Not everyone was born with a green thumb but that doesn’t mean you can’t grow one. If you’ve always had an interest in gardening and were unsure where to start then this is the guide you need. We spoke with experts about the benefits of gardening and how to get started.
What are some benefits to gardening?
Good for your health
Rebecca Searles has treasured the experience of gardening since she was a child and now loves sharing the same garden joy with her kids. She founded Family Garden Life to help other mums bring their family closer to nature and shared with us her favourite benefits to gardening:
“Getting out into the garden, particularly after a long day, has been proved to reduce stress and anxiety. It also keeps you active, increasing your fitness, and helps to prevent heart disease, diabetes, obesity and other lifestyle-related diseases. It can also help with your strength and mobility, and most definitely improves your mood. Plus, being out and about in the garden does wonders for your Vitamin D levels. And finally, who wouldn’t want some beautiful flowers or delectable fresh veggies right at their fingertips?”
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Builds a community
Another benefit to starting your own garden is the chance to interact with like-minded individuals and be a bigger part of your community. Helen Andrew faced a gardening crisis when she realised how much fantastic fresh produce was going to waste. So she started Spare Harvest, a free online community connecting gardeners, farmers, families and even businesses to share their excess.
“Connect with another gardener in your area, have a conversation and learn from them. Spare Harvest connects you with local gardeners who are sharing various garden resources. With a mission to waste less and share more, Spare Harvest is a great way to find what you need for your garden. Find spare plants, seedlings, compost, pots and various other garden items that could be sitting in another garden waiting to be used. Not only will you meet a local and find what you need, you will save some money and reduce waste.”
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What are some must-have items?
The bare necessities
Here’s all the essentials that Rebecca recommends to get you started:
“If you’re going to be out in the garden a lot, you’re going to need some good quality garden tools, solid gardening gloves, garden string or twine and possibly some bamboo canes if you’re planning to plant some fruit or vegetables that need support.
It’s also handy to have a wheelbarrow on hand if you need to move heavy loads of soil, mulch or plants. If not, wheelbarrows make a wonderful planter bed. Of course, pick yourself up some pruners so you can tend to your plants easily and make sure you have a solid hose. Some gardening boots won’t go astray either.”
Take a look in MyDeal home and garden for all these tools and more.
A shed to stay organised
With all these tools you’re going to need a place to put them. Keep your garden from becoming a cluttered mess with an organised shed. They’re not always the most beautiful features, often in stark woods or steel. Take this as an opportunity to get creative and design an eye-catching shed. You could paint it bold colours, plant a garden bed around the edges and put in a simple path to the shed door so it looks more like a little garden home than a basic storage space.
A garden retreat
As mentioned before, a major benefit to gardening is the chance to be outside. But toiling away all day is going to get tiring. You may like to design a relaxing garden retreat to take a break and enjoy your garden rather than feeling like it’s too much hard work. Find an outdoor table setting or classic wooden bench in MyDeal outdoor furniture for your perfect garden retreat.
What are the best plants for beginners?
When you’re just starting out it’s easy to pick a plant because you think it will look the best without realising it’s not going to be the easiest to grow. We asked the experts for tips on the best plants for beginners and here’s what they had to say.
The experts from Jack’s Trees have over 25 years experience around Melbourne planning gardens, pruning trees and maintaining hedges. The say that native plants are a perfect place to start your garden journey:
“Native plants are great plants for beginners. Because they've been adapting to the local environment for thousands of years, native plants can thrive even when their new carers forget about them for stretches of time. Resilient to sun, weather, climate, native plants are sturdy. This makes them great plants for new gardeners.
Australia has some very unique and beautiful native plants. Not only are they more resilient to our climate conditions (including droughts and dry spells), they are great talking pieces -- their rarity and beauty make them striking additions to homes and gardens. They also attract native bees, helping biodiversity and encouraging birds, butterflies and lizards to your garden.”
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Plus Rebecca gave us her top 3 plants for beginners:
"- Hydrangeas – not only are they beautiful but they pretty much grow and flourish in most environments. They’re also easy to grow and - come in different local varieties.
- Mint – it practically grows itself. It enjoys both the sun and the shade so it doesn’t really matter where you put it, just make sure you plant it in a pot as it spreads and can take over your garden.
- Succulents – some are virtually indestructible and they’re not demanding which is a great plant for tough growing areas. After all, they thrive in the desert, don’t they?”
Anyone can learn to garden, even if they don’t get the hang of it straight away. Give yourself a head start with some expert advice and you’ll have plants flourishing in no time.