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.

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