Frugal Flowers

Planted peat pots

I’m a funny kind of frugal.

Last year, I spent $54 on bedding plants for the outside of our home. On one hand, I didn’t mind as I was supporting local businesses. But, another, louder voice, said I didn’t want to spend that much again on flowers.

So, this year, I decided to plant my own seeds and start my own plants. Last year, the impatiens did exceptionally well, so I bought two packets of impatiens seeds at Walmart at $1.44 a piece. On that same day, I also bought some other seeds for $30. That would be bird seed. I do that several times throughout the bird feeding season.

See what I mean by a funny kind of frugal? Do you do stuff like that, too?

Back at the Dollar Tree, I bought little peat pots and potting soil. I spent a total of $5.88 on my seed starter project. At this point, I’m thinking I’m $48.12 ahead.

It turns out that impatiens are very difficult to start from seed. And you need much more than patience. You need the right temperatures and who knows what else? I sure don’t know, because all I ever got was one razor thin hair-like sprout which I could not even see without my glasses on.

Well, since I had the peat pots and soil, I wanted to grow something. So, back to Dollar Tree, and I bought some marigolds and zinnias seeds (50 cents a packet.) Still $47.12 ahead. I did get those to sprout; however, I had more issues. It never did get warm enough to harden these seedlings and then plant them outside.

So, right before our trip I planted the seedlings and threw the rest of my seeds into pots. I looked forward to forgetting about them while on our travels and then, upon our return, seeing them shout, “Welcome Home!” with their many blooms.

Yea, sometimes I live in my own little bubble.

Well, that didn’t happen. So upon our return, it was off to find impatiens bedding plants. The first place we went to had them at $5 a pop. I had heard the price of bedding plants had gone up, along with everything else, but this much? I had two planters and my sponge rock planter to fill. That’s a minimum of $15 with the result being our neighbors thinking, “I guess she’s not done yet” as things would be looking pretty sparse.

Fortunately, our second stop was successful. We bought 24 bedding plants for $16.46. I even had a few extras for some additional color around the ole homestead.

Impatiens
Impatiens

At this point, I am still $30.66 ahead from the $54 I spent last year. Next year, I’ll save even more, because those little peat pots are gonna stay right there in the Dollar Tree for the next customer. Who may very well be more successful than me – because it won’t take much.

But something else grew while all this was going on.

When I had planted my seeds in the little peat pots, my loving husband, took it upon himself to move my box of seedlings each day so as to put them into the sunlight. As the sunlight coming in the window moved along the hallway, so did my plants. Each day, I’d get updates. “I put your plants in the sun.” “I moved your plants down a little, so they’d be in the sun.” “The sunlight is gone now, so I put them back on the table.” This went on for weeks. Until I planted those little sprouts and killed them.

Fast forward to the day I planted my $16 worth of impatiens in all the outside planters. I went to bed that night satisfied with how everything looked. That night, it rained. Hard. And there was wind and lightning. Sometime during the middle of the night, Dan and I both woke. As we both lay there, pretty sleepy, eyes closed, and not fully awake, Dan commented, “I hope your plants are okay.”

Well, I might not get those seedlings to grow, but the love in my heart for my husband sure did. And that’s the very best thing of all to grow.

Sponge rock planter with impatiens, a little camper yard decoration and a plaque which says, "Live your dream.  Every day Laugh together.  Find true Love."

35 comments

  1. Long time reader, first time commenter! We’re neighbors that also camp – I saw your blog advertised on your trailer awhile ago and have been reading along ever since. I’m also a fan of Dollar Tree and Corps parks. Attempted to start seeds as well and had the exact same experience. So really, this is just a head’s up for when we eventually bump into each other around the neighborhood. Keep up the great work! : )

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Ali! I am so glad you commented! I would love to meet you. If you see me around the compound, please introduce yourself. But be warned, I love to talk about camping! 🙂 Thanks for reading my blog, and I hope you have a wonderful Saturday.

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  2. Betty, I absolutely love this post. I started only planting perennials a few years ago and so every year I don’t really need to buy more. Except, me being me, I MUST buy more. It’s a plant lover thing. A few years ago we took a spring camping trip to Texas to see the bluebonnets. I bought a packet of Texas Wildflower seeds. And planted a few of them in my front flower bed. Oh, dear friend, let me advise you to NEVER do that. All they are is blooming weeds that take over everything else. And, side note, not one bluebonnet ever sprouted and bloomed among all those seeds. We do have a sloped area in the backyard where nothing grows so maybe I’ll transplant some of those blooming weeds back there. Anyway, happy Saturday to you. I truly enjoyed your post and how your husband and you worked together on this flower project.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am so glad you enjoyed this post! I love flowers/plants, too, but I have to be careful. Our yard is very small, and I can buy too much. Then when we leave on camping trips, much of it dies! I wanted to plant a manageable amount this year. My son and his wife live in Dallas, so maybe sometime we will see the Texas bluebonnets. But I won’t buy any Texas Wildflower seeds! Thanks for the advice! Good luck with your flowers this year, and have a great Saturday!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, David. I do value saving money, but – as you know – money is just a tool. A tool to be used for things that really matter. I hope you enjoy your day, too!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This was a great Saturday morning read, Betty. When we had our house, it was on a large corner lot with perennial beds on every side which I developed and tended faithfully. Perennial beds are lots of work, but it’s worth it to see the perennials come up and bloom, each at their own times. In addition, each year, I planted many annuals for that instant flush of colour. Impatiens was one of my favourites. It was expensive even back then to keep that yard up. I can’t imagine what it would be like now, 11 years later. It sounds like your Dan is a “keeper”.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Terry. I bet your perennial beds and flowers at your house were beautiful! Our yard is very small – which is fine by me. I do like to add a bit of flowers to make it look nice. I do enjoy seeing beautiful flowers and gardens – especially when we walk the neighborhood or visit some park or garden. That’s the best way to do it – no work! And yes, Dan is a good guy. I consider myself very blessed. 🙂 Enjoy your day!

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      • I have several photos of our yard from years ago. Perhaps that will make a nostalgia post down the road. Now that we’re in our condo, I have no plants here, as I’m not very successful with house plants or balcony plants. I’m looking forward to a little “digging in the dirt” in our Texas yard this fall 😊

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        • I would enjoy both a nostalgia post as well as a post about what you do with the Texas yard. You can think about those possibilities sometime when you are power walking on an inside track. 🙂

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  4. The cost of plants have gone up. Our garden is nice but we wait for sales and use nurseries that are plentiful in Florida and usually part of someone’s back garden. Sometimes if you look on Nextdoor neighbor.com, you can find great bargains. The pots can be pricey. My husband has a great eye for finding good bargains on pots, plants. Next month, I will buy sunflowers from a local vendor. It was $5 for one sunflower but who knows now. Growing from seeds is not easy and does not always work.

    Liked by 1 person

    • In our neighborhood Facebook group, people often post things for free. A couple people had leftover bedding plants and offered them. I had enough, so I let someone else enjoy getting them. I’ve had the same pots for ten years. At some point down the road, I may want to get new pots, but I’ll have to keep my bargain eye out – like your husband does. Have a great day!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. What I love about my husband is he is a tough guy but when the going gets rough in our garden and it takes some knee time and trimming of the cherry bushes and bags of weeds are touted off-we both work but I mention the ones I can’t take care of and he does them. He is a good listener!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Your flowers are cute, Betty. I have to say we are kind of funny frugal, too. I thought about having a garden this year, and have made a little progress by clearing some space for blooming plants. Hopefully, we get to it. Haha.

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    • I guess the way I see it is I can spend less and still have nice flowers, but I don’t know any other way to feed the birds. And we really enjoy seeing the birds at the feeder. Hope you have a great day!

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  7. In the fall try planting lettuce and spinach in the peat pots and put them outside. I don’t know what growing zone you are in and when to start them, but all that is now on the Internet. In the years I had a garden, I enjoyed planting the seeds and watching them sprout, tiny miracles! I love inpatient’s and bought 6 super tiny plants early in the spring and they are just going crazy! I do use Miracle Gro potting soil and plant food.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is fun growing plants and flowers! And yes, they are miracles! I used to use Miracle Gro, but when I started using water from my rain barrel, I didn’t seem to need it. I do use Seven Dust on my roses because the aphids eat them like crazy. It is a constant battle – but it’s worth it. I hope my impatiens take off like yours!

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  8. I hear you. My sister each year had been following the same path you went down. With about the same success. Or if she got them to grow, and then planted them outside, the deer ate them all. This year she said she got smart. She bought plastic plants and arranged them in her flower boxes. Looking at pictures of them they do indeed look like the real thing. And no worry about the deer eating them. Problem solved!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am glad she found a good solution! I do have some fake flowers on the porch as a decoration. I love them! But I do like to have real flowers in the planters. Hope you have a great week ahead!

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  9. When it comes to plants I am not frugal. Every year we say we are not going to spend so much – but every tree we do. I am too impatient to wait on seeds to grow so I always end up buying the plants. But they bring me joy – so I tell myself it is money well spent. Last year we planted a lot of perennials so hopefully this year we saved a little.

    Liked by 1 person

    • If it brings you joy, it is worth every penny! I just wasn’t successful with the seeds, and the bedding plants are not that expensive. So, from now on, I’m just going that route. What happens is when I get to the flower place, I see so much I like, then I overbuy. I’m trying to be more careful and just get what I can take care of. Our yard is very small, so it doesn’t take much. I do like perennials, too!

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  10. How sweet. We grow many things from seeds ourselves and it is so much fun. We eat a tomato whichis really tasty so my partner takes the seeds out and grows them. I am gowing many wildflowers this year to encourage bees. None are blooming yet but they are coming, so I can’t wait.
    Planting from seeds is great, yet more work but also more rewarding.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad you are more successful than I am planting seeds. 🙂 Nothing tastes better than a home grown tomato. Fortunately, we live right near a local farm which sells them in the summer. I tried growing cherry tomatoes last year, but I only got about 30. However, the few that grew were delicious! Good luck with your tomatoes and your wildflowers! I bet they will be really pretty!

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  11. My grandmother had a knack for growing flowers. Her place was always so pretty with all kinds of colorful flowers. Unfortunately, I did not inherit her talent. Our flower beds mostly consisted of weeds. Then I adopted my father’s philosophy—If you can’t eat it, don’t grow it. He was a fan of square foot gardening and used buckets, pots and small spaces to grow his food. We haven’t planted much the past couple of years because we were gone, but today our flower beds are filled with green beans, peppers, tomatoes, herbs, etc. Love eating food we have grown.

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    • That is awesome! One of our neighbors has the same size yard as us (very small), and they have really gotten into small space gardening. I tried cherry tomatoes last year; I got about 30. It is fun to have a garden and to eat what you have grown. Hope you have a great harvest!

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