1. Gardening for Beginners – Blog One

Welcome to my first blog aimed at beginner gardeners. Gardening is such a large subject it can seem overwhelming at first and I remember very well first learning about the subject and wondering how on earth I would manage to get my head round everything. There are so many aspects to gardening; Latin names, common names, fruit and vegetable growing, flowers, seasons, weather, bugs and trees - the list is endless.

My new gardening blog is aimed at people who are completely new to the subject and they would like to be become a novice gardener and maybe even grow some plants! This blog is aimed primarily at urban gardeners but obviously all the techniques work in the country too.

How do I start?

Well, the first thing you need to do is to buy a pair of secateurs. Secateurs are the main instrument for every gardener (a bit like a violinist with a violin) and you can't do any gardening without them. Having tried a whole host of secateurs, from cheap ones out of Christmas crackers to the best in show, I can honestly say that if your budget allows buy some Felco's.

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They will affect how much you enjoy gardening and they are available in different hand sizes and types. I recommend them because they are comfortable to use and you can buy spare blades. So ultimately they will end up costing you less in the long run.

So what do I do with my secateurs?!

Once armed with your secateurs it is time to get up close and personal with your plants and get out in the garden. The first thing you need to learn is how to prune. Pruning is basically like giving plants a fancy haircut.

Plants are like human beings and need to be kept nicely trimmed. A general rule of thumb is to prune in the summer and flowering trees and shrubs in the dormant season, which is late winter/early spring, and to prune spring flowering trees and shrubs soon after their flowers fade in late spring/early summer.

Here is an example of a shrub that needs a serious prune.

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So how do you know what to prune?

Basically the rule of thumb is to cut the dead stems and spent flowers from the plant. Don't allow the shrub to become out of control in its planter like the above as it won't be able to draw enough nutrients from the soil. Once the stems are dead, they are getting in the way of the healthy stems.

Next time where do I buy plants?

If you live in West London and would like a free consultation please get in touch on email.