5 top tips for Beginner Gardeners and Kitchen Gardeners
Beginner gardening can be quite daunting. There's a plethora of “must do” “don't do” “do it now” advice and to me it comes across as a bit scary and makes you feel you're going to get it all wrong. My advice then is just ignore the “must do's” and change it for, “give it a go” “plant what you actually like” and “if it doesn't work, try again” after all we all learn by our mistakes, everyone was a beginner once.
Having A herb Garden. Having recently ventured into the world of raised bed herb gardens, I was overwhelmed by the huge varieties out there. So, I had a good think, (and discussion with Hubby along the lines of, what will you cook with?) We came up with a few starter herbs that we use the most. Coriander, Oregano, Thyme and Rosemary. Of course, I couldn't resist popping in a few strawberry plants to trail over the sides. As a disabled gardener I needed a raised bed to make planting and upkeep easier for me but actually my husband prefers it too. He likes being able to nip out, snip what he needs quickly and chuck it in the cooking. No searching about for what he wants, its all there in one neat raised easily accessible bed. So my advice here really is to think about what you're going to use most regularly and where is the best place to keep them in regards to quick access while cooking and go from there.
Try not to stress about weeds and being super tidy in the garden. Wildlife will love your weeds. Bees will go barmy for your dandelions, a great source of early food for them right when they need it and lets face it yellow is such a vibrant spring colour. Obviously, you'll want to keep the weeds at bay but it's fine to relax a little and leave a few for the wildlife. What constitutes a weed anyway? If you like it, leave it, it's your garden after all.
As a beginner gardener sometimes, a little forward planning is a good idea. Deciding what sort of garden you want is key and what kind or gardener you are. Are you a veggie gardener? A flower person? Or, like me a bit of both? I do veer more towards flowers, colourful clashy flowers at that. If it makes me happy, in it goes. It can be hard knowing what you prefer until you've given it go and found out how much time you can dedicate to your garden. Planting a few easy, get on with it yourself plants is a good idea. Spring and summer bulbs are brilliant. Daffs, tulips, alliums, Sicilian honey garlic and muscari are some of my favs. Add a few plants that love just doing their own thing, like hardy geranium “rozanne” ceonuthus, evergreen clematis and you're on your way to a beautiful garden, learning as you go and growing with your garden. Perfect.
To me this is the only “must do” piece of advice you should follow. Take time to enjoy your garden! I know many a gardener who spend hours and hours in the garden yet hardly ever just sit out in their gardens. To me that's the point of it all. To sit back and admire your hard work is the best bit. I have several seating options in my garden from a big sofa bed type chair to a swing seat, my own cosy writing space chair and of course table and chairs for those social occasions. A garden is the most uplifting place to be, you can forget about your busy life or, in my case painful bits and bobs. Getting lost in your own thoughts without a care in the world is the best medicine known to man. So my advice? Go for it, do with it what you want but most of all, enjoy it.