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Gardens for Profit and Beauty

gardenGardens provide a healthy, relaxing hobby and give beautiful results, enhancing the appearance of any home or business. But they can also be profitable.

It isn't necessary to produce flowers in abundance and market them in order for your efforts to pay off. An investment of a small amount of cash and a couple of hours per week for a few weeks can substantially raise the value of your home.

Drive around your neighborhood as if you were in the market for a new home. Examine the houses you pass and decide which appeal to you visually and which are boring or unattractive. Discard those that are good looking because of the house and lawn and focus on what's left. You'll find that many are greatly enhanced because of the gardens.

You can create a garden to raise the value of your home, or simply because you want to enjoy the beauty yourself. In either case, here are some simple, low-cost, easy guidelines for creating one or more gardens.

Keep it low maintenance. Unless you have lots of spare time (rare these days) and want to spend much of it weeding, pruning, spraying, etc, plant things which require minimal maintenance.

Perennials are flowers that you plant once, then bloom for several years. (Hence the name.) Non-perennials or annuals generally bloom once and die, unless you live in a climate that stays warm all year.

Annuals often provide more color and variety and you can sprinkle them around, but perennials make for a low time-investment option. And with a little effort, perennials can be found in a variety of colors: blue, pink, yellow, purple, red and others.

Foxgloves, lupins, daises, irises and many other species are colorful and bloom year after year with very little or no work. Poppies are another popular type that comes in different colors, such as yellow and pink.

Non-flowering or minimal flowering plants help to flesh out a garden, provide ground cover, and look great. Hostas, herbs such as oregano and sage, or yarrow all work well.

You can even find plants, like tansy, that contain natural insecticides. Rubbing your hands and arms with the juice from the leaves helps keep mosquitoes off. They also produce a beautiful, tiny yellow flower.

Besides looking good, these plants often have delightful aromas that can be smelled from much further away than many flowers.

All are low cost, especially since they usually have to be purchased only once in order to last for years.

Weeding is probably the major time consumer, after initial planting. To minimize the yearly effort, put down a layer of weed cloth, then cover with an inch of dirt. It lasts for years and provides a barrier that keeps weed seeds from blooming by lowering the amount of heat and sunlight passing through, as well as suppressing physical growth.

Many people don't have 'green thumbs'. Use these guidelines and, provided the garden has adequate water and decent starting soil, you'll have a colorful healthy garden for many years.