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Writer comes clean with his plantaholic addiction.
Hostas are easy plants to propagate, which helps make them a great ground cover.
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When he isn't digging in the dirt
HI, MY NAME is
Like most addictions, it started small: a new azalea here, a hanging basket there, but, before long, it grew out of control. Soon I was spending my students' spring break creating planting beds; killing, tilling, and reseeding our front lawn; and dabbling in the hardscaping stuff.
It was under control until they came along three years ago: my twin daughters. Suddenly, the paper green stuff I used to buy the leafy green stuff was being hoovered up by Buick-size boxes of diapers and a Noah's Ark of baby gear: two cribs, two changing tables, two high chairs.
I had to quit cold turkey or find a cheaper way to support my gardening addiction.
Naturally, I chose the latter and have learned how to beg, borrow, and, yes, even steal, to keep my yard looking nice. And while I still get a fix from local plant dealers now and again, here are some tips on doing more with less.
LOG ON FOR FREEBIES
Go online to freecycle.org to find and join the Fredericksburg area's group, which is hosted online by Yahoo! Here, area residents post all sorts of things they don't want, and if you are quick enough to respond and lucky enough to be chosen, the item is yours for everyone's favorite price: free.
Through Freecycle, I have liriope (aka monkey grass) bordering my mailbox and some Louisiana iris (a water lover) soaking in a soggy spot near a downspout. A couple of years ago, I drove to Spotsylvania County and dug out four mature barberry shrubs that would have cost at least $25 each at the nursery. This past spring, I returned to the same house and relieved the owners of a Japanese holly. Thanks to Freecycle, all it cost was one broken shovel handle.