It has been about one year since we moved into our single family house. It has been a blessing and we love all the extra space! The kids love having a private backyard with their own swing set. I love getting my hands dirty in the garden and planting beautiful flowers, shrubs, trees and more!
However, gardening does not come easy to me. In fact, I always thought I have a black thumb. Maybe I still do? But after gardening for one year, I have definitely learned some lessons along the way and I’m excited to share with you all some of my favorite lessons about being successful in the garden.
Whether you have never touched soil before or you’re just starting out getting your feet (hands?) wet with gardening, stick around and let me share with you the lessons I have learned!
Lessons I Learned from my First Year of Gardening
1. Pay attention to location! I used to think those tags attached to plants at the local nursery were simply suggestions! No, that’s not the case at all. I learned that lesson the hard way. We recently purchased and installed some coral bells. They were gorgeous with their big, beautiful red leaves.
However, they did not fare well at all. Within days, they started wilting and drooping. I know I was giving them enough water. This was the sad state of affairs.
Not pretty, right?! Well, after some more research, it seems that these plants really need part shade and they were planted in a location that has a lot of sun. We’re pretty sure that’s what caused them not to thrive. You live and you learn!
2. Plant in groups! I’ve read some basic gardening books to get an idea of what works and what doesn’t. One thing that’s for sure is that plants look better and the landscape looks well-designed when plants are installed in groups! Especially odd groups! So place 3 or 5 or 7 of the same plants next to each other. You will get a more interesting look and will give the plants a lot more substantiality.
3. Alternate different plants! Another design recommendation by the professionals is to place plants in a row and alternate between two varieties. That gives the landscape a very intentional look and create a beautiful visual interest.
4. Be ready to get tired! Planting and doing landscape work is not for the faint of heart. It definitely takes a lot of effort and will tire you out immensely. Maybe that’s because my husband and I tried to cram landscape work that should have taken days into hours! Regardless, if you’re doing anything more than planting a few small annuals, be prepared to sweat! Make sure you’re well-fed and well-hydrated before you begin.
5. Ask questions! Go to your local nursery or home improvement center and ask plenty of questions! Find out what grows best in your location, paying attention to the amount of sun (or shade) your desired spot receives. Ask about maintenance and which plants require more careful attention. Then decide whether you have the time to give those plants the attention they require. You might be able to tend to your garden every single day. Or you may be able to only think about it twice a week. Ask around to find which plants will suit you best!