Planting flowers is a relatively easy activity, that can be enjoyed by novice and expert gardeners. The benefits of growing a flower garden are not only increased landscaping appeal and interest, but also enhanced emotional well being, exercise for the gardeners. But how to grow and enjoy a stunning flower garden without breaking the bank? When it comes to creating a beautiful flower garden, a little can go a long way if you are willing to invest some time and creativity. That said, growing a flower garden on a budget doesn't mean you have to put up with a boring backyard. Here are 5 practical ways to stretch your dollar when growing a flower garden.
Grow from Seeds
Seeds often cost less than seedlings, so they are a great choice for filling lots of space, and for gardeners who are on a budget. It's a bit of work to start seeds in flats indoors, but sowing seeds directly take no more time than planting seedlings. By sowing seeds in the garden bed, you will not only save money but also be able to grow numbers of cultivars not available at the garden center. But not all plants will grow from seed and some are easier than others. Here are some easy to grow flowering plant suggestions to get you started:
Annual Flowers: Calendula, Marigold, Cosmos, Sunflowers, Zinnia.
Perennial Flowers: Coneflower, Black Eyed Susan, Lupine, Poppy, Gaillardia.
Go to a seed swap
A seed swap is a party where gardeners show up with seeds that they've saved from the year before and trade them. If you've ever been to a seed swap, you know how much fun it is to spend time with fellow gardeners and exchange seeds that you've never grown before. Seed exchanges are a good way to introduce new flowers into your garden as well as to save you money.
Keep it simple
One way to keep it simple is, to begin with, a few flowers or color and add as you go along. When selecting flowers, stay within a limited color palette. Two or three colors is a good place to start. For example, shades of orange, red and yellow can create a monochromatic look, as can a serene selection of pink and purple flowers. In the autumn, you can add bulbs for spring blooms. Choosing low-water, low-maintenance annuals, and perennials is also a great idea to save some money in the long run.
Propagating your plants
Propagating plants from cuttings is an easy and economical way to expend your flower garden. Mid to late summer, take cuttings from your bedding plants to root, grow as indoor plants all winter and plant out the following spring.
By growing edible flowering plants, you will not only introduce new ingredients to your dishes but also make money from them. Yes, really. Gourmet stores do stock edible flowers, and there're plenty of chefs use the edible flowers as an ingredient and to garnish dishes. They might not be tasty on their own but with other ingredients, you could have a great combination.
Keep in mind that certain flowers can only be used for ornaments, such as rhododendrons, daffodils, and azaleas. They are not safe to eat, if you're not sure, always check first. Roses, pansies, daylilies, and violets are all popular and edible flowering plants that you could grow. Also remember, do not use normal chemical plant agents if you're going to eat your produce or sell them for food purposes.
After harvesting, you can sell them at your local restaurants or food store and you will need to put together some photos, growing information and price. If you want to trade directly to households, consider place adverts on Craigslist, eBay or creating your own website.