Finding Your Green Thumb

finding your green thumb

Finding Your Green Thumb Isn’t That Hard

It is a myth that some people are born with a green thumb while others are just inept when it comes to gardening. Just like anything else, gardening is first a labor of love and something you can master with enough effort. If you really want to be successful with gardening, finding your green thumb is essential.

Planning A Garden

There are many good places to start, but developing a plan for how your garden is going to look is a great starting point. If your goal is a low maintenance garden, planning is even more important.

What is the surrounding landscape

Every garden, no matter how big or large is most likely going to be located within a larger landscape. When planning your new garden space take into account what landscaping surrounds it. A lot of your plant choices are going to be influenced by things like how near is your neighbor’s house, are there overhead wires, is there an exisiting fence, and so on. Once you have a firm location selected and know the surroundings, only then is it time to start plant selection.

Llook to the Trees

First, we will focus on giving your new small garden some spatial dimensions by selecting different kinds of greenery and I am going to start with trees.

Choosing the right trees to frame you garden space will help your garden standout against the rest of your landscape and, if you choose, can even become a focal point. Probably the easiest way to include trees is to site your new garden area close to any already existing on your property. But, if there are no existent large trees in your garden then you can choose some fast growing trees that will begin to offer shade in one or two seasons instead of 5-10 years.

Both the Hybrid Poplar and the Willow Hybrid are good choices. The Willow as an annual growth rate of 6-12 feet and the Poplar 8-10 feet. Both trees will reach as much as 70 feet when mature so be sure you have the room for them to grow! Trees with less vertical height are varieties of Crape Myrtle, Quaking Aspen, and Mimosa.

Of course you will have to do some research to determine which type of tree is going to be the best choice for your individual situation and location. But don’t despair, there are dozens of trees with fast growth to choose from.

The all important shrubbery

Once the trees have been selected next comes some border shrubbery to give your new garden space some depth and outline. There are many, many varieties available and, again, you will need to do some research to choose shrubs that will thrive in your particular location and conditions. Some varieties you might want to consider are Cherry Dogwood, Smoketree, Silverbush, Witch Hazel, and English Holly. Your choices will, in large part, be dependant on what grows well where you live.

The small but still important flowering plants

Last but certainly not least are the smaller plants that you add to your garden. These are normally perennially flowering or succulents. These smaller plants can require more care than any of the other plants you have acquired for your garden so pay attention to how and where you plant them because you will be spending quite a bit of time caring for them.

Other points to consider;

  • Hard-scapes like paths, sitting areas, patios, decks, and garden walls can add a great deal of interest but also a great deal of cost
  • Likewise, a properly installed water feature is hard to beat for creating a sense of tranquility but does require a lot in terms of installation and upkeep.
  • Vertical features like pergolas and trellises are a cost effective way to get height into your garden and also provide a home for climbing vines.

It will take some work

Finally, don’t forget about the effort that taking care of your garden is going to require. Finding your green thumb also means pruning, weeding, pest control, and other mundane tasks. For the garder, these efforts are most often a labor of love but they are labor. Be honest with yourself about how much effort and time you are willing to invest. While there are gardening techniques that will require less effort, there is no such thing as an effortless garden!

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