Gardeners are a special kind of dreamer — they never take today too lightly and always create for the future. Diligent and hopeful, they teach us to feel the simple joy of a growing flower. Take up their advice, and plant a tree in your backyard. With the soil losing its snow, it’ll take a couple of months for your home to become green, serene, and lively. And if you think a piece of paradise is impossible to have, here are some tips to reassure you.
1. Start a Gardening Diary
Whether you’re making those first steps or looking to freshen up your garden, building a scrapbook seems like a fun and practical idea. Keep tabs on each of your plants and follow their growth through the different seasons. Even before you make an addition to the garden, get familiar with the plant’s unique variety by researching it online — that way, you’ll know exactly how big they’ll get in time and, accordingly, in which part of your garden to plant them.
Some of them, most perennials for instance, need to be around 18 inches apart in order to develop and grow freely. The same refers to height; to keep your garden tidy, make sure to plant the shorter sorts in front of tall ones, but also pay attention to the sun exposure and be careful not to block the natural light from the little ones.
2. Understand Your Surrounding
Speaking of sun exposure, bear in mind that your garden is unconditionally tied to its surrounding, which is why you should get to know everything about the specific properties of your region. This is another gardening secret that demands thorough research — climate conditions, aforementioned sun exposure, pollution and even noise are all things to consider. It’s probably a handy trick to ask a local garden center for advice on your limits and possibilities. With enough knowledge, it’s less likely that your efforts will be in vain.
3. Get to Know Your Soil
The surroundings are just one of the precursors to be cautious about. The chemical composition of your garden’s soil is an equally important requirement for your vegetation to blossom. You’ll need to get a reading of pH and nutrient levels, acidity and texture. Each of those elements affect not only a choice of plant varieties, but also their further growth and continuance.
Once again, you can consult with a local professional, or simply use some of the at-home testing kits available in gardening stores. A hard or clay-like soil might be more stubborn to farm. “It should be easily shoveled and crumble in your hands,” says Annette Gutierrez, owner of Potted in Los Angeles. “Add fresh soil, mulch, and compost, being careful to aerate as much and as deep an area as you can before planting.”
4. Upgrade Your Gardening Kit
If you haven’t already, upgrade your gardening tools. Spray your shovel with silicone to make the soil slip right off, use a Dutch hoe to control the weed and invest in high-quality gardening gloves. For tweaking, don’t forget about the secateurs and hedging shears. You may think not all of these are essential for your landscaping, but the truth is they’ve been designed handy and light to ease your work and compensate for your lack of experience or strength.
For the same reason, try not to settle for less — even though some of the gardening tools are pricey, they are easy to use and extremely durable, which definitely makes them worth a few extra bucks.
5. Dream Big; Start Small
To get experienced through practice, start your gardening season with vegetables. Most of them are low-maintenance, and the fact that they can be grown quickly allows you the freedom of making rookie mistakes. If feeling insecure about your gardening abilities, rest assured that even those least responsible can take care of lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and carrots.
In case a flower garden is what you had in mind, begin your flourishing journey with sunflowers, sweet peas, pansies, and marigolds — their seeds are easy to handle, they grow quickly and are usually adaptable to various types of soil and weather conditions.
6. Help It Grow
Even a simplest garden is a paradise for those bursting with imagination. With such freedom of improvising arts and crafts projects, and all the potential for testing your creativity, it’s not so hard to invest your time and labor into a more fruitful tomorrow. Experiment with some of these tips:
- Make your pots lighter — If your garden have grown into a pottery gallery, you know how hard managing heavy pots and planters may get. To keep it mobile and easy to lift, fill the pot one-third full of packing peanuts, separate it with a landscape fabric and top it off with a layer of potting soil.
- Isolate an intrusive sprout — To prevent aggressive plants from suffocating their neighbors and spreading on, use a plastic container to channel their roots. You can plant it deeper to even it out with the surface and stay invisible, but remember to make a hole at the bottom for roots to reach the soil beneath.
- Tuck in your bulbs — Use netting to keep the animals away from the flower bulbs; simply cover the bed of flowers with it and after some time, cut holes in it to allow plants to grow.
7. Pick a Landscaping Theme
Once your plants have grown, you can foster them into an intricate labyrinth for you to get lost in, a floral walkway that will welcome you home or a simple manicured lawn for your children to play on. If planting a garden means believing in tomorrow, than landscaping means making tomorrow more fun. Search for ideas online or find them in your heart — this is a perfect opportunity for expressing your inner beauty and creating the most paradise-like hideaway.
Plant lavender, rosemary, irises and fruit trees for a wine country garden or use your carefully tweaked boxwood hedges to devise a dreamy winding path. For a charming reading corner, let the clematis and jasmine climb a brick wall or create a romantic pergola framed with roses. With Blushing Bride hydrangeas and coral honeysuckles, your garden will turn into serene dreamland in no time.
8. Get Creative With Décor
With DIY art blooming all over the internet, simple and budget-friendly garden décor ideas are only a click away. These unique little projects will allow you to unwind and feel the joy of creating while making your backyard even lovelier. Refurbish an old wood pallet or a used-up ladder and turn it into a display case for your favorite pot flowers or spices.
If lucky enough to have your garden planted with taller trees, hang a hammock and decorate branches with Christmas lights. Instead of the not-so-original torches, reuse empty wine bottles to set a romantic mood. Play around with wind chimes and lanterns made from old buckets and mason jars and create a grapevine lighting balls.
Include your kids and make a bird feeder or turn a bigger lantern into a terrarium. Add an antique bench and you’re ready for a lazy afternoon in the outdoors.
9. Keep Nurturing
Especially if your garden hasn’t flourished yet, take a moment out of the each day to give your plants the care they deserve. Continual maintenance is important in the gentle art of gardening, so don’t forget to check on your sprouts even when there’s not much to be done around the place. Observe their growth and pay attention to the possible changes during the colder months.
Be generous when watering and do it as often as you can, if possible in the early morning before the day gets really hot — the main trick here is to allow the water to penetrate the soil! Look for stunted growth and if you find it, carefully examine the roots and help it sprout.
10. All You Need Is a Little Patience
If this is your first time gardening, getting a promised reward might be a little harder, but don’t get disappointed quickly. A garden needs time and nurture, and it might take a while until you perfect your skills. And if you think taking care of something so delicate is a great responsibility, we encourage you to experience it as a healing process — a day spent in the quiet, tucked in paradise of your own backyard will definitely be worth of occasional weeding and pruning.
Return to your gardening portfolio to keep track of your seasonal attainments and make notes on possible mistakes you’ve been making. In time, you’ll get experienced enough to spend less time tidying up and more time enjoying the results.
Start creating your own piece of heaven in early spring, when the sun is gentle and the soil fertile. Keep fertilizing all the way through summer, and wait for the August heat to abate to begin pruning. Just before the first frost turns your garden into a snow-land, remember to cut your roses and woody plants. Come next spring, your garden will be ready for you to relax and relish in.