Frugal Gardening

I like to think I have a pale green thumb, not a full on green thumb, but slight green. Digging in the dirt has always been something I enjoyed. But I really don't have a lot of know-how. I just garden and move plants without much plan. I love watching everything unfold, turn green and flourish.

 My mom is a gardener extraordinaire and I grew up watching and helping in the garden, not always happily, but those years really taught me alot. She was also known for not spending very much but yet her garden was spectacular. The key to her success and now mine, is to use perennials, share with neighbours, divide and fill in bare spots with cheap annuals.

Since we are renting, I have spent very little on our yard. The landlady, who lived in the house a few years before we moved in is a keen gardener, so the yard had some fabulous perennials when we moved in. When we moved in though, the garden was half dead, so many perennials didn't survive. She had a plethora of roses (which I loathe, but kept because she keeps count!) and a few great bulb plants! My mom gave me several perennials from plants she had divided. I have now divided many of those plants several times, spreading the, throughout the front and back flower beds.

I love perennials. They are so easy to care for and can give you such a variety of foliage, colour and height. If you know a bit about bloom times, you can plan your garden to have something blooming throughout the growing season. I love having a variety of foliage for visual interest. Any bare spots I fill in with a flat of petunias or impatiens from Costco. Real cheap and you get great bang for your buck.

So I have been busy dividing up plants and moving them to create a more lush garden this year. Even though we might be moving, it doesn't matter as the plants are free (in my garden) and I can always dig up my favourites, pot them and take them with me!

My garden is just starting to grow like mad. It is turning a lush green and a few plants are starting to bloom. Come late June, it will a gorgeous display of colour.

I'll give you a tour!

Keep reading....

My herb garden:

Back garden beds

Peony transplant.

Lily-of-the-valley (these plants smell heavenly and grow like mad!)

Not sure! Got this from a neighbour.

Black-eye-Susan, Tiger lily and carnation transplants. I planted these last week. Hoping the weather holds up and it won't turn cold.

Hosta transplant.


I love using boxwoods in tall planters to give a sculpted look to my garden space. I just shape with pruning shears every year to get a "ball".

Front flower beds.

Oriental poppy and Hollyhock.


Lucifer Canna Lily and poppies. Both grow like weeds as well and can take over your garden.



See the spikey leaves? That is a Lucifer Canna Lily, love the foliage and the flower is so unique too.

Another peony transplant and Lucifer Canna Lily transplant. Those hostas were grown from a divided hosta plant from my back yard. 

This variegated hosta I got from my mom.

I loathe this part of my garden. The soil is poor, so I just maintain what was growing here and added ground cover, called Woodruff. Love the droopy Solomon Seal plants.


Another boxwood, that I have pruned to shape it. I have two planters flanking my garage. My house is not too attractive from the front, so I use these boxwoods to detract the eye from the 90's putrid pink stucco!

What my plant pots look like in the summer.

My vegetable garden in the summer.

I am excited to add some annuals this weekend. Watching the garden grown so rewarding, despite not really knowing exactly what I am doing but just muddling along!

Please stop by tomorrow and link up your latest plant/flower projects. Link up on my blog and you will automatically be linked to 4 other blogs!

Join the fun tomorrow!

XO Barbara


  1. Love all your plants! I can see how much further ahead you are in your growing season compared to here. My lily of the valley and peonies are just starting to peak through. I'm thinking about adding a hosta this year. They're so pretty. I'd say you have a pretty green thumb!

  2. Your gardens look great Barbara, so lush and healthy looking!

  3. Lovely array of plants there. I wish I had more space to plant some of those, particularly Hostas which I love. I only have a very small space though. Enjoy the summer colors, you are sure to get some :)

  4. Lovely! I like the idea of a pale green thumb - I think mine is the same! I pretty much follow the same methods as you, though this year I'm planning to take some detailed photos when everything is in bloom. I'm always moving things around and then can't remember what I put where!

  5. I love many of the same perennials you have shared here, especially the peonies and did I see a fern??? I have a minor obsession with those lately.

    This year we are very focused on adding many more perennials to our yard. We are building a trellis or two and I'm considering clematis to climb up them. We however are starting from ALMOST scratch and I took these few years to determine what I like before making a purchase. We are lucky enough to be getting some grass transplants from my sister in law and I'm excited to use that as a start.

    Thanks for sharing the beautiful images.

  6. wow my dear you have a very green thumb, and a great eye!

  7. Pale green thumb? I don't think so. I am SO envious of your gorgeous flowers and plants. I have my very first perennial garden after having a tree removed last fall. ALL of your gardens are gorgeous!

  8. Oh wow! Your garden looks beautiful! I am a fan of gardening and love perennials as well... right now my garden needs some serious weed removal though so our plants can shine through. Yours is looking amazing Barbara!!

  9. Oh, I'm so jealous of your gorgeous garden, especially the herbs! Even though I have a bit of a yard, because it's a townhouse the yard is considered common property and we aren't supposed to alter the landscaping. So, it's container gardening for me, and that's only if I don't kill everything.... Thanks for the tour. :)

  10. Your garden is lush and gorgeous! I'm not sure where I'm going with ours this year - being in a rental ourselves, we do the same thing you do in growing it without spending a bundle. My dilemma though, are the deer. They had lunch all summer long last year until there was no lunch left to be had! Grrr!! If we owned this place, I would be building a fence this year! Since we don't, I'm feeling inclined to just weed and let what will be, be!

  11. Thanks so much for sharing these recs and the photos. It's really hard to figure out gardening, IMHO. I'd love to have a lush, colourful garden, but it's expensive to buy all the plants and then if they don't take, you have to start again next year! :(

  12. Wow, looks like you have more than a pale green thumb! So many beautiful greens in your garden - it must be lovely to hang out there in the summer.

  13. Lovely! The house we bought last year was nothing but grass AND our new build was, of course, nothing but sod. Seems like I am perpetually starting gardens from scratch. It's exciting to imagine the possibilities, but there is so much patience involved at this stage :)

  14. Gorgeous garden! I wish that we could plant flowers like this at our rental. Must be so nice all summer!

  15. I learned my love of gardening from my Mom too. Your garden is lovely, so lush and much farther along than ours in the Calgary area! Thanks for sharing.

  16. That is a gorgeous garden, so huge!!! We are just starting this weekend to get ready for some planting!


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