Gardening for the under 30s
Gardening over the years has developed a persona for being an older persons hobby, to be honest most young people do not have their own garden until they move out of the parents house and into their own, even then a garden is still a luxury in some places. Even when you are living at home gardening is seen as a chore, your parents asking for you to cut the grass, or help prune the tops of the trees which is fun for the most except the massive clean up at the end. The worst jobs were always weeding and if you were really unlucky cleaning out the shed or greenhouse. Again fun to start off with but then filled with boredom and wishing you were doing something far more interesting.
Gardening and garden accessories are slowly becoming trendy again, especially for the very young. You can’t go into a vintage or bric a brack shop for seeing some type of garden accessory wether it be a plant pot, a weathered potting table painted in a trendy Farron and Ball colour or an old victorian park bench.
Gardening is what you make of it. You have to first decide what sort of garden do you want, vegetable garden, ornamental garden, water garden, rock garden, practical garden, natural garden. All these different sorts then depends on the size of your actual garden not the one you have in your head right now. We are all guilty of dreaming of the romanic gardens of the past but are restricted by the busy lives of the present. Unfortunately for us the luxury of being a house wife is becoming far and few between, but doesn’t this make us enjoy our gardens more? Your actual garden can have a little piece of everything you want, except for those who do not have a garden at all and survice with the vast amount of houseplants on offer. I too have survived the no garden to speak of and I have to say yes its hard especially when you’ve been brought up surrounded by a large garden.
If you want a garden thats simple and easy to maintain here are my top tips.
- Check where your plant actually wants to be so for example lavender wants full sun but free draining soil, where as Comfrey will tolorate shade. A brilliant book I call my plant where to bible, (has lots of pictures) “Perfect Plant Perfect Place” by Roy Lancaster. A worthwile book for any gardener, even has houseplants in!
- Rather than buying loads of different plants, stick to a few in your boarders such as five or seven plants, always for some reason stick to odd numbers, unless of course you are planning a symetrical garden. But by doing this you get a much prettier boarder for much less effort.
- Use large pots and fill with plants, if you have lots of little pots then you’ve got more to water, weed and look after. Besides large pots with grasses and perennials or bulbs look amazing.
A few of my favourite plants (im under 30), that I call trendy. Sorry I don’t have images for all the plants.
Anemone x hybrida ‘Honorine Jobert’ – This is my all time favourite plant! I love the white petals with their yellow stamens high up on a long stalk. They flower around August time. These anemone’s love partial sun/shade, don’t put in direct sunlight as they tend to thrive if in a bit of shade. They will spread which is fantastic, and they are a perennial so they do come back every year.
Astrantia major – You can get these in lots of colours, very beautiful and again a perennial. Same again full sun or partial shade same soil moist and fertile, flowers early to mid summer.
Picture of Ceropegia linearis subsp ’Woodii’
Ceropegia linearis subsp. woodii – Hearts on a String, a beautiful delicate house plant ideal for hanging down from a shelf or wall. It needs free draining soil in full sun or partial shade.
Crambe cordifolia – You must have a large space for this beasty as it will mature to a large plant. I love the delicate white flowers it produces, especially ironic in comparison to the size of its leaves. The flowers are used alot for flower arranging. Loves deep fertile well draining soil. We had one that grew in and amongst a rockery, the roots though were very much in the crapy soil underneath.
Echinacea – Again they come in a variety of colours, although I prefer the original pinkish red one Echinacea purpurea. Beautiful big flower head makes you smile at the end of the season as its at its best in late summer. Don’t get them mixed up with the Heleniums. Oh and Echinacea’s are great when they die, leave the stalks until the next year to give some architecture to your garden in winter. They look stunning with a light covering of snow or frost. They like deep well drained soil in full sun partial shade.
Picture of Eschscholzia californica
Eschscholzia californica – Otherwise known as Calafornian poppy. I love the brightness of this plant, brilliant. Its an annual but does self seed so good news for those of us who don’t want to collect seeds. They prefer poor well drained soil, although ours do well in just well drained soil. I don’t bother watering them just leave them do their stuff.
Picture of Galanthus my local park, Birmingham
Galanthus– The common snowdrop, there are so many varieties to choose from, I love them all. After the long winter these delicate little things are one of the first to make me smile. They like moist well drained soil. You can plant the bulbs straight into the ground, in grass or in pots. They do prefer partial shade.
Picture of Gloriosa growing in my conservatory
Gloriosa superba ‘Rothschildiana’ – Glory lily a beautiful plant that I grow with a passion flower in my conservatory. Definately one for those who love tropical unusual looking plants, and so easy to look after. A perennial climber, you can have them outside in a sheltered sunny spot, they need fertile well drained soil. Mine flowers from early summer right into autumn.
Helenium – Again lots of lovely varieties and colours. Very simular conditions to the Echinacea but smaller. Again flowers in summer right into the autumn. Not so great dead though.
Hosta – The first plant I truly marvelled at, their leaves repel water its fantastic to watch. Hostas are great in pots or in borders, just remember the slugs love them! A brilliant plant if you have a shady spot, their leaves start appearing in spring then the flowers in summer.
Picture of Sweet Peas
Lathyrus odoratus – Sweet peas are so easy to grow and they smell divine. You can easily make a small bouquet for your table. They grow well in either pots or in your borders, all they need is sunshine and to have something to climb up such as a wigwam.
Paeonia – I love any peony. I love their beautiful oversized flowers that look like flower pompoms. Peony’s need fertile moist but well draining soil in full sun or partical shade. They are generally a later spring flower perennial but you do get ones that flower into June and July.
Sarcococca confusa – Christmas box, this evergreen shrub smell so sweet and lovely in winter when everything else smells damp and decaying. It thrives in fertile soil in partial or full shade. Its ideal for gloomy patches in winter or for creating an interesting hedge.
Picture of stipa tenuissima
Stipa tenussima – Feather Grass is beautiful on summer days in the wind. A short grass that does self seed, and is relatively easy to look after. Prune in spring for a lush display in summer. It needs free draining soil as it will rot if it gets too wet, also prefers full sun but can have partial shade. It goes really well with lavender.
Wisteria – I’ve seen pictures of archways covered in wisteria in Japan and it is truly breathtaking. They are slow to grow to begin their first flurry of flowers, but after they reach maturity they are truly spectacular and a must in any garden with an arch or for climbing up walls. They require fertile moist soil that’s well drained in full sun or partial shade. They flower from spring to summer (depends on variety as to when and how long).
I have missed off lots of other amazing plants, this is just a taste of some of my favourite ones. So no matter what your age its time to start gardening!