Time for new gardening beginnings
Recently our 130-year-old local country school started a vegetable garden.
The current group of 20 or so children have delighted in preparing the ground for their seeds.
They are now planning a picking flower garden to complement it.
In their garden shed are egg cartons filled with soil and sprouting seeds of poppy, sunflower, sweet pea and marigold.
In the vegetable garden, potatoes and peas have emerged during the holidays, and everyone is hoping for some sun to help them grow.
If you are making a start in gardening, take heart from garden writer David Stevens’ approach.
Stevens recommends beginning by making a list of your requirements of your garden space.
He then suggests looking at the space with a critical eye.
Remember, in a living environment, the landscape is an everchanging one, so think ahead when planning.
When you stop thinking of your garden area as an alien environment, says Stevens, you will start to realise its hidden potential.
A central theme can draw a garden together in shape, form or colour.
An eclectic approach is arguably the most common one.
When we see an attractive plant for sale, many of us think we must have it.
If we are guided by surrounding ourselves with plants we admire, the garden will be the better for it.
Making a beginning is easy, but maintaining a garden is often more of an effort.
So consider how much time you want to spend keeping a garden useful and attractive. Begin slowly – better to have fewer spaces maintained well than an overwhelming amount requiring upkeep.
But spring is a time for beginnings, and while autumn is really the best time to start a new garden bed, now is a fine time to begin.
A new garden bed can be shaped with a hose, the line sprinkled with flour to show where to dig and then bordered with rocks or boards or a spade-defined edge before plants or seeds are put there.
If you are beginning anything new in the garden, wonder and enthusiasm may be the most valuable garden tools you will have.
Spring time: Soft spring colours complement each other in this relatively new garden.