“The Best Gardening Advice” is not always what you’d think.
So what should those beginning a life of gardening think about and do? And why is it when people think garden advice, all they think about is how to grow plants? Gardens are considerably more than that. This series explores this and more.
I think we are all on different levels of development when it comes to learning anything, but sometimes we invest too much time into learning without doing. With anything, gardening included, people ask questions that should only be answered through discovery and exploration. New gardeners enter into gardening with great determination and tons of energy. And a way to expend that energy…
Doing anything well means just plain diving in and making things happen. It is the best advice I ever learned as a creative individual and it works for gardening too. Get those creative juices flowing, see what develops. Even mechanical activities of hard work wakes one up to ideas and inspiration.
But making things happen is much more than just growing the plants, but that is where most people start. There are lots of things to consider, like soil condition, plant varieties, maintenance, tool selection, site planning, and a host of other things. It all depends on how successful you want to be in the end.
Doing what you love is something all gardeners should do first and foremost. You don’t love the hard work? Well, let that to others, but what is most important is your ideas and where they take you.
Learning is important because all the fun and energy quickly vanishes when one is confronted with the ills of garden pest and disease. Another discouraging factor with newbies? They go big too fast. This is because they get swayed by images in books and magazines. Just remember, the garden in your head is not the one that will grow in your garden. Soil conditions see to that. Weather throws in a few wrenches. And pests, pester.
Too many rely on reading and not doing.
Doing is what teaches.
So much better to start small, be successful, then with your growing experience, add to the garden in subsequent years. Far better than coping with a large garden filled with pests, weeds and failing plants. Put your enthusiasm to better use.
Those pictures in books are great inspiration, but start with what is attainable for the experience you have. You stay encouraged by having success. You are not going to get gardens like shown in books for many years to come. Time is a factor in the growing garden, but also in the experience you gain.
We never had books…
In design or photography in college, all was learned by doing and interacting with others in our field.
There really is little to learn that cannot be learned in the garden, and learning is having those to learn from, those you can ask questions and those that help resolve. We look at that coming up.
Not talking about it, dreaming about, reading about, reminiscing over it, and to take an ad grab from Nike, “Just do it.”
So many people look for a short cut every step of the way. Often a shortcut is an impediment. Time is unavoidable, like I mentioned above.
In many ways, there is a risk in foregoing all the hands-on-discovery. Book learning only takes one so far in understanding. It is like looking to someone else to figure things out for you, but having no one to ask when things don’t make sense. That is why professionals are taught by doing and work with others in their field while learning. The knowledge becomes a part of one when learning by doing.
This post starts a series to show how important those friends can be. It gives advice you may not have heard or thought important previously, so stay tuned. It works up to those that have some experience and shows why they always can’t seem to put a finger on what a garden might need to be a real success. So how do you find the people to ask or even become one yourself?
Up next the tips on how you make friends and learn stuff that matters.