Seedfork wrote: Hi Thlorian,
They answer to your major question is that learning to sow seeds will save you over fifty percent. Not just from the first planting of seeds, the major benefit comes after the plant is grown. Then, you often don't need to buy seeds because the plant will give you seeds, and some times even reseed itself. An even greater benefit is that after the plants get a little older often you don't even have to plant seeds to get more plants, they have little plants grow beside them, or you can learn to take cuttings from them and they will grow plants.
I planted seeds last year, today I gave my neighbor a couple of dozen Shasta Daisies, two different types. Tomorrow I am going to give her some Purple Coneflowers, also plants grown from seed last year. I think there are six nice plants I set aside for her.
You also said your main purpose was to enjoy what you are doing as a hobby. There is very little more enjoyable in gardening that growing your own plants from seed! During the cold winter months with nothing to do, the excitement of checking on your little seedlings can really brighten up a dreary day.
You said Perennials only, but don't limit yourself to perennials. You will find plenty of annuals that you can grow from seed. I grew Coleus from seed this last year, they reseeded themselves and came back again. Plus, I collected tons more seed from them so I can plant them where I want. Again, the big advantage here is that a cutting from a Coleus just stuck in the ground will become a new plant in a matter of days, the same for Impatiens, etc. So you don't have to spend a lot for annuals one you learn to grow a few, just remember that seeds are not the only cheap way to get plants because stem cuttings and root cuttings can be even cheaper.
I want go into how to grown plants from seeds, just to say unless you are blessed with more light in your house than I am you will have to have some type of artificial lighting system. If you would like to send me a D-mail I can send you some pictures of my cheap lighting set up, and my cheap method of using the freezer top for a heating pad.
Learn to grow plants from seed: you will love it. It is almost like watching a miracle taking place.