Creating a New Gardener - Getting Your Partner or Your Children Involved

Creating a New Gardener - Getting Your Partner or Your Children Involved woman and babyGuest post by Rich Oke - Bylands Wholesale Account Representative

Looking after your landscape can be a lot of work and the more help the better. When my wife and I were first married I spent a lot of time working in the yard and it wasn’t that my wife did not want to help it was more she did not know what to do. She is a hard worker and if asked to help with a project she would but it was not until we designated a special space for a garden of her own; did her thumb start to turn green.

Our landscape was very mature but being an avid gardener I created a new plot for my wife. I gave her some very basic tips but at no time did I name any plants. The area had its challenges like a dryer vent, a gas meter to hide and morning sunlight. I gave her the link the website so she could research her own plants. She came up with a wishlist, which we then went to the local garden center to buy.  The only veto on a plant was if it was going to be invasive and take over the garden making it harder for her to maintain.  Whether or not I felt the plant was right for the area I let her pick the plants. We talked about zone hardiness, plant sizes on the labels (so she would give each plant enough room) and how much sun the plant would need by explaining the symbols on the labels.  After that she was on her own.

After planting her flowerbed she took pride in her garden by watering and fertilizing as needed. By late summer she could see some of her mistakes and some plants were moved which is easily done with perennials and small shrubs.  This went on for a few years and now we are so happy with her garden.

Our daughter is now involved and for her getting the proper accessories was the key.  Many garden centers have a children’s section, which contain gloves and watering cans as well as trowels and small hand forks that are covered with cute decorations like bugs and flowers. You can often find other items like butterfly nets and clear see through houses for collecting insects, which is also very educational. We found turning her into a gardener was easy by making it fun. We gave names to all of our plants at first and then added the real name to her name later. The chores we gave her could not last more then about five minutes and like most things a small reward was often needed when all chores were finished. At five she now rakes leaves, picks weeds, brings us trowels, stacks pots and cleans up labels after we plant. She is also very good at picking fruit but not much ends up in the baskets if you know what I mean.

Our Garden, formally known as "His Garden", has never looked better and with all the extra help we have more time to really enjoy it. 

Man hugging his woman wife in the garden

Happy Gardening!

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Guest post by Rich - Bylands Account Representative

My personal garden is now 17 years old and most of the trees 19 years. shrubs, evergreens and perennial beds are all bordered with large sandstone boulders.  Two reasons I have had to replant each year are: Shasta Daisy was a white German Shepherd and Georgia Peach is a caramel with white and black Shepherd, Husky something cross.  My dogs are always named after plants.