Page 1

Spring 2013

Flower Edition  Journey As A Flower Gardener  Landscaping from Scratch  Flower Gardening with Kids  Flower Gardening on a Budget

Welcome to the first edition of Hobbies on a Budget e-magazines designed to bring the best of my site to you. I know many of you miss some of the things I post, so periodically I will put together a special Hobby edition focused on the things you love the most! Welcome to Spring 2013 Flower Edition! Hobbies on a Budget

Journey as a Flower Gardener I love growing flowers in my backyard. I can’t grow anything but ivy inside, but my outside flower gardens are usually gorgeous. I have learned a lot in the past 15 years. I can remember moving into our first rental house and looking at the two existing beds and feeling very overwhelmed. I had no idea where to even start. My journey as a flower gardener started back when I was just a kid.

As a child we had huge zinnia and marigold beds. My Mom was the queen of taking simple zinnia and marigold seeds and turning our backyard into a garden of color. One year she even designed a secret garden path in the middle of our huge vegetable garden. All summer long we would get to go out and cut a fresh bouquet of zinnias for our supper table. I still can’t grow zinnias like she did! They were gorgeous.

When the flowers would die in the fall, we would collect the seeds and save rows and rows of jars full of seeds ready for the next year!

As a teenager I visited a friend’s house. They had a back field full of daffodils – literally a field of cheery yellow blooms. That’s when I fell in love with daffodils and decided that someday I would have hundreds growing in my own yard each spring.

Once I got married and moved into our first rental home, I realized that though I loved flowers I was clueless as to how to actually decide what to plant and grow. I started asking my Grandma, Mom, Mother-inlaw and friends. I started learning about irises, hostas, lilies, and more. I was given starts of flowers, bushes and grasses. Sometimes the seeds and starts grew beautifully and sometimes the experiments failed. But I kept learning. Now I have a large yard with many garden beds. I have many different flowers. It is so fun to share the color and beauty with those that visit. Do you love your flowers? When did you fall in love with flowers? What’s your favorite? I’d love to hear!

I’m keeping a flower journal so you can take a virtual tour of my flowers and enjoy them all season. What’s your favorite backyard flower? I’d love to see what’s in bloom in your yard.

My Flower Journal

Landscaping from Scratch My Mom and Dad recently moved into a new house which means they are landscaping from scratch. There are good lines on the porch and in the yard, but it definitely needs some flowers and accents to turn this yard into a homey garden. My daughter and I headed up there this past weekend with several boxes of flower starts from our garden and got to work.

This is a great time of year to split many flowers. We dug up lilies, irises, bee balm, ivy and a couple of small bushes and got started. They already have plans to add some lattice later on, so we started a lily bed in front of where the lattice will eventually go. It doesn’t take a lot of money to start flower gardens. If you have a friend with existing beds, then just dig up some starts. Just dig up the baby flowers and plant them in their new home. We used the dirt that was already in their yard but added some potting soil around each of the new transplanted flowers to give them a little extra boost.

Stacked Pots Mom and Dad had picked up some plastic flower pots last weekend and created two stacked pot towers. If you do a Pinterest search for stacked flower pots, you will find hundreds of images where people have taken flower pots and created a garden accent piece. All you do is take a rod and insert it into the bottom pot. Fill part way with dirt and then add your 2nd pot. You can choose to keep them level or make them topsy turvy. You just keep stacking till you have the look you want. We planted pansies in the stacked pots to give instant color to the side of the steps.

Flower Gardening with Kids I love working in my flower gardens and want my kids to enjoy it too. Last summer we put out fresh mulch in some of our flower beds so the dirt is really soft and easy to work with.

I gave each of the kids a shovel and several packs of seeds. I gave them permission to plant any of the seeds in 2 of the freshly mulched beds. They could plant them however they wanted – in rows, in piles or one by one.

I handpicked which flowers I wanted in the bed so hopefully they are set up for success. They were pretty excited about their personal flower garden area. I can’t wait to see what grows! Snapdragons, Indian Blankets or the Unknown Seeds?

Flower Gardening on a Budget When we moved into our house 6 years ago, there were absolutely no flowers in the backyard – none at all!

Now I have a huge butterfly bush, azaleas, coneflowers, lilies of all varieties, columbine, hostas, hibiscus, hydrangeas, the list could go on and on. Have I spent a lot of money on Flower Gardenings? Of course not! You know me! So how have I been able to grow such a huge variety of beautiful flowers?

Start talking to your friends. You probably know at least one person who is passionate about their flowers. Spend some time looking at their gardens. Odds are that they would love to share some seeds, bulbs or small starts. (I’ve even been known to stop at a yard sale, talk to the person who lives there and walk away with a handful of seeds that they just gave me. People who love their flowers love to share seeds!!!

Start digging. You don’t have to plan your first garden. Just start digging. You can always change it next year. That’s part of the fun of flower gardening. Each year you get a different look, new challenges and a fresh look.

Use the soil you have! When we first started flower gardening, people told me that I needed to buy mulch or potting soil. Big problem with that! That cost money and couldn’t be a first priority. So we just used the dirt we had when we started digging. Was it the best soil? Of course not! But it was a great place to start.

Don’t spend money on supplies. When you’re first getting started, don’t bother spending money on edging stone, black landscape cloth or weed kill. Sure, they are great helps, but they’re not essential. A neighbor told us we could have as many rocks as we wanted from where he was doing some building. These made really unique flower garden edgers. We just pulled weeds by hand.

Remember the blooms year round I love taking pictures of my flowers so I can enjoy them all throughout the year – even when it is cold and snowy outside. Here are some tips for taking pictures of your flowers. Flower gardening is a joy! But it doesn’t have to require lots of money! What about you? How do you save money in your flower gardens? I’d love to hear!

You can contact Sharon Williams on either of her two blogs: Hobbies on a Budget State by State Travel

All photos have been taken by Sharon Williams If you would like to use any of these images, feel free to write for permission.

Hobbies on a Budget - Spring Flower Edition  

Get inspired by the flowers and gardens of Spring.