We have just had the garden tidied up, lawn mown, weeding etc. I know absolutely nothing about gardens. There is a flower bed going down one side of the garden, and on the patio at the front of the garden. I am very keen to plant flowers and veg if possible but have no idea where to begin. The soil doesn't appear to be of very good quality. Could someone please guide me as to how to go about it or does anyone know any good websites/books for absolute beginner gardeners?
buy ready veg... garden centres are selling young plants of veg now... so you dont have to do from seed. Do runner beans from seed though cos they're so easy..... and sunflowers.... really cant go wrong, all instructions are on the packets. If you think your soil is poor, get some multipurpose or John Innes compost and dig into the soil, this will improove things... enjoy!
when i first started i bought a fantastic book called the first time gardener by pattie barron. it's fantastic and is still my bible. it explains real basics - eg what does perrenial mean, what is a tuber. and has really excellent guides on how to do all the basic tasks eg looking after the lawn, pruning. it's honestly all you'll need
Hi saadia, typical advice would be 'ammend the soil' - add grit to improve drainage, if this is an issue. Add well-rotted compost / manure to improve nutrients, add lime to break down clay (if applicable) etc.
In terms of planting, the pros would typically suggest you firstly conside the aspect of the bed, how much shade / sun it gets, and begin by considering structural elements to provide backbone to the planting.... this can be big (trees) medium (shrubs) or small (individual plant specimens)... then fill with stuff which compliments or contrasts in colour / form / season of interest. Aim for repetition and simplicity rather than stuffling 200 different species in, but above all do it for you and have fun.
Attemtp to consider what might suit the style of the house too.
Watch Gardener's World on Friday nights, and consider visiting some of the Royal Horticultural Soceity's flower shows (like Chelse / Hampton Court, but there are shows all over the UK) for inspiration.