Who wouldn’t love to have a lush and evergreen garden, laden with flowers and vegetables? Sounds dreamy right? While it’s easy to dream and hope that you can start a garden and it will grow on its own, the reality is that beautiful gardens require maintenance and a set of green thumbs that not all of us are blessed with. You can still get started slowly, and start to care for a small patch at a time until you’ve developed the skills to make everything grow and thrive. I know you’re thinking that it’s too cold to think about starting a garden, there are ways to care for your plants and keep them alive at home when the winter and you can even do an indoor garden. Here are a few tips to help you level up your gardening game once and for all.
Beginner plants: Herbs and leafy greens
If you have never planted a seed in your life, it’s better to start off with something that won’t die on you straight away. Plants can be fickle creatures and it’s not always easy to tell if they’re looking sluggish because they need water, because they’re too warm, or because you gave them too much water – or maybe because they’re not getting enough sun. Until you’ve developed the gardening skills to read your plants and understand their needs, it’s better to start with something that seemingly takes over your garden patch in just a few nights. Herbs, for example, and leafy greens and a great starter kit, first of all, you’ll be able to eat them, which is a plus for me!
Start with mint, and let this fresh herb become the building block of your gardening patch. Mint is known for repelling insects and should work as a natural insect repellent when you get more plants. Let the mint spread its leaves throughout your garden and you may not have to deal with all of those nasty little bugs crawling all over your food. Parsley is also a great addition to your garden, you can use it in almost every dish imaginable. As long as it has a nice semi-sunny spot and you provide it with sufficient water once a day on the warmest days, you’ll have a beautiful herb you can continue to grow and enjoy.
It’s important to start out with something easy so that the sad sight of drooping plants and dropping heads won’t put you off from continuing to expand your garden. Have a look at this article if you need some tips on growing leafy greens, by the way, and consider planting it nearby your mint to keep those insects at bay.
Attracting bees: Lavender and lilac
When you want to enjoy a truly lush garden filled with flowers and the sound of buzzing bees, you need to give them what they want in order for them to come to your garden; plants with delicious and juicy nectar. Some plants tend to send off a stronger perfume than others and these are often the ones that will attract nectar bees.
Lavender is a great plant to start out with as it’s not that difficult to grow. It may not be as easy as mint and parsley but, then again, you can also use lavender in your food or use it for brewing a tea. Plant your lavender in a sunny spot with well-drained soil and remember to water the plant thoroughly. Give it water infrequently, once or twice a week, but give it quite a lot when you do water the plant. When you manage to care for your lavender plant, it will reward you with a perfume and lots of small little bees that have arrived to enjoy its nectar.
Lilac plants should also get a lot of sun, and it will prefer to stand in well-drained soil just like your lavender plant. Let them live next to each other, for example, but remember to not over-fertilize them at this will keep the lilacs from blooming.
Enjoying the garden: Get some furniture out there
Gardens are meant to be enjoyed by those who care for it, so you will need some garden furniture, maybe even get in touch with some patio builders if you’ve been renovating your garden completely. It does make a big difference when you’re able to sit in a shady spot and watch your plants grow while you drink a glass or bottle of wine.
Try to think about how the sun moves over your garden during the day and choose a spot that is semi-shady during the afternoon and which received full sun in the morning so that you can enjoy your morning coffee in the sun. Remember to maintain your garden furniture and store it away when the winter comes to avoid seeing it deteriorate by the time spring rolls back around.
Care for your plants during the winter
Finally, it’s a good idea to find ways to keep your plants alive during the winter as well as the summer, especially if you’re not just growing crops that give produce once a season before they die off. Your lavender and lilac plants, for example, will enjoy some care during the winter and you might want to cover them up or even plant them in a pot which you can move to a sunny spot inside when the cold front sets in.
Plants that are loved and cared for during the summer might be able to make it through the winter without dying but they’ll have a hard time bouncing back if they aren’t cared for properly. They may need an entire summer just to build their strength back up and it’s not guaranteed that they will make it through another winter. Show them some love when the cold sets in, invite them inside, and they’ll hang around to grow much bigger and make your garden so much prettier when the summer is back.
Living in a condo, I’m kinda jealous of people with yards, who can start major gardens. But a little indoor garden with herbs will do for now.