Gardening can empty your wallet just as quickly as any other hobby, if you let it. There's always one more plant, one more piece of garden art, one more gadget you can buy that will make your gardening experience complete. For most of us, our dreams are bigger than our bank accounts. Maureen Gilmer's The Small Budget Gardener is written with gardeners like you and I in mind.
Review: "The Small Budget Gardener"
Maureen "Mo" Gilmer's The Small Budget Gardener is best described as an idea book. Want to save money on plants and seeds? Check out Gilmer's chapter on plant propagation. Wondering how you can recycle more in your garden? Gilmer has a chapter on that as well. She also has plenty of advice on what you really need to buy for your garden, as well as advice for finding deals on just about everything garden-related.
What I liked about this book was that it could be read however you choose to. If you're the type that likes to read a book from cover to cover, you could do that and pick up plenty of great tips along the way. However, if you're more interested in reading something that pertains to your immediate question, the book is organized perfectly for that as well. It's a very well-organized book, and each chapter is tightly focused, making it easy to find what you're looking for and be on your way.
What's in The Small Budget Gardener?
Here is what you'll find in The Small Budget Gardener:
Part One: Stretch Every Dollar:
- Buy It Right and Buy It Once (what you really need, and how to choose the best)
- Shop Til You Drop (finding bargains)
- Free Dirt (composting)
Part Two: Environmental Cents
- Nature's Climate Control (how plants help you save on energy bills)
- Never Thirsty (water saving advice)
- Don't Throw it Away (recycling and composting)
- Tips and Tricks
Part Three: Gratis, As It Should Be
- Garden Tech (finding good advice on the web)
- Making Babies (plant propagation)
- Eat for Free (eating from your garden)
- Your Tax Dollars at Work (government payoffs for gardeners)
Tips from "The Small Budget Gardener"
This book was full of great tips. Here are a few of my favorite quotes.
"While they (annuals) may seem to be the least expensive kind of plant to buy, an annual is actually the most expensive of all."
"For an inexpensive way to shred autumn leaves for compost heaps without spending much money, you'll need a rotary lawn mower with a catcher bag. ...With the catcher bag attached, mow the pile (of leaves) and the leaves will be chopped to medium texture and neatly deposited in the bag."
"It's difficult to add insulation to the interior walls of an older home, but there is a less expensive way to reduce radiant heat gain and loss through the walls. Just add insulation to the outside by planting vines."
"Even thorny twigs of roses...and berry vines can be useful. Use small segments carefully arranged in pots and planters to keep cats and dogs from spoiling houseplants and flowers."
"Ask for a flat whenever you're buying bedding plants at the garden center. This is a lot like asking for the hanger when you purchase clothing; you can use it again and again at home."
I'd recommend The Small Budget Gardener for new gardeners, especially if they're on a budget and trying to garden frugally. If you have a friend who is just getting into gardening and experiencing a bit of sticker shock with their new hobby, this is the perfect book to buy for them!