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Planning a New Garden - Making Sure There's Money for Plants

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Embellishments

Embellishments can get expensive and will vary widely with your choices for your garden. A vegetable garden really needs a fence. You can get by with rabbit fencing, but you may eventually want something more attractive. Unfortunately, with all the natural disasters lately, building materials just seem to keep going up in price.

If your reason for planting a garden was entertainment, you will need some garden furniture and perhaps a path or paving. These are one time costs, but paths and paving require some prep work and additional materials. Pathways can be stone, brick, pebbles or mulch. Whichever, it would be wise to lay down fabric cloth to prevent weeds from taking over your path. Paving and stone style paths will require a layer of sand to level the work area and prevent the area from sinking over time.

Fencing and hardscaping are the two most expensive and labor intensive embellishments. Garden art, boulders, bird feeders, trellises, etc. can all be incorporated into your garden design, but they can be added over time or created from found material. Unless these are a top priority, they should not eat a major portion of your budget.


Plants

I put plants last because they could so easily take up your entire budget if there were no restraints. If money is a problem, there are ways to cut corners when buying plants, without sacrificing quality.
  1. Start your own plants
  2. Get cuttings or divisions from a friend
  3. Attend a plant swap and bring something you have a lot of to exchange for something else you want
  4. Start with smaller plants
  5. Buy a large plant with a friend and divide it between you.
  6. Wait until after Memorial Day, when plants go on sale.

Each garden will have different needs. You may already have the tools and the patio or you may be starting from scratch. If your dream garden seems out of reach, take heart. There are many viable ways to keep costs down. You might also consider the 3 year plan, were you create your garden in stages. It can be hard to wait, but each year your garden will look that much more lush and in the mean time, you’ll have gotten to know both your garden and your gardening tastes.

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