The Gardening Challenge: Gardening Skills and Techniques
Does your back garden look something like this? Has lack of time, money and, perhaps, enthusiasm, prevented you from tackling it ? If so, this website is for you. It is aimed primarily at the first-time gardener who would like his yard to look better but has so far shrunk from the problems he/she imagines are involved. And it offers adventurous new ideas for the experienced gardener as well. Half the guide concentrates on one particular situation, the small urban garden whose challenges we have concentrated into one ‘indentikit’ problem garden and for which we have devised a fortnightly series of simple work projects that can be adapted – and have been tested – in a wide variety of different gardens. These projects involve an average expenditure of two hours work per week (more in the summer, of course, and less in the winter) a minimal cash expenditure and create in 6 months a riot of colour, and in 12 a garden whose future maintenance should consume a minimum of time and money. The planting programme is restricted to sturdy plants which have a better chance than most of withstanding the worst that poor soil, town air – and inexpert gardeners – can do to them.
You can take or leave any part without leaving your garden looking like a battlefield. And the programme is also designed to teach most of the basicskills and techniques. The other half of the guide provides a kaleidoscope of suggestions for all sorts of specialist gardens, gardeners and garden users: new ways with , and roses; how to provide pleasure in for invalids, children or even pets and sports enthusiasts; cottage/perennial, roof, rock and water gardens; the latest ideas in garden decoration, lighting and design, indoors and out; using vegetables and fruit as ornamentation – like, say, ; how to encourage and protect wild life by, for example, planting a buddleia that will attract .
These projects have been devised for the more experienced gardener who already has an established garden, possibly in a rural or suburban setting. But many of the ideas are applicable to the humblest town yard or cabbage patch, and both parts of our site share the same basic principles: to put life back into the soil as the basis for exciting plant life; to work ecologically wherever possible, avoiding poisons, encouraging wild life and recycling waste; and, above all, to make the garden a place that is fun both to work and relax in.