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I'm clueless, can anyone tell me where to start?

(6 Posts)
treaclesoda Sat 15-Feb-14 11:05:11

I live in a modern housing development, you know the sort of thing, I've got a semi detached house with a rectangle of lawn at the front and a rectangle of lawn at the back. They're not huge, but they're not postage stamp sized either.

I've lived here for years and haven't a clue about gardening, but I want to learn, I want to make it look nice. Normally, my sprucing up amounts to putting some plants in a pot by the front door and leaving them there until they die

I'm not afraid of a bit of manual work, but I don't have a huge budget. Where do I start? What could I do?

CointreauVersial Sat 15-Feb-14 11:43:39

Get yourself a book. Something entitled "Gardening for Beginners" or similar !

As a simple start, dig yourself a little flower bed/border (mark out a shape, strip off the turf and dig through the soil), then go to a garden centre and pick up some trays of annuals (things like petunias, pansies and suchlike, which grow and bloom over the summer then die off). Just keep them watered, and you'll have a nice bright display. It is actually easier than a pot because it won't dry out so quickly.

Then you can start looking for a couple of shrubs, which will live year-round and are usually low maintenance, but read the labels and don't whatever you do buy anything too big, or anything that needs complex pruning. They look very sweet in a little pot at the garden centre, but you don't want a 20 foot monster in five year's time.

If your soil is thin and poor , (sometimes the case with modern developments) you might want to dig in some manure or fertiliser before you start.

Rhubarbgarden Sat 15-Feb-14 18:06:20

Alan Titchmarsh's 'How to be a Gardener' is a good starting point.

treaclesoda Sat 15-Feb-14 19:18:57

thank you! I ventured to the library today in hope of finding a guide for clueless people, but couldn't find much. Might have to try Amazon...

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sat 15-Feb-14 19:22:55

Lots of useful advice and information here

Why do you want to learn? what do you think you'll enjoy most? Write a list of everything you want to use the garden for. Eg nice sunny spot for morning tea, nice sunny spot for evening wine, discreet sunbathing spot (ha!), washing line, grow vegetables, have a beautiful rose bed, whatever.

Buy magazines and rip out pictures of things you like. Look at other people's gardens and really think about what you do and don't like.

Get hold of some nice easy seeds - sweet peas are excellent, grow lots have beautiful flowers and slugs don't like them - and follow the instructions.

It will kind of all come together.

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