There are no two ways about it: gardens create happiness. Whether it’s for you, your kids, the birds or the bees, they are essential little pieces of magic that have the ability to make life better. Don’t ask us exactly how the magic works – it just does. And, with a smidge of planning, a dollop of patience, some basic plant knowledge and a few pouches of rich soil, both you and your collection of saplings, seedlings, young blossoms and shoots will be well on your way to conjuring up some of the most enchanting wizardry your backyard has ever seen. Ready to find out how in three easy steps? Let’s dig in.
#1: Don’t Branch Out Too Quickly
We get it. Gardening is fun. It’s rewarding. And don’t worry, everyone’s natural inclination or hope would be to be able to produce an instant, overnight garden that would put Gertrude Jekyll to shame. One word of advice: try not to get ahead of yourself. The most indispensable ingredient to any successful garden is time. To keep yourself from branching out too quickly, and ending up either overloaded with or underwhelmed by the results, it’s essential that you formulate a solid strategy.
#2: Plan First, Plant Later
Before laying so much as the thought of a seed in the ground, your garden project blueprint should be full-grown. Things you’ll need to consider include the area you live in, the current season, the future seasons, the quality of your soil, how much sun or shade your back or front yard harvests daily, and, of course, what type of plants you would like to see growing there. Do some online research, and jot everything down in a little notebook. It will be a great source of reference, and you can even use it later as a garden journal that tracks the progress of your gorgeously grown botanical delights. Top tip: start with easy plants first, progressing to more demanding species once you’ve built up your confidence.
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#3: Stand Your Ground
Before you get started, remember that no matter how well you may have researched, or how easy-to-care-for your garden may be, it’s going to be a continuous experiment. Things will go right. Things will go wrong. It’s all part of the process – and that’s okay. Take it in, observe and grow together with your garden. Don’t take any failures personally, stick with your plan while still learning how to be somewhat flexible, and you’ll be well on your way to becoming the most talked about horticulturalist in your hood. But wait, we’re not out of the woods just yet…there is one last thing you’ll need to master the art of gardening DIY – and that is patience.
#4: Keep Cool as a Cucumber
Mac Griswold, acclaimed author and landscape historian, once said “Gardening is the slowest of the performing arts” – and any seasoned gardener would agree. The final ingredient you’ll need to become a successful DIY gardener is to perfect patience. If you’ve got kids, we’ve got good news: you’re already halfway there. Tolerance, calmness and understanding is all your new garden will ask of you. If you can hold strong, the hours you’ve spent nurturing in quiet kindness will start to show. Your bulbs will bloom, new bursts of colour will fill the air, new shoots will burst up from the damp ground below, and you’ll have a fine collection of vibrant delights that will feed your soul, regardless of their edibility.
And with that, we have one final word of advice: Go forth and flourish, brave DIY gardener – you’ve got this covered!