The Budget Gardener: Twice the Garden for Half the Price

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You love your garden, but you don't want to spend your life savings keeping it in bloom. Or maybe you've been thinking about landscaping, but your budget is tight already. Here is everything you need to know about gardening cheaply and beautifully from gardening and landscaping authority Maureen Gilmer, who shares helpful information and budget tips gleaned from years in the industry. Inside you'll find her ingenious alternatives to expensive propositions that will help you make cost-effective decisions without ...
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Overview

You love your garden, but you don't want to spend your life savings keeping it in bloom. Or maybe you've been thinking about landscaping, but your budget is tight already. Here is everything you need to know about gardening cheaply and beautifully from gardening and landscaping authority Maureen Gilmer, who shares helpful information and budget tips gleaned from years in the industry. Inside you'll find her ingenious alternatives to expensive propositions that will help you make cost-effective decisions without being penny-wise and pound-foolish, including: how to get free or low-cost services from government agencies, civic organizations, or private businesses; how to find, create, or barter for otherwise expensive soil improvement materials; tips on buying plants: how to buy, where shop and not get taken for a ride, mail order, creating your own, and trading with other gardeners; how to be environment- and pocketbook friendly: recycling home waste in the garden, water-saving strategies, and planning your landscaping to help keep home energy bills down; and helpful charts, drawings, and quick tip sidebars.

For those who love gardening--but don't want to go broke getting their garden to bloom--Gilmer offers tested tips and ingenious alternatives to expensive procedures which will be appreciated by both beginners and experienced gardeners. Charts, drawings, & quick-tip sidebars.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A standout among books featuring lush photographs of dream gardens and elegantly landscaped estates, this guide to gardening on a shoestring will be welcomed by those with more time on their hands than money. Gilmer offers a bumper crop of low-cost and creative gardening alternatives for those with limited resources, including such angles as salvaging plants from nursery dumpsters and landscape contractors, building a cold frame ("the poor gardener's greenhouse"), foraging for free organic soil amendments (check the local high school wood shop for sawdust and wood shavings), and scouring military surplus stores for such useful items as army fatigues (they make "ideal gardening pants," according to Gilmer) and ammo boxes (for locking away toxic garden chemicals). Though some of the ideas are a bit off-the-wall (inverted champagne bottles as an edging; discarded hubcaps as hanging planters), most are practical and will delight green-thumb tightwads everywhere. Illustrations not seen by PW. (Mar.)
Library Journal
The path back to nature can be mined with many expensive gadgets. Gilmer, coauthor of Easy Lawn and Garden Care (Consumer Reports, 1994), has done a great deal of research to help gardeners save money. She does not just provide sources of free and cheap plant material and garden supplies but also shows how to make the garden cost-effective and identifies the situations when paying top dollar is worthwhile. Gilmer's ideas for budget gardening are wide-ranging. She covers the basics like soil improvement through composting and acquiring plants cheaply from gifts from others and starting seeds, but she also goes on to suggest scouring junkyards for fencing or shopping for gardening clothes at the local military surplus store. A few suggestions are of dubious value, like using creosote-soaked timbers for garden construction or buying 50-year-old gardening encyclopedias, but most of her tips will make readers think before falling for the purple prose of garden supply catalogs. For popular gardening collections.-Molly Newling, Piscataway P.L., N.J.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780140247046
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 2/10/1996
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 5.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
How to Use This Book
1 Sorting Through the Garden-Supply Maze 1
2 Economical Soil Improvement 16
3 Saving Water: Drought Strategies and Lower Bills 41
4 Shopping Plants: How to Buy and Where 51
5 Plant-Propagation Payoffs 62
6 Saving Energy Dollars: Gardening for More Comfortable Homes 92
7 Recycling Waste from House and Garden 108
8 Twice the Garden for Half the Price 138
9 The Miracles of Mail Order 157
10 Where to Get Free or Low-Cost Services 166
Appendix 179
Bibliography 182
Index 183
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