Planning is Everything
A trip to a nursery or garden centre is like being a child in a sweet shop for many people. Taking the ‘there are so many pretty colours, I need one of everything in my garden’ approach is all well and good, but you’ll find if you do, things will actually look cluttered and messy, not to mention that certain plants won’t thrive in the conditions you place them in. For example it’s no good putting sun loving flowers in a shady spot. To avoid making such errors you should plan in advance before heading out to buy your plants, it might not be as fun as the shopping spree approach, but that satisfaction will be outweighed by seeing you garden grow properly throughout the season.
Read and Learn
In order to plan effectively you first need knowledge, so before tackling any problem it pays to first do a little research. These days information is in absolute abundance, so whether you Google it, read it in a forum or in a library book, there’s virtually no excuse for not getting at least a little bit of background knowledge first. This should, fingers crossed, help you avoid too many costly errors!
Don’t Over Water
If you’re not experienced with the art of keeping flowers blooming throughout spring and summer the temptation to over water can be a pretty strong one, after all, at least by giving TOO much water the plants will be guaranteed to grow right? Wrong!
The fact is that it’s a lot easier to kill plants by over watering than under watering so always check to be sure that your plants actually need to be watered before doing so. The easiest way to check is to stick a willing finger into the soil around the plant, if it’s damp already then hang fire on watering until it’s dry again. Likewise if the leaves of the plant appear discoloured, or the soil appears mouldy, then it’s likely there is moisture present
Shop Around (Mostly in The Supermarket)
Garden centres are expensive, nurseries less so, but the real bargains for plants are to be found at the supermarket. When your confidence increases you’ll be more comfortable spending a bit more money on the more exotic stuff you can find at the garden centre
Don’t Expect Miracles
Just like with anything in life, comparing yourself and your achievements to others is largely a pointless exercise. By all means be inspired and learn from other’s gardening efforts but don’t measure your own success based on someone with far more experience. To begin with your goals should be small, try nurturing just one or two plants from start to finish throughout the whole season, or try growing something from seed (usually enough of a challenge in itself!), then think about expanding on your efforts next season. This is the approach of a truly wise gardener.