As gardeners, we all know just how wonderful it is to have a green space that we can cultivate. Whether you’re someone who loves to create elaborate and beautiful flowerbeds or to grow your own crops of vegetables and herbs, or even a combination of the two, we know that there is something uniquely rewarding about cultivating your garden and watching the fruits of your labor grow and flourish. When one of your friends and family decides to take the plunge, roll up their sleeves and get their gardening gloves on, some of us have a hard time containing our excitement. Like a proud parent at a school play, we want to cheer them on but not overwhelm them with too much advice or too many tips on what they might be doing wrong.
Over the course of the last year, gardening has been a wonderful way for people with all different levels of experience to relax, to explore a new creative avenue, and to feel the rewarding satisfaction of nurturing a living thing, but as we make our way out of a surprisingly cold spring, there are still plenty of people out there who haven’t yet made the jump. If someone in your life is finally ready to get into gardening, here are a few helpful things you can give them and a few words of gentle wisdom to make sure they get off to a great start.
Depending on how proactive and organized the person in question is, they may not have gone as far as getting themselves the proper tools they need to garden. You don’t necessarily need to go overboard with this one if they are just getting started, but everyone looking to develop their green fingers should at least have a trowel or two.
As they develop in confidence, you can think about treating them to something a bit more elaborate but giving them this essential boost will make a big difference early on. A watering can is a lovely gift even if they’ve already decided they’ll make do with a garden hose, and a good pair of gloves is a thoughtful present that doesn’t stray too far into “here’s what you should be doing” territory. And, if nothing else, a tape measure to help them get those borders nice and tidy is always useful!
It seems safe to say that if the person you’re looking for a gift for is just starting out on their gardening journey, they will be keeping things fairly simple at first. If you are not quite sure what to give them, ask them what their grand plan is for their green space. If they want to grow specific fruits or vegetables, for example, you can help them find the right kind of soil or soil supplement to give their seeds and shoots the best possible chance of a healthy start.
If you want to give advice rather than gifts, then you can help them by talking them through the light and moisture requirements of the crops and plants they are looking to grow. You don’t want to be a know it, but you can remind them that experience can make a big difference.
New gardeners are always going to be focused on getting their plants to actually, you know, grow, and they might not necessarily be thinking about all the other wildlife that might be interested in what they’re doing.
If your friend or family member is thinking about growing fruit or vegetables, then giving them some good quality netting will help to protect their budding crops from birds, insects, and other hungry garden visitors. You could also help them prepare for the winter by treating them to some frost protection netting for when the weather gets cold again. You can order garden netting online and learn more about which solutions are the right fit at Little Fields Farm, and they are available to talk you through their products from 9am-5pm Monday to Friday.
As a gardener, you will know that there is something really quite addictive about this whole process. Once you’ve had success with one thing, you can’t wait to try your hand at something a little trickier. One of the great joys about helping someone with their first proper garden is that you can open their eyes to so much amazing wildlife that they can grow at home.
As you help them through their first summer, you can sow the seeds for their further adventures in gardening by showing them the resources you have used over the years and telling them what they would need to be doing differently if they were planting something else. This method may be good for tomatoes, but if you were growing courgettes… As we look ahead to restrictions lifting, we can all look forward to spending more time in each other’s gardens and enjoying the fruits of our labors.