By Linda Gray
Don't force yourself out of the most profitable hobby in the universe because you think it's too hard to learn ...It isn't!
Gardening is fast becoming the world's number one hobby, and with all the latest 'alternative' information we have to hand, gardening as a natural science is fun to learn about and rewarding in the extreme.
Produce your own fruit and veg - cut the shopping trips.
Keep it organic!- be nice to the planet, and your body.
Stay fit and healthy with exercise and fresh air.
Spend quality family time in the outdoors.
Turbo boost your creative spirit
And if that isn't enough to be going on with, learn about plant-kind in all it's glory. From trees through to fungi, there are millions of plants to research, grow and eat- no chance of getting bored!
First you have to take your first step.
Start gardening, be a gardener, enjoy your garden.
Starting from scratch? Let your imagination run wild. Stand in the centre (-ish) of your garden and imagine.. close your eyes if you like.
Don't hold back. Let your creative thoughts flow. How much can you do with your space? Don't imagine for one minute that a simple lawn will let you off the hook here. A lawn needs maintaining, and mowing regularly - for EVER..and it can get kind of boring to look at as well!
How about creating...
a butterfly patch
a wildflowers corner
a vegetable plot
a herb garden
a water feature
Then you will need a shed to store your tools. Where would that be best placed in your garden? Don't waste a sunny position with a garden structure. Sheds don't need to be in full sun to survive!
Is there enough space to place garden furniture? Rather than going for the table-and-four-chairs-on-patio style, can you place benches and small tables in semi-shady spots near the honeysuckle or round the herbs?
When you think you have a reasonable idea of all you want from your garden, take some notes and think about it for a while. Don't leap in too soon-more often than not you'll land up doing the same job twice. Browse through garden catalogs, take a little time and do a little planning.
But not for too long! Don't let the ideas wither into another was-gonna-do-one-day file.
If you have enough of a budget to buy your garden structures and furniture, do this first, and position them in your garden. Then create your flower beds, vegetable plots and wildlife patches around these structures.
If you don't have cash up front, don't worry. The things you need will come to you. For now, prepare the space as if you DID have the shed, or bench or whatever, and work around these areas.
Start all the patches and work on them as and when you can, or start one patch and get it finished before moving on to the next. How you work in your garden depends on a number of things...
size of land and budget
helping hands available
seasons and the weather
time slots and energy levels!
Treat gardening as an ongoing hobby rather than a project to be started and finished. Plants are growing life forms and will always be changing the shape and feel of your garden. Go with it where you can, and prune heavily where you have to!
Get the kids involved with quick-germinating seeds, and fast-growing plants. Many retailers offer special seed mixtures for kids. Pumpkins are great for getting the kids interested in gardening.
Learn about edible flowers and teach the children what can and can't be eaten - and why.
Don't let the grass grow under your feet. Get in on the action now. Turn off the TV, put your wellies on and leap into nature!
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