Since lockdown restrictions began, gardening has seen a huge rise in popularity. In the last year or so, lots of people have pulled on their gardening gloves for the first time and discovered the joy of growing their own plants. However, for total beginners, the idea of starting from scratch can feel daunting. Never fear! For today’s article, we’ve been lucky enough to speak with Alexandra from The Middle-Sized Garden blog and YouTube channel. Keep reading to discover her expert advice and gardening tips for beginners.
Benefits of Gardening
Lifeline24: What are the biggest benefits of gardening in your experience?
The Middle-Sized Garden: As well as the health benefits of spending time outdoors, gardening can be sociable. You can join local or online garden clubs, visit other gardens, and share tips with other garden lovers.
Gardening During Lockdown
Lifeline24: Sales of seeds and compost boomed during lockdown. Why do you think so many people are taking up gardening during the pandemic?
The Middle-Sized Garden: I think that growing plants, especially vegetables and fruit, helped people feel that they could help themselves. The worldwide lockdown created severe supply chain problems and we are all much more aware of how important it is to shop and eat locally grown or locally made produce. And, of course, that is more environmentally friendly too.
Essential Gardening Tips
Lifeline24: What is one thing you’ve learned that you think every gardener should know?
The Middle-Sized Garden: That you learn by making mistakes, so don’t be afraid of ‘doing something wrong’.
Must-Have Gardening Tools
Lifeline24: What gardening tool or tools could you never go without?
The Middle-Sized Garden: A hand fork, hand trowel, secateurs, and a spade. You can do almost anything in your garden with those four, although other gardening tools can be very useful too.
What Not to Do
Lifeline24: What do you think is the biggest gardening mistake that most beginners make?
The Middle-Sized Garden: Forgetting (or not believing) the importance of ‘right plant, right place’. If you buy a plant, it’s vitally important to know whether it needs sun or shade and also to take into account how much water the plant needs. And you should also know whether you have acidic soil and can grow rhododendrons or camellias or not. Plants usually grow very easily when they’re in the right place in the garden, but struggle to survive if the conditions are wrong.
Where to Start
Lifeline24: What do you think is the best plant for beginner gardeners to grow?
The Middle-Sized Garden: There is no one ‘best plant’ because so much depends on your climate, whether you’re planting in the sunny or shady part of your garden, and what your soil is like. But shrubs are generally the easiest to grow and look after. A shrub is a plant with a woody stem that remains above the ground all year round. Some shrubs are evergreen, like box, and others lose their leaves in winter but often turn a beautiful colour in autumn.
More Gardening Tips
We hope you’ve enjoyed these gardening tips from Alexandra of the Middle-Sized Garden blog and YouTube channel. For more information, check out the gardening category here on the Lifeline24 blog. Alternatively, read our top 15 hobbies for older people.
Lifeline Alarms for Elderly Gardeners
Did you know that our life-saving personal alarms can protect you in the garden too? We offer a range of personal alarms for the elderly which help to keep thousands of people safe and independent at home. Our standard MyAmie pendant has an impressive range of 100 metres from the alarm base unit. The average UK garden is around 15 metres long, so you can rest assured that you are protected throughout your entire home, garden, and driveway.
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