Creating A Garden

Written by Sarah Provost
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Creating a garden is an unbelievably satisfying enterprise. In a society where many of us spend our working lives creating images on an ephemeral computer screen or making phone calls, the delight of seeing a real physical product from our labor shouldn't be underestimated. Gardening gives us all the chance to truly create, to bring something out of nothing.

For the beginner, creating a garden can seem terribly complex. In fact, however, it can be as simple as planting a row of pansies along a walkway, or putting a tomato plant from the garden center into a big pot on your patio. While starting plants from seed is very rewarding, beginners are better advised to buy flowers and vegetables ready for transplanting.

Start Small for Best Results

The biggest mistake beginning gardeners make is to overwhelm themselves. Start small, with the plants you most desire. For a vegetable garden, tomatoes are usually the first choice. Begin with perhaps one plant in each of three varieties: a cherry tomato, a medium-sized slicer, and a yellow tomato in either size. If you want to create a flower garden, begin with annuals to get quick and nearly foolproof results.

Each year, you can build (slowly!) on what you accomplished the year before. Plant some basil along with those tomatoes, and maybe a row of lettuce. Try some spring bulbs along that walkway--they're almost infallible, and extremely gratifying after the long winter months. Plant only what you can take care of, be patient, and learn as you go. You'll create a garden you can be proud of.

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