Cottage Gardens For Under $10!

by Pearl Sanborn

Because I've been getting so many letters like the one below, I wanted to give you some ideas on how to surround yourself with your own lush cottage gardens. You can have your dream come to life every year, for less than the cost of a family meal at McDonalds!

My latest letter:

I read your note and would love to get some tips from you about how you went about creating an English cottage garden look. This look is my favorite, but I am having difficulty getting my beds to look as "lush" as the "pictures" in the gardening books. Do you plant closer than the recommended amount or...?? I really haven't been able to locate the details on this. Please help!

Well, what is a cottage garden?? I've found that each cottage garden is as different as the people who create them! What's the first thing that comes to "your" mind when the words are spoken?? I want you to grab a piece of paper & a pen, then write down everything that comes to your mind when you hear the words "cottage garden." I want to show you how you can have every element you desire in your garden!

Take a sneak peek into my thoughts for a moment. When I hear the words "cottage garden," here is what fills my thoughts. (in no particular order - typing as they come). I think of butterflies, birdhouses, picket fences, tall cutting flowers, bird baths & water fountains, goldfish pond, vegetables, herbs, wildflowers, stones & stone walls, architectural elements, bird feeders, hanging baskets, moss, secret paths, arbors, ivy, waddle fences, fuchsias, hummingbirds, roses, trellises, garden benches, porch swings, ferns, and wildlife. I could think about cottage gardens all day!

Now lets take a look at the elements I've mentioned above & think of how I could create a garden filled with the things I love without paying a king's ransom.

  • Birds & other creatures come to live in your garden because they now have a food & water source. - Free
  • Water - Free
  • Flowers & vegetables - .10 per pack
  • Ferns, moss, other greens & wildflowers (find them in the woods, along roadsides, a friend's place, around water, etc) - Free (get permission if appropriate)
  • Birdhouses, fences, garden benches, planters, swings, etc. (scrap wood, pallet wood) - Free
  • Arbors & waddle fences (make from fallen branches, willow branches, living trees) - Free
  • Goldfish pond - (could be made in a large bucket, buried trash can, wine barrel, dug hole, wheelbarrow, anything watertight) goldfish - .10 ea

How I built my pond:

  • Architectural elements - these are wood or metal decorations that once adorned an old home. (find in the trash, from a home that is being remodeled, scrap yard, ask a contractor who does remodeling) - almost Free
  • Hanging baskets - anything that you can plant flowers in & hang! Could use an old basket, bucket, wooden box, plastic or metal bowl, burlap or heavy cloth. Just fill with a light soil mixture & plant. - Very Cheap!
  • Stones - folks pay you to take them. I'm going to build a garden cottage out of mine - but that's for another issue

To plant my fence garden, I bought seed packets for .10 each, & sowed them very close together. I'm not a very patient person when it comes to garden results & even I was surprised at how fast I had blooms! I'd say within 4-6 weeks there were flowers in my garden! This is very encouraging to a frugal gardener like me!

I also sow packets of perennial seeds in different places around the yard. When the plants bloom & I am able to see how they look when they're mature, I replant them into their new homes within a flower bed of my choosing. This saves me 100s of $$, because perennial plants can run anywhere from $4 - $30 each! With a packet of seeds, you might get 100 - 200 plants for .10! With this example, you also see how someone could earn a good amount of extra money by planting some extra packs of seeds!

Around the country spring is in the air! Let us know how your cottage gardens are doing & we will continue to cover the different subjects above in depth throughout the seasons.

Because..... to me there's no garden like the cottage garden!

Pearl Sanborn is the Editor of Heart & Home Newsletter. Find a free monthly newsletter & a search engine dedicated to the frugal lifestyle at Heart & Home

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