The Budget-Wise Gardener by Kerry Ann Mendez is like having a best friend on the bookshelf!

“The Budget-Wise Gardener” With Hundreds Of Money Saving Buying & Design Tips for Planting the Best for Less by Kerry Ann Mendez is a mouthful – but worth having on your bookshelf.

Kerry Ann Mendez, I am asking, ‘Can we just be best friends?’ This book actually spells out how to have a beautiful garden on a budget. We can all use constructive tips to save money no matter if you are a professional or a homeowner with a big dream. When the official gardening season starts our ideas never seem to match up with our “in real life” budgets. The Budget-Wise Gardener teaches the reader how to have that dream garden without breaking the bank.

Starting in Chapter 1 – How to Score Great Plants For Less…or for Free, who would NOT want to find out how to do this???  The planting season can prove to be a costly proposition to some. Often we spring for the high dollar plant and try to patiently wait for a sale. Kerry Ann instructs the reader in the art of saving money and then breaks it down by plant class –  perennials, annuals, biennials, grasses, bulbs, trees and even shrubs. I am not going to give any of these tips away because, the money you will save is enough to buy this book. Kerry Ann’s tips are tested and proven, so there is a form a science in the at of Budget-Wise gardening.

Other chapters include “Plant Sources and Treasure Maps”, “Regal Containers on A Dollar Store Budget” and my favorite, “Design Secrets that Save Money and Time”. Why is this my favorite chapter??  I am busy working full-time, writing part-time and gardening part-time. I want my gardens to be self sustainable. The need for beautiful gardens all the time or as much as possible is real. I am a firm believer in Xeric landscaping and meadows. Kerry Ann discusses Xeric Gardens and The Right Size Meadow in the design chapter. For those that do not know, Xeric is a Greek word that means “dry”. Choosing the correct plants and considering natives can be the answer to seasonal beauty. Most native plants have the ability to withstand drought and less than perfect soil. The author also shares the secrets to the everlasting beauty in the gravel gardens at Chanticleer (mentioning Chanticleer is the quickest way to my heart!) Two categories of plants make this garden a perennial success – ‘re-seeders’ and ‘plants that stay in place’. Who knew that this was one of the secrets to a budget-wise garden?

The Right Size Meadow garden  – how can the average homeowner achieve a meadow like effect that is voluptuous in bloom??  Following the tried and true tips on page 128, you will be the talk of the neighborhood. Your neighbors will want to know what kind of budget it will take for them to create their dream garden. With a sustainable garden on a budget you can sit back and smile or take a walk to say ‘Hi Neighbor’ while they are weeding away.

Kerry Ann, seriously, ‘Can we just be friends?’  Suggesting creative planters and options for plant combinations to show off your budget-wise savvy is so smart. Offering criteria for planter success and end of season storage is the perfect way to end this book.

If you are looking for an easy to read, information over loaded book that will make you the envy of your neighborhood – this is the book for you!

St. Lynne’s Press you have done it again by publishing such an awesome book for gardeners of all levels.



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