Beginners Guide to Gardening

December 20, 2022

12 Things Beginner Gardeners Need to Know in 2023

If you're new to gardening or are thinking about getting started, then this is the guide for you.

When you're new to something - whatever that may be - it can feel daunting overwhelming and intimidating. Gardening is no different.

Yet as every, now experienced gardener knows, there is joy waiting to be discovered in the garden!

If you're wondering how to get started in the garden, read on for 12 things every beginner gardener needs know in 2023.

Whether you have a neglected garden you are determined to tame, are moving to a new build with a completely blank canvas, or have an established garden that needs updating to suit your lifestyle you'll find 12 handy tips below to help you get started in the wonderful world of gardening.

1) List your wants and needs

When planning your garden, it's important to start by listing what you want and need it to include. This will vary depending on your family and lifestyle, but there are some basics that everyone should consider. 

For example, do you need a space for vegetables, or would you prefer to have flowers instead? Do you have children who will be playing in the garden, or pets that will be running around? How much time can you realistically commit to maintaining the garden each week? 

Once you have a good idea of what you want from your garden, it's easier to start planning out the specific details.

2) Work out what style appeals to you

There are so many different garden styles to choose from, it can be difficult to know which one is right for you. 

Do you want a traditional cottage garden with winding paths and plenty of flowers? Or would you prefer something more modern, with sleek lines and minimalist planting? Perhaps a Japanese zen garden is more your style? 

3) Use Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest and Facebook for inspiration

It can be helpful to use social media platforms like Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest and Facebook as sources of inspiration when planning your garden. 

These platforms are filled with beautiful images and videos of gardens from all over the world, which can give you some great ideas for your own garden. Save posts that inspire you. Often when you comment on posts you'll get lots of helpful advice in replies.

4) Ask for advice

One of the best ways to get started in gardening is to ask for advice from experienced gardeners, staff at garden centres, friends & family and even in social media groups like on Facebook.  

They can give you tips on what plants to choose, how to care for them, and how to deal with common problems. You can also learn a lot from watching them in their garden, and asking questions about their techniques. 

It's also helpful to join online gardening groups and forums, where you can ask questions and get feedback from experts and other gardeners.

5) Start slowly

One of the most important things to remember when starting a garden is to take your time and not try to do too much at once. It's important to learn what works well in your space, and to give plants time to get established before adding more.  If you overplant your garden, you'll end up with overcrowded plants that struggle to grow properly and may even die. 

Avoid expensive mistakes by starting slowly, planting just a few plants at first and gradually expanding as you get more experience.

6) Take photos

As a beginner gardener, it's important to take photos of your garden as you go along so that you can track the changes and remember how much you've achieved. 

It's easy to forget what your garden looked like when you first started, and photos provide a great way to track your progress over time. Plus, they're a great way to show off your gardening skills to friends and family!

7) Gardening on a budget

There are plenty of ways to garden on a budget, from buying second hand tools and planters, to getting cuttings from other people. 

  • Buy second hand tools and planters: One of the best ways to save money when gardening is to buy second hand tools and planters. There are often great deals to be found online and at car boot sales, so keep an eye out for bargains. 
  • Get cuttings from other people: Another way to save money is by getting cuttings from other people. This can be a great way to get started in gardening without spending a lot of money on plants. 
  • Use recycled materials for planting containers: You can also save money by using recycled materials for planting containers. Old tyres, buckets, cans and even old boots can all be used as plant pots with a little bit of creativity. 
  • Compost your own organic matter: Composting is one of the best ways to reduce your garden expenses, as you can compost your own organic matter instead of buying expensive compost. Composting is easy to do, and it's a great way to recycle kitchen scraps and other organic material. 

8) Make friends with muck

Remember there will be some jobs that are just plain mucky. 

If you're prepared for the mess, though, and take the time to enjoy them, then the mucky jobs can be a lot of fun. Time spent digging in the soil, adding compost, mulch and fertiliser can be very satisfying - especially when you see your plants thriving as a result.

9) Prepare, prepare, prepare

Take time to prepare the space before diving in. Give some thought to how you will access different areas of the garden.

For example, if you are creating deep flower beds you’ll need access routes for maintenance and weeding. You could put a path at the back or use stepping stones through the beds. 

Take some time to install pergolas, trellis and frames to support plants as they grow. This will make it easier to care for your plants, and you'll be able to enjoy a beautiful garden that's easy to maintain.

10) Plant in threes or fives

When planting in the garden, it's a good idea to group plants in odd numbers. This not only looks visually appealing, but it also creates balance in the garden. 

Plants and pots in groups of three or five work well, as they create an attractive visual symmetry.

11) Invest your time little and often

Spending a little time in the garden every day makes keeping on top of the weeding, tying in and trimming a lot more manageable than having to spend a whole, back breaking day working hard to catch up. Especially in the peak growing months when plants seem to shoot up overnight. 

12) Enjoy the journey 

Ulitmately, the best advice we can give is - enjoy the journey. 

There is always something new to learn, discover and wonder at when you are working in the garden. 

How CJ Garden Services can help get you off to a great start

Getting started is often the hardest part - if you need a helping hand creating the structure of your garden or making a planting plan that you will be able to manage, have a chat with Claire to find out how we can help.

From vegetation clearance and soft landscaping to a full design and planting service, the choice is yours. We can even help you maintain it once it’s finished.