New Year's Resolutions
Good morning, 2010 - 'Twenty-Ten', as many are calling you. Before you try and tempt me by online plant auctions and nursery sales, I should warn you - the gardener in me has already made a severe and serious New Year's Resolution.
Look After That What I've Got
I am 'looking after that what I've got'. Consequently I am on a zero-dollars gardening budget for the first time in years. Here follow some cautionary tales, to remind myself how gardening budgets work.
Late last year I found a host of old fashioned roses I could buy. If they'd been priced as per the nursery - say $25 each - I'd have been thrifty, allowing myself perhaps three or four. But, because they were available at $12 each I got really excited and bought about 38 of them. The arithmetic doesn't lie - 38 x 12 equals well over four hundred dollars. Eek! That was so naughty! I spent way more money than I ever should have. I made two trips with the trailer. I giggled, plotted, and planted for weeks afterwards. Even Non-Gardening Partner thought I'd been a bit excessive.
Oops - Too Many New Roses
And here's another example from 2009 - perennials were a dollar each, so I stuffed my wee car with forty seven of them. I know I can clone my own perennials easily with a bit of time and a lot of patience - so what's the rush?
It's time I came out of the gardening closet (or potting shed) and admitted that I have a problem. There is a fatal flaw in my gardening attitude. Let me be strong and face this head-on. My behaviour is called gardening greed. Gardenwise I am compulsively, hopelessly greedy. So - here are the ground rules for 2010's earth-shattering zero dollars garden budget.
No Online Plant Auctions
No more allowed. Not even any peeping at the listings, just in case there is a bargain or anything is going for free. The only exception will be made for listings of retro concrete garden gnomes (I do have a modest monthly budget for gnomes). I've arranged for automated messages from the trading site to be sent, so only the gnome pages will be accessed.
Only one nursery sale allowed - namely the great Easter Plant Sale at the local nursery. But - this is new - only ONE trip will be allowed, and no trailers. No repeat visits to see if there's any new stock in the bargain bin.
Road-side stalls can only be stopped at in exceptional circumstances, specifically when Non-Gardening Partner is feeling generous and I have left my wallet at home. Ouch.
I am allowed to buy consumables such as compost, potting mix, and gardening gloves. However (this is really scary) there will be no replacements for garden tools carelessly lost. I remind myself - look after that what I've got! Get through the whole year with one garden hand digger - this is the essence of being a careful budgeting gardener. Aargh!
Do you know, I don't like the sound of this New Year very much! But I can do this. Wish me luck. By the way, donations of unwanted Agapanthus, old-fashioned roses, peonies, lilacs, and good quality New Zealand native shrubs can just be left at the gate. There'll be a box there waiting for hand-me-down garden tools. And just pop any unwanted garden vouchers discretely into the mailbox. Thank you all in advance...
Oops. Just kidding!