For Flower-lovers: The Most Inexpensive Way To Have Amazing, Colorful Gardens Year After Year

by @thewritermama on April 2, 2018

This post is for Nathalie. Here you go, Nathalie!

Are you a flower-lover, who wants amazing, colorful gardents without spending tons of money?

I feel like I have discovered gold in terms of seed companies, and I want to share the information with you.

I have been dabbling in gardening for years. I would usually purchase the cheapest seeds, throw them down without much thought, and then hope for the best.

Needless to say, the best is not what I usually got.

As the weather warmed and seeds did not pan out, I would reach for annuals and perennials that were already started at garden stores with pretty much the same results. Sometimes the plants would take and sometimes they wouldn’t.

Oh well, at least I was learning what liked to grow where. But the lessons were costly and I always felt frustrated by how much bare dirt I could not afford to fill in with plant starts.

I always felt happiest if a plant was a perennial, biennial or was self-seeding, so it would live on in my garden year after year. That was a good investment in my mind. But I could not really wrap my head around purchasing annuals and having them only survive one season.

Then last year, I discovered Botanical Interests seed mixtures. And what a huge difference in my gardens this seed retailer has made!

I have one area in my garden, in particular, where I could never get anything to grow. The space is underneath a tree in one of my garden beds. I had planted seeds and flower and ground cover starts, but they never seemed to take.

I had pretty much given up on that part of my garden when I stumbled on the Made In The Shade collection of seeds from Botanical Interests.

Fortunately, a couple of shops in my local area are selling these seed packets but you can also order them online from Amazon or from the company website.

As usual, I tossed them down, but this time, instead of mostly not growing, it seemed like every single seed grew.

But then, guess what happened? My husband was so used to nothing growing under that tree except weeds that he mowed the starts down with the riding mower as soon as they all sprang up.

Needless to say, he did not hear the end of this move for a while.

And yet some of the flowers blossomed anyway! It took them a little while to bounce back after being mowed, but fairly soon I had a steady assortment of delicate flowers.

Not only did I get awesome flowers, I got waves of awesome flowers.

The Made In The Shade seed packet is wisely mixed and it contains annuals, perennials biennials. So not only did I get steady flowers under the tree the first season, all new flowers came up to kick off the second season.

Apparently the key to my heart is to sell me seeds that actually grow. This was something I did not know about myself until I discovered Botanical Interests.

We can all have amazing gardens for little money, if we plant our garden from seed and wait for the magic to unfold.

Yes,if you grow them from seed, your gardens will need time to root and grow and blossom. But you are not going anywhere, right?

In the meantime, why not plant some window boxes, pots or planters with annuals that have already flowered to give you something to smile about while you are waiting for Mother Nature to do her magic.

Remember, it’s a lot less expensive to fill a planter with annuals than it is to fill an entire garden bed. You can also move planters around to different parts of your yard as the weather changes, which is convenient for flower longevity.

And isn’t it awesome that you can pretty much plant flower seeds year round except for the dead of summer and the dead of winter? As long as you have workable soil, you can plant seeds. Heck, you can even plant seeds when there is some snow on the ground.

So my good news is that there is hope for flower-lovers of all budgets with no green thumb or garden expertise required!

I have a few more tips for successful planting from seed:

  1. Weed and then seed. I weed about three times a year, and then seed after each time once I’ve raked up the soil a bit in spots where I intend to plant.
  2. Put the seeds where they are supposed to go according to the packet whether full sun, part sun/part shade or full shade.
  3. Mix seeds with potting soil and then spread them throughout your gardens by hand, aiming for the spots you wish to fill in. (Watch out for wind!)
  4. Plant seeds right before a series of rainy days. Then you don’t have to water and the birds won’t get as many.
  5. Apply slug bait frequently while the seeds are sprouting so they don’t become slug snacks.
  6. If you have serious trouble with birds, cover seeded area with netting until flowers are established.
  7. If you still have bird and slug issues, mix part of the seeds from a packet (rather than the whole packet) with a cup of potting soil and plop that down in one spot and cover it with a recycled clear plastic container like a roasted chicken cover. Leave the plastic in place until seedlings sprout and then remove the cover.
  8. Whenever any strategies work, repeat them. For example, I can grow Alyssum, English Daisies, Johnny Jump-ups, Columbines and Hollyhocks from seed with ease. (These seeds work for me whether I use Botanical Interests or not.) This is why you will find them all over my yard in increasing amounts each season.

Please let me know in the comments if this post is interesting and helpful. I have plenty of more tips to share about inexpensive gardening.

When I have something to say, this blog is the place where I give myself permission to say it. Though I often write about writing and creativity, I also write about issues that are important to me. I help folks become more creative for personal enjoyment, professional development and transformational growth. I am a veteran journalist, author and coach with over a decade and a half of experience and a wealth of techniques to share. Whether you are a professional creative or hope to become one some day, I can help you embrace your personal strengths, explore your creative possibilities, and evolve incrementally into your most inspiring self. If you are ready to achieve creative consistency in your life and career, email me about monthly coaching calls. Looking for more fun in your life daily? Then join us for Collaging For Self-discovery, my online accountability group. To learn more about increasing your creative confidence, please check out my online school. Stay tuned for ways to save money by becoming a Beta User for my next new course by subscribing to The Prosperous Creative. And don’t forget to get these blog posts delivered to your inbox, so you never miss a post. If you appreciate my work—school, products, blog and social media posts—you are welcome to make a contribution of any size at any time. Thank you for your support!

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