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learning ideas

ashley13ashley13 Posts: 123

Hi I'm Ash, im 39 from North Wales.  I posted a thread last week  regarding learning about plants.   I work in a garden centre and i don't know much about plants, like what's an annual, where do annual flowers produce seed and where does it go in the ground,  what is a border, things like that.   My boss at the garden centre talks about things that i wished i knew about and what she knows is amazing, it's so frustrating not knowing.   I have started to read the Alan Titchmarsh book called How to be a Gardener, im not getting anywhere with it, i feel there's too much information. For example,  It mentions roots and taproots which i found interesting, then it baffles me about transpiration.  He doesn't really explain in his videos neither.  I want to start simply.


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 66,180

    Ok ... sometimes those of us who grew up gardening forget how much most people don't know ...  image

    firstly ... put simply transpiration is how roots take in moisture, then it travels up through the plant and out through the leaves where it evaporates ... the evaporation takes place quicker in sunny and windy conditions.   It's sort of the plant's equivalent of breathing.  

    This site explains a lot of gardening terms 

    http://www.thegardenhelper.coy m/dictionary.html 

    I don't know of other books ...  perhaps someone else will ... but please don't be afraid to ask any questions on here, even if you think it's very basic  ... we're always happy to help ... someone usually knows the answer image

    and you may find some help in the How to... section of this website 

    Last edited: 30 June 2017 11:17:51

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 16,828

    I find it's good to just listen to people, try to take in every word your boss say, if there's anything you don't understand, ask her at the time. If you can remember any of it when you get home, write it down in your own notepad, you will be amazed by the end of the week just what you have learnt.

    she must have confidence in your ability to learn or she wouldn't have given you the job.

    I too get baffled by books, I learnt so much from my mum, who was an annuals, pots tubs and baskets expert and my dad who did the big garden with shrubs vegetables. I still miss asking him questions. He's been gone just over one year now, but I still get a quick' I must ask dad' moment here and there. 

    You will get there, everyone has to learn and I'm sure you will.

    just having the interest and wanting to learn is half the battle. 

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • josusa47josusa47 Posts: 3,532

    There are probably lots of gardening books to be borrowed for free at the public library.  If one's not helpful, try another.

  • pbffpbff Posts: 433

    Hi Ash,

    As Lyn as said, having an interest in finding out more about plants is the important part.

    Ask your boss to explain things in simple terms - us gardeners often carried away and rattle off the jargon without realising it!

    Don't try to learn too much all at once - just snippets at a time is enough - and put into practice the things that you learn so that they make sense.

    If you have any specific questions about plants, just post them on the forum and we'll hopefully have the answers for you.

    To start with, here are the definations of annual, biennial and perennial.

    An annual is a plant that completes its lifecycle (that is, it grows from seed, produces leafy vegetative growth, then flowers, produces seed and dies) within one year. Examples include annual cornflowers (Centaurea cyanus) and poached egg plants (Limnanthes douglasii).

    biennial is a plant that completes its lifecycle in two years (it grows from seed and produces leafy vegetative growth in year one, then it flowers, produces seed and dies in year two). Examples are foxgloves (Digitalis purpurea) and teasel (Dipsacus fullonum).

    perennial is a plant that lives for more than two years. Examples are oak trees (Quercus), daffodils (Narcissus) and lupins (Lupinus), to name but a few.

    A border is an area of ground in which plants are grown, usually alongside something, for example, a hedge, wall, fence, path or similar.

    Hope this is of some help.

    All the best.


  • Papi JoPapi Jo Brittany, France Posts: 2,823

    Thanks for the link to  Dove, most useful. 

    Congratulations on your willingness to learn, Ash. Like others on this forum I learn something new every day! And then I forget, that's life. 

    You are invited to a virtual visit of my garden (in English or in French).
  • hogweedhogweed Central ScotlandPosts: 3,991

    Try the books written by Dr Hessayon as I recommended before. Lots of pictures, simple text but very useful. And on all sorts of subjects including lawns, vegetables, indoor plants, flowers etc. They may be old fashioned now but the information is still useful and current. 

    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • ashley13ashley13 Posts: 123

    How does this book sound? It's American but it's straight to the point i think.

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