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Why it is important to understand gardening basics

By Hosea Omole | Sep 20th 2018 | 2 min read
By Hosea Omole | September 20th 2018
Beautiful balcony in a flower garden [The Standard]

There is plenty of information about gardening out there.

Books and magazines, the Internet and your local ‘landscaper’ are just a few of them.

Still there are friends and acquaintances who always sound very knowledgeable about gardening as well as shamba boys who are ever ready with stories about their gardening exploits.

Don’t believe everything you hear. Find out for yourself if the information you get is factual, relevant and contextualized.

If you can, call in a professional even for just a walk through your yard for an hour. Here are some basic tips you should never deviate from.

Plan first

When thinking about a new garden or any changes you want to make on your yard, it is important to consider how you propose to use the space, not just now but also in the future.

This can range from complex and highly specialised spaces, to very little intervention at the other extreme.

Ask yourself a series of questions about the compounds many roles.

Do you want a space for entertaining, a play area while the children are young, or do you simply want a peaceful but beautiful yard in which to relax when you have free time?

Consider all these questions and draw up a plan based how you answer them. The process is a simple one: Lay tracing paper over your site plan, sketch all sorts of ideas, then select or change ideas based on how they fit together and how they sort out your needs.

Choose plants wisely

Selecting the right plant for the right place is an essential skill for any gardener. Start by doing a bit of research on some of the trees, shrubs, climbers, perennials, bulbs, grasses, and water plants you like in your region.

Get information on their design uses, site and soil preferences, mature sizes as well as the shape of each plant.

All this information should help you make the right decisions on the best plant to plant where.

Don’t combine too many species. Pick a few of your favourite trees, shrubs and ground covers and plant them in masses of similar species rather than isolating and mixing them up.

Consider the environment

In everything you do in your garden, be kind to the environment. Save water by growing plants that thrive in your area without the need to constantly irrigate.

If you have to water, do so in the mornings or evenings and use water efficient irrigation methods.

You should also make some effort to cut down on the use of chemicals by using compost and non-chemical methods to deal with pests.

The writer is a landscape architect


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