How to: Gardening

8 tips for virgin gardeners to help get going…

Take it easy on the watering

Don’t kill your plants with too much kindness, if the soil is dry water them, if it’s not then don’t.

Assess the space

Take a look at your garden space, and work out where the sun hits and where the shade hits because that’ll determine which plants you can have, and where you can put them.

Put the smellies at the forefront

If you get sunshine, make the most of the fragrant shubs and herbs.

Little light? Go for ferns

Ferns, hostas and bamboo will be super green but don’t require direct sunlight, so you can still have them even if you’ve got a shade. Check out our tips on how to keep house plants alive here.


Your new garden may take up to a full year to see colour and full flowering, so be patient. Also as you wait, there may be new growth where various seedlings have dropped so you may get a few pleasant surprises.

Herbs galore

Herbs are so easy to grow and you can use them in your cooking year round, whether you have them potted outside or on an inside window ledge. Mint and parsley are recommended for virgin gardeners.


Cornflower, cosmos and nigella are beautiful blooms and easy to grow for beginners, you just pop the seeds straight in the soil in May-ish time.

Why did it die?

If you kill a plant, figure out why.. did it need more light? Too much light? Too much water? Too little water? If you find out why, you’ll know for next time.