need guidence

ashley13ashley13 Posts: 87

Hi I want to learn about plants, not in detail but recognizing them and knowing what soil, sun shade they like.  I have an RHS book called plants for places,  but I don’t know with which plant to start learning about.   The book has sections on shrubs, climbers, perennials. I have started looking at shrubs, Acer Palmatum bloodgood and Magnolia Soulangeana,  but I don’t feel im learning much.   Where I work, the garden center has a section of bedding plants and outdoor perennials,   I feel I should learn bedding plants as i look at peoples gardens and see all the bright colours and think to myself, i wish i knew what that plant is called.   I work with the outdoor plants, I deadhead Rhododendrons.



  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 10,277
    Start by making a note of what you sell, then go home and google each one.
    Have any customers actually asked you about the plants they buy? I know I don’t ask, I just buy what I like then google when I get home. 
    You've been at the garden centre quite a long time now so they must be satisfied with what your doing. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 
    I live in fear and desperation,
    should I die before I die to live again.
  • JellyfireJellyfire SuffolkPosts: 543
    There is a lot to learn ashley, a whole lifetimes worth in fact, so dont worry that you feel there is so much you still dont know.

     When you first posted a while back I bet you didnt know what a rhododendron was, and now you are deadheading them at the garden centre. You ARE learning, but it will take time, even if it doenst feel like it, your knowledge is increasing every day you go to work or look at a book.

    As Lyn said the garden centre must be happy with your work, so just enjoy your new knowledge and try not to worry about what you dont know, that will come with time and experience
  • ashley13ashley13 Posts: 87
    I have done a mind map from the RHS site of Petunia Happy Dream.  Could you tell me whether this info is correct or i need to add something.

    Flowers - Spring
    Trailing Perennial
    Full Sun
    Well drained soil
    Sand or Loam soil

    I want to add if it's hardy or not.  Anything else or is that it i don't want to much info.  I live in North West Wales so would conditions be different to what it says on website?

  • Silver surferSilver surfer Posts: 890
    Yes...where you live affects how well plants survive.
    They can grow very tender plants in Cornwall that would probably die outdoors in North Wales.

    I would just like to say that this Petunia is not hardy in cold /icy conditions so I would class it as an Annual in most of UK.
    It will not start flowering in UK until the weather warms up and all danger of frost is over.  In the south you might class this as being in spring...but in most places I would say it flowers in summer..It depends when you say spring ends and summer begins.
    Up here in Scotland summer bedding plants can be killed by a late frost in May.
    Then as soon as the winter chill arrives /first frost it will stop flowering and die.

    Yes they love full sun.
    They would die if planted in wet boggy soil.

    Nothing is straightforward.
    It is a lot for you to learn and remember.

    Perthshire. SCOTLAND .
  • ashley13ashley13 Posts: 87
    Is it better for me to look at images of plants and be able to recognize them that way than learning various facts about plants and finding out that what i've learnt is wrong with living in my area?   I can remember pictures better than information.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 47,973
    Really good idea Ashley :) ... work to your strengths ... if your visual memory is good, learn to recognise them to start with ... then you'll have a foundation to 'stick' extra bits of information onto and you'll remember the information better that way 'cos it'll begin to make sense to you. 
    "...tea and toasted buttered currant buns, can't compensate for lack of sun because the summer's all gone..."   Autumn Almanac - Ray Davies
  • ashley13ashley13 Posts: 87
    what should i start with,  should i look up various images of the plants that are in my RHS book?
  • Joyce21Joyce21 Posts: 13,108
    Ashley, start with the plants that are on sale in your garden centre. That way you will learn about plants which flower in spring followed by those that flower in summer then in autumn.  It's easier to learn in bite sized chunks.
    SW Scotland
  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 10,277
    I wouldn’t worry too much about annuals, I don’t suppose anyone will ever ask you about them, you need to learn about the life cycle of annuals, their only job is to grow to produce seeds for the next generation, once it’s done that it will die.
    thats why you could advise your customers to dead head, that way they will keep producing flowers in the hopes of producing seeds.  If you let an annual run to seed, it’s finished,  It’s jobs done. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 
    I live in fear and desperation,
    should I die before I die to live again.
  • ashley13ashley13 Posts: 87
    Should i take pictures of plants that are at the garden center and study how they look?
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