2009-05-01 / Columnists

The Diary Of A Green Thumb

Doing your own gardening can fatten up the wallet in more ways than one!
Commentary By Danielle, Danielle's Rockaway Florist

You shouldn't be surprised to see more of your neighbors manicuring their own lawns and planting their own flowers in this tough economy. Practicing your own gardening can help you to save money in more ways than just eliminating the landscaping bill.

Besides adding beauty to your home with flowers, you can take advantage of some other benefits of having a green thumb. Planting fruit and vegetables can help save some money at the supermarket. It may be just a little here and there -- but it all adds up. Be creative with the plants you choose and the food you make.

Remember, nothing should go to waste. Cucumbers can be pickled and jarred for a long shelf life. Fresh ripe tomatoes make a great pasta sauce that can be kept frozen for next month's dinner or homemade pizza. Do you know what a big hit it would be to make a homemade potato salad for the next barbeque you are invited to? You can even make a nice fruit salad to bring ong with you to the beach.

It is easy to make a whole dinner of grilled garden vegetables. With a little bit of oil, salt and garlic powder -- zucchini, eggplant, and red peppers taste great on the grill.

Take a cold head of lettuce from your garden and dress it up with fresh strawberries from the vine, a little cheese, a handful of nuts and a vinaigrette dressing … I'm getting hungry! I must admit that balancing a job, a family, a home, and all of the other factors that come into play in your everyday life -- it may be hard to find the time for just one more thing. It is very likely, though, that if you could wake up a little earlier on a Sunday to spend just 1 or 2 hours fixing up the yard, you will be amazed at the difference you can make. Gardening gives you a chance to exercise your creativity and add color and excitement to your yard. Many landscapers and gardeners may be replaced this year by the do-it-yourself approach to improving your home's value and appearance. It's a hands-on project that newcomers are finding surprisingly enjoyable. Gardening is definitely a rewarding hobby to have because the gratification that comes along with just a little work is hard to match. Adding just a bit of color to your yard makes a dramatic difference -- and growing your own fruit and vegetables can help to put some extra change in your pocket.

Feel free to visit us on the web at www.DaniellsRockawayFlorist.com for past articles, or write to us at 436 Beach 129 Street with your gardening questions and tips for our readers.

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