‘Best chance of success’: Gardening expert shares an ‘easy’ tips to start a garden

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Gardeners have had much more opportunity to cultivate their personal green spaces over the last year. While few benefits have arisen from the nationwide lockdown, time has become a gift for those able to weather its financial toll. Anyone considering using the time to venture into their gardens will find many potential rewards. For beginner gardeners, starting off small is a good way to ease themselves into gardening, as well as making it easier for themselves.

Matthew Gyles, Head Gardener at Richmond Villages Aston-on-Trent, has shared “easy” tips to help others dig a bit deeper into the gardening world and how to do so successfully.

Starting off small is a good way to get into gardening.

Matthew explained how not much is needed to get started.

He explained: “If you’re looking to get into gardening, I would recommend starting small with growing plants from seeds. 

“Seeds are widely available, affordable and don’t require a lot of space, tools or equipment, and the results can also be edible which can be an added bonus. 

“A packet of seeds, a tray and compost are all that you need to get started.”

Matthew explained the best chances of growing a successful garden is to position plants in the right place.

He said: “Matching plants to conditions are, I think, a gardener’s best chance of success when choosing new planting or transplanting. 

“If a plant doesn’t do well in damp shade, then consider a different location in the garden for that plant, or vice versa. 

“I would highly recommend The Royal Horticultural Society website, which has a plant finder where descriptions of plants and their characteristics can be read.”

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Plant packets should also advise on where to position the plants.

He added: “Plant labels generally describe the conditions a plant is happy to grow in.”

It is also important to check the height and spread of a plant.

Matthew said: “It is easy to get carried away and over plant an area with new plants in small containers fresh from the retailer. 

“The plant label generally describes the height and spread a plant will typically reach when fully grown and how many months or years to reach maturity. 

“Over planting a bed can lead to the bed looking too full. 

“Larger plants will crowd out smaller plants which will diminish the variety of colour and texture on offer.”

Starting a garden has also proven to help those in their older age, particularly those suffering with dementia. 

Fran Vandelli, Dementia Lead at Richmond Villages has shared the benefits gardening has for those of an older age.

She explained: “Having access to a well maintained, safe outdoor space can help reduce feelings of anxiety or stress – both of which are commonly associated with the experience of living with dementia. 

“Sterling University’s dementia services development centre reminds us that older people may experience colours as ‘washed out’ and find blues, greens and purples harder to differentiate, so warm-coloured plants such as reds, oranges and yellows are more easily distinguished for people with visual impairments, meaning there are an abundance of not only physical, but also mental benefits to being surrounded by nature and the act of gardening.”

Gardening also provides good exercise for those of all ages.

Fran said: “As well as relieving stress, and improving the immune system, it’s absolutely a fantastic activity for all to get involved in.”

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