With Carol asking the very poignant question “What makes a Gardener” and the BBC’s HGTV offering a two-part series on “How to be a Gardener” one would think that that people might be queuing up to become part of this international obsession.
Of all the pastimes and hobbies available to people, gardening is quite unique. Like a patchwork you can hang plants on the wall. You can collect and source plants like a philatelist collects stamps – and these collections have value like stamps do. You can even join clubs and hang out with like-minded people in the same way a golfer might become a member of their local organisation.
But what really makes a gardener a “Gardener”?
While many people have gardens (which in most cases should be removed from them like the child of a negligent parent) not many would claim their “Gardener-ship”. So how do you become a gardener? Are there any skills you need to have at your disposal? And, as with all hobbies, what jargon needs to be learnt?
Well here’s a few rules to help you out in becoming a gardener; – BTW rules always have their irregularities and most are made to be broken.
- Understand the basics – plants need water, food and light.
- Plant in spring.
- Prune when the plant is not it’s growing season (key jargon – dormant!)
- Soil is king – Scott’s will tell you otherwise because they can’t market mulch well.
- Propagation (another key jargon word!) isn’t hard – its just a matter of finding the method that works the best for your plant.
- Other local gardeners are your best source of inspiration and help – not TV gardeners.
- Even the best Master Gardeners have plants that fail
- Worms are good – do not try to kill them with pesticides
- Talking to your plants is not a sign of insanity
- Finally, if every plant you ever put in the ground dies – take up macrame.
That’s it – gardening in a nutshell. The rest you will learn along the way. Just enjoy it and have fun as it is supposed to be a hobby!