For someone who has not had to care for a garden before it can be confusing in knowing where to begin so hopefully these ten tips will provide some useful information to point them in the right direction. One of the most useful pieces of advice is to start small since it is all too easy to make over ambitious plans and then become overwhelmed. These ten tips are contained in an article by Laura Gaskill which I found on the Houzz website.
The rewards of gardening are great ? fresh air, exercise, beauty and relaxation, to name a few. But designing and planting your very first garden can feel like an overwhelming task. Luckily, gardens are surprisingly forgiving creations, and the best way to learn is by simply diving in. Here are 10 tips to help get a new garden off on the right foot.1. Get to know your site. Take your time to get familiar with your property before beginning a new garden. Here are a few things you may like to try while you?re getting to know your landscape:
- Take a leisurely stroll around your property with a notebook and make a rough sketch of the existing planting areas.
- Add notes to your garden ?map? about which areas get the most sun and which are shaded.
- A simple soil test from your local garden center will tell you whether your soil is well-balanced in nutrients and pH.
- If you?re thinking of growing edibles (vegetables, fruit or herbs), it?s a good idea to have your soil tested for lead. Most at-home kits aren?t reliable indicators of lead in the soil, but you can send your soil samples to the Lead Safe America Foundation for a free lead test. If you find that your soil has an unsafe level of lead, you can still grow edibles in raised beds or pots with new soil.
- List which existing plants and features (such as fences or paths) you?d like to keep and which need to be replaced or removed.
- Spend time just hanging out in your garden. Let yourself daydream and see if any creative ideas present themselves.2. Determine your style and goals. Gather a few images that inspire you and look for a theme. Are you drawn to lush flower-filled gardens or more crisply defined modern outdoor spaces? It helps to pair a few words with the pictures you?ve chosen, so try to come up with something that evokes the sort of garden you want, even if it?s not an ?official? style term.
For instance, maybe you?ll decide your style is Industrial Zen or Playful Modern or Simplified Cottage. While you?re figuring this out, it helps to keep a photo of the exterior of your home at hand ? whatever style you choose should be able to work well with the architectural style of your home as well as your personal preferences.
Once you?ve named your style, take a moment to jot down the activities and features you imagine enjoying in your landscape. If you have children, you may need a lot of open space for running around. Or perhaps you dream of relaxing in the middle of a big wildflower meadow ? whatever it is, write it down.