I love learning new tips and tricks to help me save money and make everyday gardening tasks easier. Since I have been doing these for several years, I want to share them with you!
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1. Save Money and Lighten Container Plantings With Plastic Nursery Pots
One of my favorite gardening activities is to design and plant container gardens. I typically work with larger containers because they hold more moisture, dry out less easily and provide more visual impact than their smaller counterparts.
For those of you that have worked with larger containers before, even the lightest of pots can get pretty heavy once you add soil and plants.
To keep containers light enough to move around, I reuse those plastic nursery garden pots and place a few at the bottom of the container before adding soil. When doing this, just stuff them in there face down in a small pile and try filling containers about 1/3-1/2 of the way depending on the size of the pot and the plants you intend to grow. If you think you’ll be planting a shrub or something that will require a deeper root system, pile them about 1/3 of the way from the bottom.
Once those nursery garden pots are in place, add soil and plant as usual. This method not only lightens the container, but it also helps save money on potting soil!
2. Stock Up on Kitchen Gloves to Pull Poison Ivy Then Toss After Use
Kitchen gloves are GREAT for pulling poison ivy. They are long enough to cover my arms and I don’t feel bad tossing them after the deed is done because they are so inexpensive. I keep them in my garage and grab them whenever I find poison ivy in the gardens.
3. Use Faux Flowers in Hard to Water Areas…Outside!
This is a big one and my horticultural friends may gasp in horror, but I use faux plants and flowers outside! And, yes you can because there is no rule that says you can’t. The best part is no one will even notice if you do it right.
Ask yourself…why bother planting in areas that you know you won’t care for the plants as much as you should? I try to be realistic with my time and energy and plan my gardens accordingly. I love when my home looks like its in full bloom but it also needs to be low maintenance and manageable for me.
The key to doing good faux arrangements outside is to find plants that look real, would naturally be blooming around that time, and would grow in a container. That does not mean that I change faux flowers out every month because I don’t. But I do change them seasonally.
If you do faux right and incorporate them with the real deal, faux plants and flowers outside are unnoticeable and always look good. Of course, if you look closely at them, you can tell they are faux. But, from a distance and when mixed in among real plants and flowers, people in general don’t notice and the house always looks so pretty! Here are some examples of where I incorporate faux plants and flowers outside:
I plant all window boxes with faux plants and flowers. Why? Because I’ve done the real deal and struggle with maintaining them, particularly in the heat of summer. They always dry out on me because the heat of New Jersey summers can be brutal where I’d have to water them 3x a day to keep them going or spend extra money on several self-watering containers. I don’t have time for that, nor do I want to spend all that extra money on self-watering containers. For me, it’s just easier to go with faux, they always look good and saves me money in the long run! In fact, friends and family are usually pretty surprised to learn that these “plantings” are not real at all!
A plant that always looks great in window boxes is ivy. I love using faux ivy in window boxes to get that spilling effect. It is a great looking faux but it’s super important to find a quality faux because not all faux ivy looks authentic. I look for ivy that looks real with varying tones of green textures. If faux ivy has a bluish hue or some other off color hue or all the leaves look exactly the same with no depth, don’t use it because real ivy does not look like that and it’s a dead giveaway.
I use this same analysis where other greens are concerned as well as flowers. If flowers or greens don’t look authentic, keep looking.
Hard to Water Areas
We have a farmhouse wood table on the back deck that is sheltered somewhat by a gazebo. I found it on Facebook Marketplace for like $50 and refinished it with deck stain so it could weather the elements.
I wanted a floral centerpiece on the table, but did not want to worry about watering it…at all…particularly in the heat of summer. When designing this centerpiece, I planted a stone trough with faux succulents. While its true I can naturally grow a bunch of real succulents there, I opted for faux so it never needed to be watered and would always look good. In fact, they look so real that even my horticultural friends don’t know the difference. I spent a little more money on very good faux succulents, but it was worth every dollar.
To learn more about how to use faux plants and flowers, as well as sourcing information, check out my blog on Garden Style.
What Do You Think?
As a gardener, these tips were game changers for me! My favorite tip is probably lightening the pots using those nursery pots. I love to use large pots and lightening those make it so much easier to move them around!
Do you have any garden tips you would like to share? I would love to hear them if you do. Please share your ideas, comments & more below or contact me here. Be sure to find me @bricksnblooms on Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram!
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