Whether inside or out, if you’re giving growing at home a go, I’ve got the very best practices for plentiful plants. Plus, find out ways you can enjoy and benefit from a landscape you’ll love.
Ages and all
No matter our age—growing at home can be adapted to really capture us. For nature enthusiasts, sightings of bees and birds are always uplifting at this time of year, they signify that spring is here and that summer is on its way. Wildflower gardens are beloved by creatures great and small. Start with planting up bell heather, an evergreen shrub that will produce purple, pink or white urn-shaped flowers in summer and autumn. You can also buy quick-to-cover flower bombs or wildflower packs which give you a mix of flower seed to sow to grow your own patch of paradise.
Else, plants for pollinators can double up as an educational win for kids, with minibeasts identifying charts and scavenger hunts. Or, let the kids’ imaginations run wild by simply filling a wheelbarrow with soil and encouraging them to create their own mini landscapes. They can design a jungle or rainforest scene with Jurassic style plants, using ferns such as Japanese shields, or a fairy-tale wonderland with delicate woodland flowers, like primrose.
Plants for every plot
I’m a keen believer that there’s a plant for every plot. You can grow just about anywhere, so the sky’s the limit. If you’ve not got an abundance of floor space, use your walls. Window boxes and hanging baskets are a fantastic choice for adding a bit of colour at eye level. Transform an old colander from your kitchen into a stylish hanging basket, adding in some sweet alyssum which will provide an intense scent whenever you walk past.
Whatever your garden is lacking, pick up the phone to your local garden centre. There’s a plant for the job and you’ll really enjoy seeing it prosper each time it catches your eye. For year-round colour in your garden, you can be quite clever. Peruvian lilies flower during summer and offer fiery orange-yellow flowers, whilst common snowdrops give a splash of white winter colour. Planting these bulbs in Miracle-Gro Premium Peat Free Bulb Fibre will help the bulbs to replenish themselves and flower again next season.
A taste for it
Your garden is great for growing your own food, a firm favourite of mine to grow is peas. They’re a fuss-free crop. Just sow the seeds in the ground and add in some support in the form of bamboo or chicken wire, or just branches and sticks to form a frame for the peas to grow through.
Then, come June, you could be harvesting your fresh peas, and picking them will encourage more to grow. A herb garden in a window box will ensure you have a supply of flavour to add to your meals, but it’s a productive space as well as smelling divine. You can also build your own herb wheel in beds and borders. Lavender with mint is a lovely combination of aromas, or try chives, parsley, basil and thyme—they’ll be great additions to your collection.
From the beginning of spring through to September, don’t forget to bolster your plants with the right nutrient-packed feeds. Something like Miracle-Gro All Purpose Continuous Release Plant Food is going to give you access to bright and bold blooms as well as vigorous fruit and veg. It can be used in pots, containers, baskets, beds and boxes to gain optimal growth for very little effort. It’s worth getting yourself a continuous release product like this to give you controlled feeding—a one-time application gives you the right nutrients at the right time. This rate of release is controlled by the warmth of the soil, so you apply it early on and nature takes care of the rest.
Of course, it’s not just outside our homes where we get to enjoy the wonder of plants and nature. Extend your gardening inside the home with these great gardening projects. You can use items around the home to get the benefits without spending any budget.
Use a large pine cone to make bird feeders, simply stuff the bracts full of food scraps. You can double-check suitable food items on the RSPB’s website, but bacon rinds, bread scraps, and some nuts will all do well to feed these feathered friends. To make fat balls you will need to mix lard and bird seed together, mould them into shapes. Insert knotted string into the shape and refrigerate the feed until it’s hard and ready to hang.
If you’ve got the right supplies, you can create a magical terrarium, where a collection of plants grow in an enclosed environment. You can do this by using a transparent glass container such as a large jar or vase. Adding a layer of small gravel to the base of the container will aid draining. On top of this, add Miracle-Gro Premium Cactus, Succulent & Bonsai Compost which is a specialist compost made from a blend of loam and sand to improve drainage and keep optimal moisture levels. Echeveria, Sempervivum and Crassulas are great choices to add some texture to your terrarium. Decorative moss will add the finishing touch or get creative and make some themed embellishments.
With so much of your garden to enjoy right now, make the most of it to uplift your spirits and enrich your life.
This article is a special feature by David Domoney, professional horticulturalist and television presenter, and our Ambassador for Miracle-Gro.