It’s time for an admission. I have a small addiction. One that I’d like to share with you. I’m not proud of it you understand. No no. But it does come in handy.
I keep count of EVERYTHING I spend on the garden.
Yes. I know. I shouldn’t. The cost isn’t important is it? What’s that about the price of everything and value of nothing? Well, I hope there’s a balance that can be struck between those two.
This picture shows my ‘starter kit’. A couple of plastic window boxes, plastic watering can (with a rose attachment), soil (organic, apparently) and a whole bunch of plants – dianthus, celosia, impatiens, alyssum, lobelia, zinnia, viola, pansy, dahlia and an aster that I ruined in double quick time.
In hindsight maybe this was the ‘deluxe starter pack’ or perhaps intermediate. I didn’t see much point in half measures and went all out to get off to a good start.
Over the next few weeks I added more window boxes (there are six now), some additional plants and LOTS more soil. Is this a good time to mention I don’t have a car? Let me confirm your prejudices – you do get some funny looks carrying gardening paraphernalia around on public transport. This also heavily influences the plant choice. Anything that doesn’t come with a carrying handle and is likely to need juggling while searching for the bus fare is definitely out. They don’t tell you these things in gardening manuals do they?
Ok, so deep breath now. By the end of June, between soil, plants, boxes, hammer-drill hire, fixtures and fittings I’d spent about £300 (we’ll not mention the £100+ spent on three BIG plants, pots and various other little plants for the house – delivered by a friendly driver I hasten to add!)
Over the rest of the year, having accepted that there would be quite a largish set-up cost, there was a much more frugal period. Some winter bedding plants (cyclamen and pansy) to try and keep colour about the place, a bunch of bulbs for some spring cheer and then a bit of a splurge on setting up the seed/propagator factory.
There’s a real temptation to go buy things when visiting the garden centre, especially as it’s not a simple operation to ferry items back. But all those small purchases soon add up. It wouldn’t be the first time that I’ve intended to pay by cash and ended up having to use the plastic card!
Before starting I doubt I would have expected to spend this much. And I’m not sure that it really says that gardening is, or needs to be, expensive – just that it’s easy to get a bit carried away.