Spending more time in the garden can give you the excercise you need, fill your lungs with fresh air and give you a relaxing break from all your stresses and worries. Even the smallest of gardens can keep you occupied… tending to colourful blooms, planting & growing fruit and vegetables, or even a bit of both!
All Creatures Great and Small…
Your garden is by no means an exclusive domain for you or your family. The average garden holds over 2,000 different species of insect! Then there are the birds, squirrels, hedgehogs, bats and urban foxes to think about. You are quite likely to have cats that consider your garden their territory, even if you don’t have one yourself.
To a degree, you can control which creatures you see in your garden. For example, if you’re keen on promoting bumble bees, then plant single flowers, as most double flowers are too elaborate for bees to use. Flowers like single dahlias and buddleja Purple flowers are great for bees because they can see purple better than any other colour – plants like lavender, catmint and allium. Tubular shaped flowers like honeysuckle, penstemons, foxgloves, and snapdragons are fantastic too.
You can help birds and bats with the inclusion of nesting boxes specifically designed for certain species – just be careful to mount them away from attacks from cats and other wild animals.
Fresh and Tasty…
Your garden can be more than just something pleasing to the eye. With a little patience and dedication, it can bring food to your table too. Anything from water cress to artichokes can be grown in your own back garden, and the difference in texture taste and quality when compared to shop-bought veggies will blow both your mind and your tastebuds!
If you were to start at the time of writing (August / September) you could quite happily start planting your first batch of cauliflower, lettuce, onions and radish, and expect ot have your first crop in 5-8 weeks. Different vegetables like different soils, and when to plant varies from variety to variety.
There are plenty of online resources for would be gardeners, but a lot comes from your own experiences in growing your own veg.
Don’t be put off by failures or insects nibbling your crop. Just take precautions, like using copper tape to deter slugs and snails, or planting in a greenhouse or polytunnel where your crops can be warmer and safer.
Whichever direction you take your garden in, whether it be decorative, fruitful or a bit of both, you can find most things you’ll need at a reputable and well stocked garden centre. For customers in our region, one of our personal favourites is Daleside Garden Centre. You can pop in and visit us while you’re there too, we’d love to meet you and hear how your garden is coming along!