Whether you have a “brown thumb” or are an experienced gardener, you can become a better gardener in 2010. Gardening is a great hobby that provides numerous personal benefits. Need to lose weight and get moving? Gardening gets you outside in the fresh air where you will get lots of exercise doing something productive. Need a creative outlet? You can enjoy the fruits of your own labor by creating beautiful flower beds or harvesting home-grown vegetables and herbs. Planning to sell your house in the next few years? You can add curb appeal and great value to your home by cultivating a pleasing landscape.
Here are a few tips for becoming a better gardener in 2010:
Start a garden library. Begin researching good gardening resources, including books, seed and plant catalogs, magazines and internet sites. In the January edition of Fayette Woman Magazine, I list the top books and other resources recommended by experienced local gardeners. These materials will help you make good decisions and cut down on gardening mistakes.
Begin a garden journal. January is the perfect time to start a garden journal which is a helpful tool to organize what you have done, need to do and plan to do in your garden. Purchase an inexpensive notebook or calendar and start keeping notes. Topics to cover in your journal can include: plant inventory and profile, seasonal calendar of gardening tasks, design drawings, “before and after” photographs, gardening resources and a wish list for future projects.
Take a class. On January 19 at 7:30 pm, Dr. Allan Armitage, the world-renowned horticulture professor at the University of Georgia is speaking at a free seminar on “Armitage’s Choice: the 20 Outstanding Plants for Georgia” at the Atlanta History Center. For more information, call: 770 458 3224. Fayette Master Gardeners offer a Homeowner Series of gardening classes each spring for the beginning gardener. To get a schedule of upcoming classes, call 770-305-5412 X 7.
Join a Club. You can find a gardening organization on just about any gardening topic you are interested in. If you want to concentrate on a specific plant, like roses, check out the South Metro Rose Society where members will help you learn to grow the best roses for our area. If you want to learn general gardening information, join a local garden club. The Peachtree City Garden Club has over 65 members with varying degrees of experience who meet monthly to learn about different gardening topics. For more information go to: www.peachtreecitygardenclub.com.
Get Inspired. The popular Southeastern Flower Show will be held at the Cobb Galleria on February 4-6. You will get so many good ideas to increase the “wow” factor in your garden by viewing the spectacular garden vignettes staged at the show. For more information, go to www.sehort.org/flower_show.
Start a garden project. Nothing gets you more excited about gardening than starting a project. Why not start the year by designing a new flower bed or planting herbs that you can enjoy in your cooking the rest of the year? In my February article in Fayette Woman magazine, local herb expert, Paula Johnson, will show you how to start a simple herb garden using a whiskey barrel or a raised bed.
You can be a better gardener in 2010!