A Better Home and Garden, Creative Ideas for Living
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Creative Garden Ideas


Dear Pearl,
I loved your article in the Dollar Stretcher about the frugal cottage garden. I live on a rural property that we have hopes of someday transforming into a hobby farm. Right now my focus, besides the kids, is my gardens.



On Saturday my friend and neighbor Edith and I built our cold frames. Its still kind of chilly here in NS, Canada but it has been surprisingly warm for March and April so we had some south facing areas in our gardens and yards that were workable. We used left over rough cut lumber, salvaged cedar from a friends dismantled deck, and windows from an old derelict bus to create rough looking but quite functional cold frames. We planted cold tolerant veggies for salads and now are waiting for our work to pay off. The cost was practically nil except for a pounded thumb and stretched muscles.

I started my parsley plants indoors this year rather than buying them later and I am saving a mint!! For less than $5 I have 48 parsley plants in their little cell packs in a south window propagating box (made from a card board box and tinfoil.) and they are doing great. I started the seeds themselves by soaking over night and then sowing in plain potting soil in a milk carton cut lengthwise in half. Recycled plastic spoons taped to the carton supported the large freezer bag I put the whole thing into to create a greenhouse effect. In 11 days I had sprouts like crazy and when they got their first true leaves I transplanted them into cell packs. I potted up 56 and discarded the very last few because they were scraggly. I gave 8 to Edith and kept 48 for myself and for giving away or selling at a yardsale this spring. And for less than that $5 I still have soil and cell packs left for the calendula I have coming up in that milk carton in a closet (calendula like darkness when sprouting) and the veggies I am starting soon (tomatoes, melons, cukes etc) and some flower starting. Gardening really doesn't have to be expensive if you employ your own time and some patience!

Keep that news coming, Pearl. You are living my dream!
Sincerely, Alison

* Alison - we love your ideas! We'd also love to see pictures of all your work! This goes for you all! Anytime you have something to share that will help us live better for less, send it in!