Anyone can create a garden, it just takes a little forethought, imagination, and vision. Before you know it you’re on the road to creating a lovely garden. It’s best to begin by contemplating which kind of garden you’d like to construct. Some gardening ideas for beginners include a beautiful flower garden full of zinnias or cone flowers. Others desire a delicious vegetable garden that produces red juicy tomatoes and some zucchini, with some easy to grow herbs thrown in. Whatever path you choose, you will need to start with some basic ideas and tips to begin your journey. Remember, you will be learning a lot from both your mistakes and successes, so be kind to yourself and enjoy.
Location, Location, Location
Good to look at!!
They say in real estate location is key. Well, so it is true with gardening. I feel the joy of the garden should be appreciated each and every day you are in your home from the room in which you most relax. Your garden is best located in clear sight of perhaps your kitchen or family room. Take a good look at your yard from the inside looking out and decide which area has the best vantage point.
If your home has a lovely patio outside the back door, think about locating it on the side of the patio for everyone to not only visually enjoy but also stimulate olfactory senses. While you relax after a day of gardening you’ll be able to embrace all the fruits of your labor.
Many homes have comfortable decks in which to relax and if this is the case for you, you may want to consider creating a free-standing garden on your deck. You may also ponder the use of containers as a beautiful garden. There are so many lovely pots and stands you can purchase these days. You could even forage around your garage or basement for objects that could be reused as containers, just remember to drill drainage holes in the bottom before adding the soil.
One other aspect of gardening beginners need to consider is the wind. It may not seem like such a big deal, but it really is. If you decide you want tall beautiful hollyhocks or gigantic happy sunflowers you do not want the wind blowing them down. That will also create more work for you because you will have to stake them and that will take away from it’s natural beauty.
Also, the wind dries out your garden much faster. In the northern hemisphere we get the prevailing westerly winds, which means the winds originate in the west and flow to the east. The opposite is found in the southern hemisphere. In order to control the wind, notice where you want to develop your garden and see if the winds are blocked by some structure, maybe your house or a shed. If there is no barrier to redirect the wind, you may have to plant some evergreen shrubs or trees to use as an obstacle.
Flat is best!!
One other gardening idea for the beginner when considering location is to decide if you would like a flat garden, tiered garden, or elevated garden. The contour of your property will determine this for you but as a beginner I suggest you do not get into any hardscaping (the use of stone, bricks, wood materials) to create tiers. Try to choose a flat area.
Follow the Sun – It’s Time to Shine
Not all yards are created equal. As a beginner gardener, you have to develop observation skills. Many plants are sun lovers so you must note where the sun shines in your yard and for how long. After you have thought of a spot for your garden, take a notepad and jot down when the sun begins to shine on the plot of land. Then record when it leaves the area.
Remember the sun rises in the east, travels through the south and sets in the west. Depending on the type of plant you would like to grow, that will determine how much direct sunlight the plant should receive.
Sun Exposure For Plants
full sun – at least 6 hours direct sunligh
part sun – 3 to 6 hours direct sunlight
part shade – 3 to 6 hours direct sunlight, HOWEVER, it cannot have sun during mid day (must have some shade then)
full shade – less than 3 hours of direct sunlight
After you have learned the pattern of the sun, then you can decide which type of plants can be planted in your new garden.
Rain, Rain Everywhere
It would be wonderful if it rained only at night while we were sleeping and dumped one inch of rain a week onto your garden! However, that’s not life. So when you decide to start a garden, remember it will be much easier if your water source is close to the garden.
Most homes have back yard and front yard faucets so it will be very easy to connect a hose to the spigot and use that for direct watering. You do not want to have to drag buckets of water to your garden. Believe me that gets old after a while especially when you come into a drought in the middle of summer! Been there, done that, don’t you do that!
Types of Sprinklers
There are many types of sprinklers to choose from these days from impact sprinklers to oscillating sprinklers to traveling sprinklers to pop-ups to raised sprinklers. We’ll discuss that in another blog so stay tuned.
So once again, observe where your water source originates.
Start Small-Less is Best
OK, so you’ve finished reading this blog, you’ve decided where to plant your beautiful garden and you’re so excited to begin. One of the things many beginner gardeners do is “bite off more than they can chew”! In other words, a small, lush, healthy garden is so much more pleasing than a large, straggly, fractured, blotched piece of real estate. Also, gardening for the beginner is a learning experience. You’ll learn more by choosing only a few plants a season and really have them flourish than if you decided to plant an overabundance of them. That’s too much to learn at one time, so again, less IS best.
Gardening Ideas For the Beginner
I KNOW you can create the garden of your dreams. It may not happen the first time or the next, but if you follow these basic ideas for the beginner you’ll be on the road to success.
“The biggest favor you can do for yourself is to work hard today so you can reap its benefits tomorrow, so what are you waiting for, just start!”
Leave a comment and let me know what you think!