So You Want to Grow a Garden?

Mother’s Day is right around the corner, so I thought I’d pay homage to my own mother (Muz) with this gardening inspired piece. For as long as I can remember Muz has been growing a garden that puts HGTV to shame. From gigantic Hostas, to delicate Bleeding Hearts, Muz’s garden was colourful, meticulously planned and awe inspiring. I will admit, that I took this talent for granted while I lived at home. For many years, I begged Muz to let me pick the most beautiful flowers meant for full shade areas not understanding that full shade really did mean full shade which was something that our yard was not. I’ve got a home of my own now and I have never been more terrible at anything as I am at growing my own garden. In light of recent events (aka killing every plant I ever touch), I’ve created this beginner’s guide to gardening.

1. Before you start, don’t get ahead of yourself

Growing a beautiful garden is time consuming and can be pretty expensive. Before you dive in head first, think about your realistic expectations. How much time can you commit to your garden? What is your garden budget? You might want to start with a small patch with a few plants or even a potted garden in a place that you see daily (so you don’t forget to water it)

2. Evaluate the space you’ve chosen for your garden

Access to water and amount of exposure to the sun will dictate what plants you should be planting. If your garden will be getting full sun 8 or more hours of the day, do yourself a favour and avoid the enchanting colours of Amethyst Flowers or Begonias. You’re better off to stick with Shasta Daisies or Lavender which flourish in full sun environments.

3. Choose your plants

Once you know what type of plants will work for your space, hit your local nursery and grab a few items that speak to you. Be sure to check the requirements for each plant; some might need more space to grow or more frequent watering than others. If you’re unsure what plants will work best for you, speak to the staff at the nursery for some guidance.

4. Design!

Most gardens consist of a mixture of different plants including annuals (these die at the end of the season and do not regrow the following year), perennials (these return year after year and live for 2 or more years), shrubs and trees. While there are no hard and fast rules to garden design, you may want to stick with a certain colour scheme or plant family to create a cohesive and inviting look.

5. Get equipped

If you’re just venturing into the world of gardening, you’ll need to make sure you equip yourself with a few tools. Hand tools like spades, shovels and rakes are a good enough start but as your garden grows, you may want to invest in pruning shears, full sized rakes and shovels. Don’t forget some gardening gloves to protect your perfectly manicured hands. And unless you’re in the Mojave Desert, work a hose and a spraying attachment as well as a watering can into your budget.

Do you have a favourite plant or a gardening tip to share? Comment below and let me know!