Last year, I moved into my first flat that had a garden. After getting a gardener to tame the bush that the garden was, I wasn’t really sure how to proceed next. I definitely did not have the budget to get a landscaper. So all I did last year was to plant a strawberry and a french lavender plant. This summer I was determined to improve my gardening skills. So here are 5 things I learnt about gardening from this year’s planting season:
1 – Cheap flower pots can add beauty to any garden
Whilst I love my flat, I’m not sure I want to live here forever. Whenever I am able to, I would love to move to a house with a garden and not remain in a flat. So with this knowledge in mind, I felt that it would not be worth the effort planting plants into the soil in my garden that I could not take away with me whenever I leave. Plus as I live in a rented flat, there’s nothing stopping the landlord in requesting possession of the flat back for any reason. If that ever happened, all my gardening efforts would be wasted.
I went on Amazon to look for flower pots and OMG were they expensive. I added a few to my shopping basket with a view to purchasing a couple later. Luckily for me, later on that day, whilst walking past the Pound Shop on my local high street, I saw they had some flower pot. I went in and was amazed at the quality of the pots that I did not hesitate to buy a couple. I transplanted my strawberry and french lavender plants and the gooseberry and raspberry twigs I got from the Pound Shop.
2 – You need to puncture a couple of holes in the bottom of your flower pot
Before purchasing my flower pots in the Pound Shop, I read reviews on Amazon on different flower pots. Some of the reviewers talked about having or not having holes at the bottom of the flower pots. One reviewer said that not having holes meant water at the bottom of the pot could serve as a reservoir. That made logical sense to me, so I didn’t even check how easy it was or not to puncture holes in my new flower pot.
As I live in the UK, you know that we can’t go very long without it raining. The morning after it rained the night before, my flower pots were filled to the brim with water. Just one look at it and I understood why it was important to have holes at the bottom of your flower pot. Without wasting much time, I went to get my screwdriver and hammer to do just that. Then I noticed that the flower pot already had spots marked just for that, so it was pretty easy puncturing the hole. The next time it rained, my flower pot no longer retained as much water as it did when there were no holes.
3 – A heat wave is a true test of your gardening skills
To be honest, as I hadn’t done any gardening in like forever, I totally forgot how much work and dedication gardening requires. Plus, as my two plants were planted into the soil directly last year, I didn’t need to pay my garden much attention. I just needed to remember to water them every couple of days.
Summer 2018 was great, we even had a good few weeks of real heat and no rain woot-woot.
After a couple of days of not paying attention to my garden, I looked out my bedroom window and realised that my new and old strawberry plants were dead and my french lavender plant was dead. Even my funky looking aloe plant that’s not an aloe vera plant died. That’s when I decided I wasn’t going to be a garden killer. From that moment, I decided that I was going to water my garden at least once a day every day.
4 – Dedication is its own rewards
After a couple of days of watering my plants every day, things started reviving. My aloe plant (that’s not aloe vera) had colour returning to it. My strawberry plant from last year came back to life but the new one didn’t. My citrus plant started growing new leaves. I was even pleasantly surprised that my yam had sprouted leaves too. Sadly, my french lavender didn’t make it. I was motivated to buy more plants including a real aloe vera plant.
5 – Some plants are more equal than others
I did notice even though I hadn’t paid much attention to my garden at the start of the heat wave, my pepper plant continued to thrive. It made me realise that truly, some plants are more sturdy than others. Where my strawberry died within 2 days of not being watered, the pepper plant looked like it was getting more than its fair share of water.
6 – A source of relaxation
As my garden started thriving, I found myself going into my garden even more. Whenever I need a moment to clear my head, my legs, unbidden, make their way into the garden. There’s something so relaxing about being in the quiet of garden watching the bees and butterflies go about their business
7 – It gives your child a sense of responsibility
As any parent would do, I told my 3yo that it is her responsibility to water the garden every day. Obviously, she doesn’t remember to do so every day but when I remind her, she gets so excited about having a job. I think as she gets older, she would get even more dedicated to it, especially as she loves our strawberry plant.
Note to self: Purchase more strawberry plants next year!
I know I said this post is about 5 things you need to know about gardening but seriously, who’s counting?!
In the meantime, here’s my garden menace
There’s this squirrel that’s an absolute menace and loves hampering my gardening. The silly squirrel even has its’ own posse and is the gang leader of garden vermin, sigghhhh.
Anyhoos, if you have any other tips for gardening that I can learn from, please leave a comment below 😀