I think that gardening is an incredibly intimidating thing for a beginner.
I wasn’t always a lover of plants. I learnt about them through my passion for their flowers, and a drive to be better, have a deeper and greater knowledge of my materials, my belief in seasonality and the powers of nature. And I’m still learning every day. But not everybody has that to spure them on, and in all honesty, if I hadn’t, I might have given up.
I now love being in my garden. I love the process of nurturing a plant into life, watching and waiting till it blooms and then using my flowers to create beautiful, one off arrangements. However, to begin with, learning gardening was a mine field of self doubt and insecurity. I was absolutely terrified of doing something “wrong”! There seemed to be so many rules, regulations and terminology that I didn’t understand. I was highly confused by all the strange diagrams and pictures I saw in books, as well as the odd techniques and methods mentioned. Surely growing and planting should be far more intuitive?! How could I not even know the basics when my mother and grandmother seemed born with some innate capacity for border creation when I didn’t even know what a border was!?
In the end I decided to do what I did when first learning about flowers, which was essential to throw out the rule book. To stop panicking about what’s right and wrong and just go with what I thought looked nice. Take the pressure off yourself. If it goes wrong it goes wrong, but ultimately plants want to live, they’re on your side. You pick up the tips and tricks as you go, and if you don’t know something, look it up. Read as much as you can to broaden your knowledge base and decipher the jargon, and then just go for it. I am a person that learns far better by doing, and I think making mistakes and realising that the world isn’t going to implode because of them, is very good for me.
There will be a few posts over the coming months where I will be deciphering the odd gardening phrase or bit of terminology that I didn’t know. But of course it will all be done the ‘bybethany’ way, which will, without saying, be infinatly better!