The secret to starting a garden

Up until now, I’ve only shared my garden pictures and updates on my personal social media accounts and friends would come up to me and tell me, “Katie, I love seeing your garden pictures!” which was nice to hear but also “I’m jealous of your garden” and “I wish I could have a garden like that but I’d just kill it.”

Friends, I’m going to let you in on Andrew’s and my secret to garden success…

Are you ready? Here it is:

If you want a garden, just go for it. Go to a local nursery, grab a bunch of plants that interest you, follow the provided guidelines for each plant’s sunlight and water preferences, and watch what happens.

Seriously, that’s all Andrew and I did. Once planted, we observe our garden daily and if anything starts looking unhealthy, we look it up to see if it’s part of the normal life cycle of the plant or if it’s a symptom of a problem and how we can treat it. If we see a curious looking group of insects hanging out around certain plants, we look those up too. I knew very little about garden insects to start but after my first year of gardening, I started to recognize some of the bad guys (like aphids, squash vine borers and Japanese beetles. ick.) while also learning the common names of some of our butterfly visitors.

Throughout our journey, we’ve actually had a lot of plants die. Sometimes we know the cause (damn you, squash vine borers!!) and sometimes we have no idea what went wrong. And it’s not just us. Ask any gardner and I bet you they’ve lost their own fair share of plants. It’s all a matter of checking in on your plants, researching symptoms, making adjustments, and hopefully it bounces back.

Now, if you’re not likely to keep an eye on your garden, then I recommend a very low maintenance plant like a snake plant. I have one of these in our bedroom and I forget about it for weeks and it looks fine. This isn’t some green thumb magic of mine; snake plants are just really hardy plants (BONUS: They naturally remove toxins from the air according to the NASA clean air study).

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