Okay, I have always wanted a green thumb. I would desperately love to be one of those people who can sneeze on flowers and make them grow. Sadly, my garden needs a lot of help and generally from someone with more of a clue than me. I brought this up in conversation with my mother recently and here is what she suggested:
Go With What You Like.
Basically, too many people make gardening harder than it really is. The next time you are at a nursery or even at Home Depot and you see a plant you like. Get it. Most of them come with tags that explain their care. While there are high-maintenance plants out there, most plants just need good soil, plenty of water, and sunshine.
Even the most average of gardeners can provide this. You also need to keep the area free of weeds. That means that about once a week going out and clearing the area around the plants so that the weeds don’t choke them out. None of these tasks are hard and none of them require a perfect magical touch.
But – I had to ask because I’ve never been good at this – do some plants do better than others?
My mother assured me that of course they do, but it takes time to learn what will do well around your home. Soil is different from place to place and your location can affect it too.
Following her suggestion, we went by a local nursery. She told me to take a cart and pick out five or six different plants that I liked. It didn’t matter what kind, just go for the colors I wanted. I started to look at some that were indoors. No, she told me, go outside and get plants from there. If plants are kept indoors it can be a real shock for them to be planted outside with the rapid change in temperature.
So outside I went and I picked out about six different plants that I liked. Two were miniture roses and the others were some petunias. The others didn’t have a name. Taking the plants purchased, we went back to my house. She told me to set them out where I wanted to plant them and then look where the sprinklers were located.
Flowers should never be directly under a sprinkler. The water beating down will flatten them. You want the sprinkler spray to hit them from the sides or behind. Once we had them arranged thusly, she handed me a little shovel and we made some small holes and got them planted.
We watered them as the sun went down for a few minutes and then she said, let them grow.
Guess what – they’re growing. I pulled out a weed this morning, but also otherwise they look great!