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Monday, May 17, 2021

Weekend Free Piles and My Very Cheap Begonia Basket

Free pre-owned empty (except the weed)
hanging basket,
ready to be filled with flowers

It was garage sale Saturday in our area this past weekend. While I happily look around at everything for sale, I am mostly interested in the free piles. I must admit, our neighborhood has some pretty good items in free piles. One daughter picked up 2 nice looking lamps and a side table for absolutely free. The other daughter found a bunch of spots equipment in the piles. And I found some holiday decorations for next year.

What perhaps looked the most like garbage is actually something that will save me about $26 or $27. I've been watching for an empty hanging flower basket to appear in free piles to use near our front door. I spied one early Saturday. I picked it up and asked "is this free pile, too?" The lady replied, "yes, I bought my flower basket for the season the other day," pointing to the hanging flower basket on her front porch. It was beautiful and fully in bloom.

However, for about 30 cents of new potting soil, a $3.50 large begonia plant (large in bloom, not necessarily the whole plant),, and 15 minutes, I'll have my own hanging begonia basket in bloom.

Fred Meyer sells slightly larger planted begonia baskets for about $33, giving me a savings of about $26 to $27 for a slightly smaller version.

Maybe the woman who gave me the empty basket doesn't like to garden. Or maybe she doesn't have much free time. Or, maybe she picked up the basket on a whim. Or, perhaps she didn't realize how quick and easy it would be to replant her old basket. Whatever the case, I'm very grateful for my own good fortune.

I'll transplant the begonia later today. My daughter gave me a great idea for making the basket look more full while the plant grows to fill the space. I'll show you later this week.


  1. You do find some pretty good free stuff in your neighborhood. No one puts out anything for free in our neighborhood although I do see things on the side of the road occasionally. In general, unless I notice something that we've been looking for, I generally don't stop as I am trying to cut down on clutter. However, I do subscribe to FreeCycle an check it every day. There have been some good things on there, but someone always beats us to anything we've tried to get.

    1. Hi Live and Learn,
      I'm not sure why we have so much great free stuff in my area. It just seems to be a "thing" that people do to get rid of stuff here. And there are always piles of stuff for the hauling at the end of a garage sale Saturday. Good luck with FreeCycle.

  2. I have a few of those empty hanging baskets in my barn. I have been making my own hanging flower pots for just as cheap of a price as you made yours. I'll do some petunias and a few other things and I have found that petunias can "hang" even though they are not the hanging type specifically. I always get comments on how nice it looks. I'll only do two baskets this year for flowers and everything else will be veggies in my vertical planter. We do splurge on buying hanging baskets for our mothers for Mother's Day as I feel like they expect it because they always say they have "saved a special place for this".

    1. Hi Alice,
      when I was in the garden center this last weekend, I saw hanging petunia baskets for sale. They looked very pretty and I can see why you'd like to do those in baskets. It sounds like your mother and mother-in-law really look forward to your gift of hanging flower baskets.

  3. Free pile finds this year- a small revere ware pot to add to my set,2 wire spice racks,6 wilson badminton rackets, 2 hanging pots like you described, a large hydrangea plant, a clipboard,and 3 large wooden planters full of soil. I go on walks daily and always stop for free piles!

    1. Oh, I would love to find some badminton rackets!!!!

    2. Hi Kathryn,
      What great finds! Like Kris, I would love to find badminton equipment. My daughter did get 2 rackets for racket ball. That'll be fun to play this summer. Enjoy your badminton!

  4. People will occasionally put out free piles around my neck of the woods, but it isn't typically anything I'm interested in. We just keep re-using the same pots year after year. I'm interested in your little trick to make your plantings look more full in the early stages. I plant my own pots and they always look a bit sparse at the beginning--but I find that they look better in the height of summer. That's when the "fancy" pots that people buy at nurseries are starting to look not-so-great, so I feel vindicated in my choice! Plus, it unintentionally has become a fun activity that my daughter and I share. I love how flowers can really dress up the front of a house and add some charm.

    1. Hi Kris,
      I've come to the same conclusion about the expensive hanging baskets from the garden centers. They may look great right off the bat, but later in the season they look tired. How fun that you and your daughter share this interest.
      Stay tuned for tomorrow's post . . .


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