Ideas, please! How/where to get free flowers/plants for my yard
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  1. #1
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    Default Ideas, please! How/where to get free flowers/plants for my yard

    HI folks! I was wondering if any of you ever found/got free plants for your yard. We moved on this property 1.5 years ago and there wasn't a single flower on it. I am trying to do some landscaping myself, while going to school full time and working part time. Right now I am working on creating a flower garden and just adding color to the front yard. I bought a few plants for cheap from the "clearance" rack at Lowes. The plants were in distress, thats why the sale, but I think they are still alive in my garden I also bought a couple of annuals.

    At this point I am looking for plants that are easy to grow and are almost native to where I live (Connecticut): black-eye-susans, baby lilac bushes, creeping myrtle, etc. I was wondering if you have any ideas of how I could get them for cheap. Our neighbors are not really in close proximity to us, so it would feel weird to go by and ask them, especially since we dont know each other well. My friends live in apartments and dont have plants.

    If you were successful with sth like that before, please let me know what was your strategy!

    Thank you

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    Registered User Contrary Housewife's Avatar
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    Some things I have done that may be available in your area:

    Look for garden club plant sales. Local gardeners separate their bulbs and other plants in the spring and sell them inexpensively.

    Look on Craigslist for people offering plants you can go dig out of their yard. They are often happy to get rid of overgrown plants for free. I got a lot of day lilies this way.

    Likewise, ask people you work or study with if they have anything to share. This would be a good way to get lilac or rose of sharon seedlings.

    Start from seed. Things like marigold, zinnia, morning glory, cosmos, and snapdragon are colorful and easy to grow.

    The clearance rack: it's getting late for bulbs here but might not be yet in your area. To avoid heartbreak and wasted cash, check the bulbs carefully for signs of life. If they feel light they might be too dried out to live.
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    After digging up wheelbarrows of daylillies & throwing them out... be brave, walk up to these homes & ask if they have any starts they would like to give away. State your situation & offer a cake, pie for trade. You may be pleasantly surprised.

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    If you were in my area, I would fix you right up! Put the word out. Ask at garage sales. Tell the people you work with, go to school or church with. Put a note up at the library or laundromat.Put a ad on free cycle. Ask a local landscaper if you can have stuff he digs up & plans to dispose of. My ex used to do landscaping & when people changed their beds he often brought home stuff. I have iris that were cast offs he got & I they have been moved three times.
    Flower lovers love to share...

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    I have bought many of the plants in my yard at Lowe's clearance sales. Some survive, some don't! I have also asked if I could take stem cuttings from certain plants at public buildings. Research and find out which plants are easy to start from cuttings. I have never been refused. Be careful to take the cuttings from an inconspicuous place on the plant.

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    Let your friends and family know that you are putting in a Friends and Family Garden. Ask them for starts, bulbs, etc to put into it. You make cute little signs identifying the donor. I have also asked at places where I saw gardeners thinning out beds. Farmers markets often have starts for sale. Do you know a farmer in the area? Ask if you can scour through his ditches for some native grasses.
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    This may seem really morbid. But cemeteries take flowers off the graves once a week to mow the lawn. Ask for any plants that are potted that you could replant in your yard that they were going to throw away.

    A2M

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    I have been known to pinch off seed heads off flowers in public gardens. Hey, they are just gonna fall off anyway, right?

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    I also suggest going to the library and seeing if they either have a garden club or know where some are located. Also check out your local farmer's market or community gardens. Even if they don't have any seeds, plants, or bulbs to share, I'm sure they have plenty of advice to help with your garden. Ask if they can teach you which plants self-seed and how to do that. Plan(t) for the future. Besides, they may know what grows best in your area, soil and light.

    Oh, and check to see if they have a Master Gardeners extension in your area. They may have some seeds/bulbs/plants they can share. If not, they still can answer any questions you have.

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    I wanted to "second" freecycle. Sign up, put out a "want" ad, but also watch for offers. I've gotten comfry for my herb garden and strawberry plants over the past couple years from there, and seen lots of other stuff listed that I couldn't use. I also wanted to agree with those that said gardeners love to share. If you were closer, I'd be dumping some tall phlox, daffodils, and lilies on you right.now. ;P

    I always check the "TLC" racks at Lowe's when I'm out that way (there's not one close to here,) and in fact got some zinnias and gerbera daisies for $1 each and a creeping phlox for $3 earlier this week.

    And as someone mentioned, community gardens often have a "sharing" table for people to unload their extras. When you spend so much time and energy on your plants, it feels AWFUL to have to dump something that is viable, so we all would always rather find it a "good home" than see it wind up in the dump...

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