Simple garden ideas

Gardening is a fun relaxing activity. Not only is it therapeutic, but a garden can contribute to your in home décor, provide fresh organic herbs and vegetables, or even both.
Contrary to what many believe, anyone can be a successful gardener, even young children. Just as with most endeavours you only have to follow a few simple rules, and a few simple garden ideas:

Do some research 

Your first step is to decide what you wish to grow; plants and shrubs, flowering plants, herbs and vegetables or various combinations. Do a little research on what grows best in your climate and in your soil type. Check the sun conditions in the area where you plan to place your garden. Does it get full sun, shade or partial sun? (This has a direct effect on the type of plants you can grow).

Start small

To most people a garden is a large area. When you are just starting out, smaller is better. Even if you have a lot of space, consider starting with container gardening. Container gardens make it easy to learn the basics of gardening by giving you an easily manageable area. Additionally, you don’t have to worry about your soil type as you can buy potting soil for your container.

Your container can be a collection of pots, or you can build a simple planting area by taking a flat piece of plywood and attaching boards to make a frame (be sure to drill a few small holes for drainage). Regardless of the type of container you use, cover the bottom with a layer or rocks. If you are planting vegetables, start really small. You may love tomatoes, but planting 20 plants will mean you will be overwhelmed with tomatoes in the late summer. Plant just enough for you and your family to eat with maybe a few leftover to freeze.

Go organic

Sure there are heaps of fertilisers and insecticides on the market, but part of gardening is getting involved with nature. You probably have a lot of natural fertilisers in your home like eggshells, coffee grounds, tea leaves, and apple peels. When you steam or boil vegetables pour the water (after it cools) over your plants instead of pouring it down the drain. Most garden shops also sell manure. Many plants are natural insecticides. Marigolds are excellent at repelling insects and can be mixed in with vegetables, herbs or other flowering plants.

Don’t limit you gardening to just one season

Gardening can be a year round activity. There are flowers, vegetables and herbs that flourish during different parts of the year. Even if you plan to garden just during the spring and summer months, plant so that you have plants that bloom during different times of the season. This will make your garden enjoyable for a longer amount of time. The same goes for vegetables.

Plant Perennials

Perennials come back year after year. Many people simply don’t want to have to start over every year. Perennials eliminate that problem, which is also less expensive. Additionally, if you decide to expand your garden, you can usually separate and transplant some of your plants to give the new area a jump start.

Water and weed your garden regularly

On the one hand, it will keep your plants healthy; the other will help your sanity. Plants need regular watering. If you wait until they “need” water, their growth will be uneven and you will end up with split vegetables and flowering plants that don’t achieve their full potential. You will also get weeds, so spend a few minutes each day pulling them. This makes weeding a fast and simple task, rather than a time-consuming chore.

Wear gloves

Gardening can be a little rough on your hands and gloves are better than using creams and lotions afterwards. However, many gardeners like the feel of the dirt and the plants. If you are one of those, run your nails across a bar of soap before you work on your garden. This makes getting the dirt from beneath your nails easy.

Try new things

If you have an established garden, consider planting something you have never tried before. Consider vegetables that you haven’t tried, or even more exotic flowering plants. Use your imagination.

Anyone that gardens will tell you that it is relaxing and enjoyable. Whether you use your garden as a conversation area, for fresh vegetables or both, you will find it to be a great escape from the pressures of a regular day. If you are a beginner, you’ll find that fellow gardeners and the workers at garden shops more than willing to help you get started.

Take a look at some more of our gardening advice