Top tips to get into a life of gardening

We know many of our visitors are inspired to do more gardening themselves after visiting a garden but it can be difficult to know where to start. Young horticulturist Eleanor Owens has lots of ideas to get you started. Although Eleanor has gardening in her blood, here are her simple tips if you want to get into a life of gardening:

  1. Find your niche and choose a part of horticulture that looks interesting to you. E.g. you may choose to grow house plants/vegetables/cutting flowers/planting perennials.
  2. Don’t let lack of space hold you back. You can garden in containers/windowsills/hanging baskets/balconies.
  3. There are no mistakes in gardening. Don’t be scared about getting something ‘wrong’ as there is so much to learn and it will improve your knowledge.
  4. Ask for help. Consult family members who garden about their best tips and maybe ask to share their space? Everyone needs help weeding! They could also have spare tools that they may lend/give you to help you get started.
  5. Take on an allotment space with friends/family and grow what you like. I use half of mine as a ‘garden’ and plant it up with bee-friendly perennials. I also have a seating area there so that I can enjoy relaxing in my own outdoor space.
  6. Follow gardeners/allotment holders on social media to gain advice/information/ideas from them. Plus these posts are a great way to brighten up your feed.
  7. Composting will save you a lot of money and can reduce food waste. Compost bins are often given away for free so look out for them. A good mix of grass cuttings, vegetable trimmings, nettle leaves and annual weeds makes the perfect mix.
  8. Shop at local nurseries as they have excellent quality, healthy plants and you can often buy them for a lower price. It is also great to support independent, local businesses.
  9. Learn all about your own space including light levels/soil quality/moisture content and choose plants/vegetables that will thrive in those conditions.
  10. Always take time out to enjoy your own space and sit amongst the plants you’ve grown. It’s hard work but the rewards are so worth it.

You can find Eleanor on Instagram and Twitter at @eogardening or on her website.

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