:::: MENU ::::

Browsing posts in: Home Ownership

Landscaping Help


The beautiful spring weather has inspired me to spend more time outdoors in my yard. I’m working with the plans drawn by the landscape architect at the free garden show to create an inviting space.

I excitedly went to our local nursery and realized the 15 bucks I budgeted for landscaping each month would allow me to complete my dream backyard sometime in 2037.

Um. Someone forgot to tell me how expensive plants are.

Disappointed, I went to work and lamented to a co-worker about my landscaping situation. She sweetly offered me some cuttings of her plants – several of which were on the list from the landscape architect. While we were talking, another one of my co-workers walked by and joined the conversation. He suggested I contact local garden clubs including water saving cactus clubs. He happened to be moving and offered to bring in several of his plants that matched my list. Let’s just not tell these generous co-workers about my history of plant killing OK?

Inspired, I can home and did some research and thought I’d share it with you.

I found several garden clubs – some of which offer spring plant sales.

Our local college offers a degree program in Ornamental Horticulture. Students grow plants and sell them for less than half of what they retail for at nurseries.

Our local dump (should I be politically correct and call it a ‘Solid Waste Disposal Site’?) offers high quality mulch in several different colors and sizes. If you are willing to load it yourself, you can save a fortune.

And perhaps the most odd place to find plants… our local 99 cent store!

Any ideas I missed? Where do you get your plants?

Water Conservation


Those of us who reside in the southwestern region of the country are bombarded almost daily about our responsibility to conserve water. Our water company gives away water conserving showerheads and offers home site visits to recommend ways to save water – for free. Our water rates have soared – maybe we’re paying for those ‘free’ home visits?

During my childhood, my parent’s water source was a well (actually, it still is. They’ve lived in the same house for 30 years). They never worried about water rates rising. They never had a water meter on their house. They simply had to worry about…

Their water source drying up.

Try selling a house with the very minor problem of no water.

Conservation was always a big deal in our house.

City living has spoiled me. I learned that showers longer than 2 minutes are a gift from God.

But our latest water crunch and water hikes have reminded me that conservation, in resources and in money, is my responsibility. I have conformed to the water company’s request that I take shorter showers (sometimes I skip all together… this has NOTHING to do with the fact that I usually skip a shower when I wake up late for work) and stop watering at least 20% of my lawn (since we don’t have a lawn, it’s fairly easy to stop watering it) but we’ve gone a step further – we rerouted our washer.

For $15, we bought some pipe and fittings to connect to our washer. All water now drains to our trees and roses.

We water our landscaping for free.

Those living in the southwest should consider this. Not only are you doing good for the environment, you’re saving money on your water bill.

(Just don’t forget to make sure your detergent is biodegradable)