Who loves a freebie? Me! Me! And who loves plants? Me too, more than anything. Combine the word “free” with the word “plants” and you’ll have me jumping up and down with delight. Whether you’re building your first garden, a new garden or adding plants to an established one, you don’t necessarily have to break your budget. You can get free plants! Here’s how.
1. Cuttings and Divisions
Do you have friends with plants? I have a few friends with beautiful gardens, and this spring one is gifting me with a plant species that I’ve wanted for years. It’s just not working in his garden, and I have the perfect conditions for it. If you have friends with beautiful plants, see if you can get a cutting, a division, or some seeds. Plants love to share!
2. Free Sites
Where do you turn to get things for free? My favorites are Craigslist and our local Freecycle group. Recently I got a lot of wood for a new garden bed on Freecycle, and I’m looking for plants next. It’s best to ask for relatively common plants, although I’ve been lucky and have made friends with a couple of avid gardeners as well. There’s even a new web site called Plant Catching that encourages people to post the plants that they have to offer, then leave them out for others to find.
3. Plant Exchanges
If you have a community of like-minded gardeners, why not host a plant swap? Like a clothing swap, you bring divisions, cuttings, or entire plants that you no longer want, and you trade away.
4. Building Sites
We have gotten some lovely plants from gardens that were being demolished. To avoid trespassing onto a property when it’s being developed, try to connect with the owners as they’re selling. Ask friends to let you know when elderly friends and neighbors are selling for redevelopment. They may be delighted to find that someone wants to rescue their beautiful garden.