrift shop are also great place to find neat gardening stuff at a cheap price.
5. Cuttings from Friends and Family – By far, one of the most popular ways in which to obtain plants on a budget is through propagation by cuttings. While not all plants can be propagated in this manner, many can. More often than not, friends and family members are more than happy to allow a few cuttings to be taken from plants within their own gardens. Not only is this process cost effective, but it can also add sentimental value to the garden, knowing that it was established with the help of loved ones.
While taking cuttings is relatively easy, growers should research the variety of plant which they intend to propagate. Some newer plants are patented, which prohibits individuals from taking cuttings.