Three Great Reasons to Buy a Plant This Weekend
(and Mothers Day isn't one of them)
Are you a gardener yet?
Note the key word ‘yet’! Gardening can be associated with those of a ‘certain age’. I’m obviously an exception to that rule and I wish all ‘younger’ folk were as keen on gardening as I am as it brings numerous benefits to your life.
A quick search of the definition ‘Gardener’ and we learn that there is no reference to skill but OED simply goes with ‘a person who tends to a garden’ (more or less). So excuses out the way, lets look at the best three reasons you should embrace gardening sooner rather than later:
1) Get in shape
The old adage - ‘Why pay expensive gym membership…etc etc’ - a cliche perhaps but quite true. Between digging, mowing, hedge trimming or even just pruning - you’re not sat on the sofa and it’s amazing how many hours you can while away. Seen any fat gardeners lately?
2) Mental health benefits
This one is a biggie given the continuous increase in reported cases of anxiety and depression. There is extensive research that emphatically PROVES gardening is good for the mind. And, on a personal level, I can confirm that I ALWAYS feel better after spending time in the garden.
3) Great for life skills
A true gardener knows many things about plants but before they learnt all those things they probably accepted several failed plants. You realise sooner or later that some failure is inevitable and you get over it.
So why not give it a go?
WHERE TO START:
1) Pick a plant that you like the look of
Perhaps a rose? These come in plenty of colours and are generally happy in most conditions provided you give them some compost or manure. Otherwise, give yourself half a chance of picking a plant that will like your garden too - the doctrine of the brilliant Beth Chatto...
‘Right Plant, Right Place’ meaning give your plant conditions it will like (sun versus shade for example).
If you need more help with this, then ask the nice people at your local nursery or you’re very welcome to drop me an email and I’ll point you in the right direction.
2) Buy some compost to help it along a little at the beginning
Put a bit of compost below where the plant will go to encourage the roots to reach down then mix in some compost with your existing soil to backfill around the plant. Around 50% existing soil with 50% compost should do the trick.
3) Water it in and keep and eye on it
This means a good drench of water at the beginning and regular watering for the first year of it’s life. If you’re in doubt then poke your finger in the soil around it, if that’s dry then your plant probably wants some water.Remember - Plants want to live! So unless you totally forget about it, you’ll probably be fine.
Designer tip -Buy at least two plants, but preferably more depending on size, of the same variety - trust me on this - get the first steps right and you’ll end up with a much more professional looking garden down the line. Avoid a garden of ‘onesies’ and always plant in groups (unless buying a tree which is the exception that makes the rule)