How to 'reclaim' your garden

August 20, 2012 9:43:26 PM PDT
What if we told you that you could landscape your entire yard for free or almost free. One woman says you can by "reclaiming" your garden.

In our closer look, reporter Patricia Lopez has more on this money-saving shocker.

One man's trash is this woman's treasure. A yard that was lacking lush landscape is now a full of life.

"If I were to put a dollar value on the result of the garden, I would have to say five or six thousand dollars, cause I have over 400 plants in here," said Sarah Shah.

From mulch to micro nutrients, this miracle makeover only cost "175 Dollars," Shah said.

You could say she has flower power and knows how to stretch her green thumb. Her reclaimed garden project started when she was putting her home on the market.

"We've been getting our house ready to sell, and we really put most of our money inside the house," Shah told us.

Leaving no budget for curb appeal.

"I first began trying to figure out how I could find some free plants. So I checked Craigslist, and I started checking nursery garden trash piles," she said.

Shah struck gold -- or green actually -- at Joshua's Native Plants and Garden Antiques in the Heights.

"Things lose their shelf appeal. Instead of throwing it out, I give it away," said store owner Joshua Kornegay.

He says on a good day, you can walk away with anything.

"From trees, shrubs, vines, cactus, succulents, if it ain't up to snuff, we get rid of it. Maybe you can do something with it," Kornegay said.

On top of her nursery findings...

"I got a penta on Craigslist for six bucks. And this plant now is so huge. I think it be worth 50 or 60 dollars if you got it at a nursery," Shah said.

Also on Craigslist...

"Five flats of Lantana for $18. Each flat was only three bucks. Normally a flat is going to be $18 dollars," she said.

On top of nurseries and Craigslist, Shah got help from friends and people in the community.

"I probably contributed about 25 plants," said Crista Meyer.

She donated plants from her backyard.

"I believe all the plants we contributed were full plants. Well rooted growing in the yard. So it was easy for her to transplant them," Meyer said.

To help with the upkeep...

"I've been contributing to the reclaimed garden by watering all of the plants that you see here," said Kevin Hong.

He's been making sure everyone's sweat equity continues to flourish.

"In the end, 25 people donated their plants. And two nurseries donated their plants. It became a community effort," said Shah.

On top of the financial savings, Shah started a gardening club that meets monthly. Members trade plants, and exchange tips to help each other out.

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