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This year, don’t take on more garden than you can handle, says Kathleen Brenzel, Sunset magazine’s garden editor and editor of a new book, The 20-Minute Gardener.
Three of Brenzel’s favorite ways to cut time, cost and water:
Plant perennials. Once they are planted, they will grow back and flower every year. “Perennials that don’t need a lot of water are catmints, gloriosa daisy, sedum autumn joy, pincushion flower and, one of my personal favorites, coral bells.”
Install low-cost lighting. Putting built-in or portable lighting in your garden is one of the most expensive things you can do. To save money, “take a standard birdbath with a shallow bowl, fill it slightly with water and set small votive candles in it.” Put in enough candles to fill the bowl and then light them. “The effect is quite stunning.”
Try DIY water features. Fill glazed saucers with water and place them around the garden. “The birds love them, and it gives the suggestion of a little pool. I did one with an 18-inch diameter saucer and tucked it in a border under some ferns.”