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Beginner & Expert Gardeners wanted

Hello everyone,

Long-time lurker on the forum here.

Just wanted to ask about how I can stop my neighbour's cat from using my flowerbeds as.......only kidding!!

What I'm actually looking to do is chat with beginner gardeners and experts about how we can make getting into gardening easier for everyone.

We know that private gardens in Britain cover an area bigger than all of the country’s nature reserves combined. 

How can we get more and more people using this space, their space, in a way that is both enjoyable for them and good for wildlife and the planet?

If you're a beginner, what has been your greatest challenge so far? What has held you back?

If you're an expert, where do you think are we going wrong in getting people into gardening, if at all?  

All thoughts wanted!
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  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 73,780
    Hi ... can I ask ... who is the ‘we’ you refer to?
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • Good question - I meant 'we' as a community of gardeners. Perhaps 'we' don't all know that private gardens in Britain cover an area bigger than all of the country’s nature reserves combined, but that was just a casual turn of phrase.

    Got any thoughts, Dove? You clearly have a lot of experience on the forum and will have read about the same issues time and time again... 
  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 4,883
    In terms of being good for wildlife, a garden doesn't have to be gardened, it just needs to not be paved/concreted over. There are lots round here that a full of long grass mixed with what most gardeners would regard as weeds, and maybe an overgrown hedge, and I'm sure wildlife like them just fine.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 73,780
    edited 18 February
    ... We know that private gardens in Britain cover an area bigger than all of the country’s nature reserves combined.

    How can we get more and more people using this space, ...
    Well 🤔 a global pandemic has been pretty effective so far ...  😉

    I'm aware of a Flowerbuddy app ... I'm wondering whether you think the promotion of this app might help achieve your aims ... 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • flowerbuddyflowerbuddy Posts: 4
    edited 18 February
    Yes JennyJ I guess that's the paradox with wildlife gardening! The very best thing for  wildlife would be for humans to get out of the way entirely, but then that wouldn't be gardening. There's a lovely short book that explores this called No Nettles Required by Ken Thompson. I heartily recommend it. 
  • punkdocpunkdoc Sheffield, Derbyshire border.Posts: 10,149
    Please forgive me for being suspicious, but what is in this for you?
    Is there somewhere I sign up, and give you my credit card details?  :)
    Southern trees bear a strange fruit
    Blood on the leaves and blood at the root
  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 18,924
    How can we get more and more people using this space, their space, in a way that is both enjoyable for them and good for wildlife and the planet?

    Why do we need to get more people doing this?

    I cannot understand the need for it any more than the need to get more people playing musical instruments in a way that is enjoyable and good for the planet (given that many musical instruments use natural materials).


    If you're a beginner, what has been your greatest challenge so far? What has held you back?

    I have been a beginner and I am still a beginner in some respects. What has held me back? Only having one pair of hands and 24 hours in the day.

    If you're an expert, where do you think are we going wrong in getting people into gardening, if at all?  

    I’m not an expert. I would say that very very few people are experts and, if they are, they are only experts in one small corner of the horticultural world. So I suppose, as a non expert, I am disbarred from answering the question but I’ll ask it anyway, where are we “going wrong”? In what way are we going wrong?

    Why is being an expert a prerequisite to answering your question? 
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • Feeling overwhelmed and not knowing where to begin were the two things that held me back, half of my garden is still a disaster but reclaiming the garden a little at a time helped get me on my way...still a long way to go!
  • SuesynSuesyn South Somerset Posts: 467
    A disaster in gardening terms is surely in the eye of the beholder, it may well be described as a wildlife haven by some or yet again as totally boring by others. 
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