First Time Gardening
Congratulations on becoming the custodian of your own garden space — or commiserations if you have reluctantly taken over a house or flat with a garden and you’re not yet a gardening fan. Gardening is an activity that has often been seen as something for the middle aged and elderly; something the young people in my family have always loathed by association with a grown-up activity, but there’s a thaw in the air. It seems to be connected with having your own living space and a small piece of land that you are totally responsible for.
I had my first taste of gardening at the age of about seven, when we visited my grandparents. My granddad grew a variety of vegetables and flowers in the back garden, and I always had the job of helping plant the runner beans and potatoes. It was magic, getting dirty, digging holes with a dibber and watering everything in sight. My parents became increasingly keen gardeners as they got older, although I don’t remember my older brother showing any interest at all. Nowadays, he’s the one with two allotments and bigger and better vegetables than ours. My other brother loathed the whole concept of spending time digging and, especially, weeding. Even he has mellowed a lot over the years, having seen how we can easily transform areas of land, sometimes creating from scratch. This is just as well, as he does most of the heavy work!
The benefits are immediate and numerous. Who doesn’t feel good about cutting some edges on a scraggy bit of lawn, or seeing flowers where there was only dead vegetation and litter? Even the least keen gardener has to admit to a sneaky feeling of self-satisfaction at this small transformation, and woe betide the neighbouring moggy who dares to investigate the newly turned soil, even if you are a cat lover by nature!
This site will take you through all you need to know about beginning to make a garden. With any luck, you’re already keen – and this hasn’t been foisted on you. If you belong to the latter group, I hope to offer you encouragement, time- and effort-saving suggestions. It doesn’t have to absorb a huge amount of your leisure time or finances, but that’s up to you. It can give you valuable thinking time, gentle exercise, a place to sit and veg out and a sense of enormous satisfaction and well-being. If you’re really concerned about your diet and lifestyle, gardening can give you added benefits: delicious, home-grown vegetables and fruit for little outlay, a feast of colour, fragrance and tactile experiences, plus a full-physical workout into the bargain.
So before you decide to pave the front garden, or deck the entire backyard, please read on. You might save a lot of money, effort; and time, and begin to see the environmental benefits available thanks to a modest input.