Anyone familiar with the comedian and tv star Miranda Hart? I watched a tv series she featured in with her Mother Dee, who is one of the top amateur gardeners in the UK. The series was named ‘All Gardens Great and Small’. As I watched the programme it struck a chord with me on a few different levels:
Firstly, the title is brilliant. It’s so inclusive and sums up what I as a gardener aim to do every day in my work. I believe all gardens are great and yes some are small, but so what!
Miranda’s mum Dee is one of the best amateur gardeners in the UK. She is 77 years of age and gardens up to 8 hours every day in her 2.5-acre garden which she has built up for over 30 years.
Why is this relevant to my gardening blog? I just love gardening, it’s my job, it’s what I trained for but I don’t just want to keep all that love to myself! I want to share my enthusiasm with you in whatever way I can. You can be like Dee Hart a 77-year-old or her daughter Miranda a 45-year-old who never gardened much in her life, whatever your age, whatever your skill level gardening is for you!
Gardening brings lots of benefits;
- It’s great exercise
- It’s a powerful tool to relieve stress and anxiety
- It has many social benefits
- It produces food
- It’s a great tool for educating children
- It produces fantastic displays through the beauty of trees and flowers.
There are many blogs out there that tell you when to sow this and when to prune that. What I want from my blog is to show the real essence of gardening and get you excited about gardening in a way that suits you, your lifestyle and your time.
So how can this be achieved?
To begin let’s look at vegetable gardening. Whatever size your plot, garden, window box, here are a few tips for getting started;
- For small areas use any containers you have for planting seeds direct into the soil or buying plugs which are seeds that have germinated already.
- If you have a spare wall a useful tip is to use a pipe used for the gutter and fit onto a wall. Drill drainage holes along the base, fill with compost and sow seeds of whatever you choose.
- Sowing produce like lettuce, rocket or strawberries is a great idea for the gutter pipes.
- Where more space is available making a bed out of new railway sleepers or indeed any spare bits of timber you have is a great way to contain the soil and grow lots of great fruit and vegetables.
I have recently discovered Charles Dowding who has written over 10 books on growing vegetables. He has pioneered the “No Dig” Method of gardening. I would recommend checking out his website. His “No Dig” approach to gardening saves time on digging and also saves a lot of weeding because fewer weeds grow in undisturbed soil.
Growing with your children – what a wonderful way for families to spend time together. It allows children to learn the origins of their food and teaches valuable lessons in looking after and caring for living things. As part of the services I offer I can create an outdoor classroom in your garden and make it a fully interactive lesson where your children explore the joys of sowing and planting. All materials are provided and I will travel to you. Contact Gardens4U for further details.
As I write this blog during Storm Emma and look out at the snow-covered gardens it’s hard to imagine getting out in the garden to do some work. However, trust me when the snow disappears as the temperature rises the daffodils will poke their heads up again and we will look forward to seeing new life appear daily in our surroundings and gardens. It is this new life that will once again energise us and excite us into getting out there and planning for the gardening year ahead.
I would encourage you to start small, focus on one flower bed, one container and go from there. Remember what I started with “All Gardens Great and Small.” I like to tell my clients “A garden is what you want it to be,” so decide what you want from your garden and make it happen! It won’t disappoint you!
Of course for jobs that require professional input Gardens4U can provide whatever service you require. We will fit and install your garden with passion and enthusiasm no matter how big or small the project!
And an additional tip for you is that the government have a scheme called the “Home Renovation Incentive.” It is a relief from income tax which you can claim as a tax credit for repairs, renovations and improvements to your home or rental property. The good news is that driveways and landscaping are classified as qualifying works under this scheme. This is particularly beneficial for larger home improvements.
I began by referring to the Channel 4 programme “All Gardens Great and Small,” and I would encourage you to watch the series for its gardening value but also because it’s lots of fun! Thank you for taking the time out to read my blog. Will be back soon with some more chats about gardening!
Yours in Gardening,
Noreen Mc Callion