With snow and ice and freezing temperatures outside, the winter garden has again become my refuge from the cold. For those who aren’t in the know, the winter garden is a workshop just off the garage which is slowly becoming less and less workshop and more and more a potting and growing area. I was back there a week ago (which is typical for this time of year) and decided it again needed some sprucing up. The walls in particular stood out as less than hygienic and as I sat there with an appropriate beverage, pondering the situation, I remembered all the leftover paint taking up space in the garage proper. It’s that little bit which you keep for ‘touchups’ but then never actually use, so why not put it to use on the walls of the winter garden?
Of course in order to paint the walls I needed to see the walls, so away came all the years of stored plastic pots, and out came the the ledge which was buried underneath. “Not bad” I thought (as I briefly considered how every one of the empty pots most likely contained a three or four dollar plant at one time). The ledge would probably make an excellent spot for a fourth growlight setup, and for a fourth light we might have to dip into the gardening budget… or not. It depends on how shady the accounting gets.
On the way back from work I stopped by the DIY store and spent about $63 for the odds and ends which I might need for a fourth light in the winter garden. That may seem like a straight forward gardening charge, but it’s not and let me explain why. I didn’t need a fourth light. I already had one which had been evicted from the house, so it was actually a surprise that a fifth one ended up in my cart. They were on clearance of course so better to get one and save $10 in the process and who knows, maybe some day I’ll use it to illuminate a work area so it’s clearly not a gardening expense. The screws weren’t either. I only needed to buy them because the boy got off with all the ones we had in order to build some boy project last summer. That was just the cost of having children. I bought a chain which could hang the light but that’s structural, just like the scrap wood which makes up the shelf and hangers. All in all I guess for now I’ll just count the $6 worth of S hooks which I bought to hang the actual light.
Once the light was up I ended up using leftover chain links to hang the lights, so I’m going to cut that last $6 charge right back off the budget. You will probably agree that at zero dollars this was a very economical upgrade.
But I will add a $2.50 charge to the tally. A child was given a fish tank for Christmas. A trip to the store and $70 worth of fish, aquarium decorations (and mostly snacks and food items) left me with a mostly unused, yet already-opened, bag of aquarium gravel. Aquarium gravel makes an excellent soil covering for potted cacti and succulents so I’ve made an executive decision to accept the gravel into the gardening inventory… although I’ll have to discount the 5$ bag by 50% for already being opened. 🙂
$2.50 for aquarium gravel
$155 total so far for the 2018 gardening year.