Every year about this time, I start thinking about spring and flowers and gardens. Normally that would mean a trip to the nursery to buy a wide range of annuals, and sometimes seedling vegetable plants. But last year, we xeriscaped most of our yard with perennials, rocks, and mulch. So we won’t be buying any flowers this spring. With a new baby due in May, it will be nice to have the yard on auto-pilot. We’re seeing all sorts of new growth from our plants, and it looks like just about everything is going to come back strong this year. We tore out most of our thirsty grass last fall and planted drought-resistant grass that is much more suited to our dry climate. And all of the flowers we chose do well in dry areas, so everything should be very low maintenance this summer (a huge plus with a new baby). We’re going to simplify our vegetable garden too, and only have tomatoes and chard. I need the chard for our green drinks, and it will be great to have it for free all summer. And tomatoes are pretty low maintenance as well.
Last spring we spent about $300 on our xeriscaping project, and a weekend of work. Now that we’re not having to spend any money at all on flowers, and I imagine a lot less on water this summer, it’s already starting to pay for itself. Perennials are more expensive than annuals the first year you buy them, but then they come back -for free! – every year. You can buy small ones for just a few dollars, and we also got lots of ours for free from friends who offered us chunks of their overgrown plants. If you plan to stay in your house for a while, bulbs and perennials can’t be beat for convenience and long-term price.