Everyone nurtures dreams of a beautiful, lush, green garden. But then reality comes knocking and the lack of time and insufficient funds can tarnish the dream. And maybe your fingers weren’t as green as you thought. Here are tips for gardening rookies and novices, to help you succeed from the outset.
1. What do you want to do with your garden?
A playground for the kids, a kitchen garden, or a sea of flowers?
It’s hard to combine all your wishes and desires. So, limit yourself, at least for starters. It’ll take some time to create your own personal Eden. Consider which functions you would like in your garden – seating areas, playing areas, flowerbeds – before setting to work.
If you’re the new owner of a house or an apartment with a garden or plantations you’d do well taking it slow the first season. Below the black earth you might discover the previous owner’s garden dreams. Many plants are perennial and will flower year after year. Other areas might have to be dug up and revived.
2. How much can you do on your own?
Here it is a matter of balancing time, know-how and money. For many gardeners much of the charm is doing everything single-handedly. Others hire professionals: garden designers or landscapers. But you’re seldom totally alone. You can always ask your family, friends, and neighbours for help.
3. What are the climate conditions where you live?
There can be many different types of hardiness zones in one single country. A good start is to ask your local garden centre or plant nursery for advice. They should know everything there is to know about plants, the local climate and soil types. Randomly buying plants without checking if they are suitable first can turn out to be an expensive and disappointing venture.
4. Height, time, and colour.
There are three simple things to keep in mind when planting a flowerbed: height, time, and colour. Make sure to pick species with flowering periods that overlap, and thus extend the season. Combine colours that fit together. Make sure tall plants don’t obscure lower ones.
5. Quality pays off
Naturally, there are cheap tools and low-priced flowers to be found . But plants don’t grow well in poor soils so, if you have to buy soil make sure it is of the best quality you can afford so even the cheap flowers can flourish. Tools should last more than a single season. Buy quality tools and materials! Buy fewer but better designed and made tools and they’ll last for a much longer time. They are also likely to be more effective and comfortable to use too.
6. Share with friends and neighbours
Every person in the neighbourhood doesn’t need his or her own lawnmower or cultivator. Borrow from your neighbours or get together and share the costs when making bigger investments (and buy products of high quality!). You can share and exchange plants and bulbs with your friends and your neighbours, exchange tips and strategies and help each other out when you need to lift heavy things. Don’t forget to invite them to a garden party as a thank you!