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 Successful Gardening in the UK

 


Gardening is one of the World’s most popular therapies. In these stressful times, the sight of a blossoming Magnolia, or the picking of a ripe Tomato that you have grown yourself, is one of the best ways to escape from the challenges that life thrusts upon us.
 
Many in the UK live congested lives. As such, the thought of caring for, and maintaining a garden will probably seem to be a bridge too far when scheduling time spent. However, the UK can be a rewarding place to build a gardening hobby. For our purposes here, we will consider one area specifically as an example for all Brits, gardening in Berkshire.

Why Berkshire?

So, why choose Berkshire as  an example of the benefits of gardening in the UK? Berkshire is an idyllic area, mixing both rural and residential areas. This region allows the possibility of having full grown farms, and city garden patches. As such, it allows us to see how gardening principles can be applied in most situations that will be encountered in the United Kingdom.

The Role of Seasons

For me, one of the primary benefits of gardening in the UK is the role of seasons. Excluding winter, which is the least productive time of year for obvious reasons, each season has a role to play in our gardening journey. The clear, and reliable seasonal patterns help us to organise a better gardening schedule.
 
As an example of this, consider the humble Tomato. Once the first warm rays of Spring are felt in our garden, we know it is time to plant Tomato seedlings. Of course, Spring would have to be sufficiently established to ensure that frosts do not kill our young plants. However, we would not delay planting so long as to cause the plant to struggle to mature it’s fruit prior to the end of the growing season.
 
With this in mind, most Gardening centres will sell seedlings that have a planting guide on their pot. They will generally provide you the best time, and location, to plant the seedlings so as to give their growth the best chance of success. Of course, having a South facing garden will usually be a perquisite for successful growth.
 
Having clear, and defined seasons is a blessing. However, it is also a warning. For those of us who take gardening seriously, we need to be well organised. Planting Tomatoes, for instance, in Autumn would be a No No, even in the best of Greenhouses.
 
As a general rule of thumb, Spring is for planting, Summer is for growth, and Autumn is for maturity and picking.

What Size of Garden is Possible?

Berkshire is a fusion of rural and city areas. However, if your aim is to be a successful gardener in an area such as London, your expectations must be realistic.
 
It is unlikely in a city to have a vast garden, property prices are simply too high. However, this should not be a reason to give up on your dream. Most areas in the suburbs will have allotment areas where residents can have a small plot of land to grow their wares.
 
The drawback is, of course, availability. Sometimes, the waiting list to receive an allotment can be years, if possible at all. That being the case, whilst you are waiting, get some ample sized pots. It is true that pots will curtail the most expansive of gardening dreams, however, they do allow balconies, courtyards, or at worst, the sunny kitchen window, to grow herbs, strawberries, and the like.
 
If you are fortunate enough to have a larger sized property, your ambitions are only limited by your imagination. Brits seem to be obsessed with Alpacas. If you are the same, all the best to you. However, in reality, Alpacas may not be the highest economic priority in difficult times. My preference would be to ensure a good balance between beauty and produce. For those with larger sized gardens, a mix of hyacinths, crocuses, and other flowers, with Potatoes, Tomatoes, and Broad Beans, is both productive and appealing

Focus

Yes, it is true that to be a successful British Gardener, you are in a great location. However, the challenges of available land, climate, and seasonal restrictions, can put off all but the most focused of Gardeners.
 
My advice is: don’t let challenges put you off. The same challenges can also be viewed as opportunities. It is important that, to succeed, our focus must be on the benefits of our circumstances, rather than the challenges. Being a successful British Gardener is possible, and highly rewarding. There is a saying that ‘to be forewarned is to be forearmed’, so travel down your Gardening path with the knowledge of the challenges....and the benefits.

Happy Gardening!

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