Taking Your Garden To The Next Level

A mixed flower border of roses, grasses and perennial plant

Have you ever felt like you know your garden needs something more but you’re not quite sure what it is?

This is where taking your garden to the next level comes into play comes into play. I have been around plants for the best part of forty years now. I first used this term fifteen years ago ‘taking your garden to the next level’. Through my consultation work, clients needed the next step but didn’t know quite how to get there. So let us take a look at the different levels I am referring to. If you wish to delve a little deeper on any of the levels, just click the highlighted text to read more.

Personality and confidence is a starting point to taking your garden to the next level

We all begin somewhere, whether you are a novice or keen amateur you can always take your garden to the next level. The starting point revolves around our levels of confidence, your skills and your personality. The more skills you develop the more confident you will become. Our personality is developed through lots of influences through our experiences. I found this article interesting when looking into the wider science Why Do People Have Different Personalities’.  To find your own garden style make take some time but I know you can get there.

In my series How to unmask your garden style and be a winner! explores our personality with our style. Our personality can hold you back or help you to move your garden to the next level.

A woman planting out using the principals of buying plants and how to make the right choice. Confidence is a key to taking your garden to the next level.
Building confidence will hellp you take your garden to the next level.

When it comes to building confidence there are several ways you can achieve this. Trial and error with experimenting, can be fun but can also lead to some costly mistakes. Another option is to go on a course and learn some skills, for many people this is not always possible. You can of course find yourself a mentor who can teach and guide you on your gardening journey.

If you are going to consider a mentor, you need to know they are credible, have the experience and skills. Learning from their mistakes can fast track your ability and speed up your own growth.

Celebrating your wins by harnessing your strengths 

Gardening is the one of the largest hobby in the UK. In a recent survey to find the top 20 lockdown hobbies by Dr Oetker Momenti. He found gardening featured in the top ten. In any one year we can either be champions or be runners up. You have to celebrate all your wins be it large or small ones! A great way to do this is to harness your strengths and delegate your weaknesses.

I’m sure there are many times you have struggled or been disappointed with your efforts. Why do we try to do something we weren’t cut out to do? Gardening is one of those hobbies where we are expected to have a go at everything. The results aren’t always empowering.

For example, let’s take a hedge. Someone who cuts hedges often is going to be faster and more accurate getting a straight line and removing enough growth. Whereas, if we are only cutting our hedges once or twice a year it can seem a mammoth task. Delegating and budgeting for the right person saves you time that you can be spending somewhere else. To explore your own strengths and weaknesses check out my checklist Harnessing Your Strengths and Delegate Your Weaknesses.

a colourful border of flowers. When you unlock your soil you will improve you plants.
When you have the right soil taking your garden to the next level becomes easier.

How to unlock your soil to grow great plants 

You might be wondering what has this got to do with taking your garden to the next level? It’s got everything to do with it, not only will you grow great plants you will fall in love with your garden. I have yet to come across any gardener who has had the perfect soil but what I have found is this.

When you improve your soil, you improve your enthusiasm for gardening and your plants will thrive. The key to any good garden is through the soil. How to unlock your soil to grow great plants. Is a more in depth on article that explains the fundamentals on transforming your borders through the soil. It’s my number one starting point, so if you have a challenging soil then this is for you.

A decorative weather vane of a goat on a rock displaying which way north is.

Learning how to work with your aspect or location

This can be challenging particularly if you have moved home and are no longer located in the same area. I am a great believer in utilising what you have and improving your soils to get better results. It is near impossible to grow the same plants on a windy hillside to a town garden with a microclimate.

Likewise, trying to recreate your new garden in the previous style, it never quite works out the same. Your results are a combination of a new soil, aspect, and location. Using nature and observing plants in your area is a key step to understanding your garden. In a future article we will cover this topic in more detail. 

"Why do plants that I buy die or disappear from my border?"

Many Gardeners

Making the right choices when buying plants is key to taking your garden to the next level

One of the questions I am asked is “Why do the plants that I buy die or disappear in my border?” We could talk about this subject for many hours! Companies that sell plants know the psychology of sales. This is having the most vibrant and attractive display possible to attract the buyer with a wow factor. The classic example of this is the Chelsea Flower Show. How many times has there been a plant trend or frenzy to buy something that has been featured there? Lots of times over the years that’s for sure.

Plants in a nursery for sale are designed to tempt you into the trap of buying them. With the knowledge of buying plants and how to make the right choice will keep you on track. to taking only the plants that are right for your garden.

Some plants you can resist but not others. I would love to help you make the right choices most of the times. Let me share a secret, I too cannot resist something that is special or looks wonderful. The only difference is years of experience knowing how plants can work together.

I have a method to keep you on track by not making the same mistake over and over again and again. Do you scratch your head your head when you get home thinking now where can I plant this plant! In my article, soon to be published Buying Plants and How To Make The Right Choice. I will delve into the fundamentals of understanding why you make such choices. How you can take those impulses and figuring out where your plants are going to go before you take them home.

"If You Like Your Garden The Way It Is, Then That's The Way It's Meant To Be"

Kristian Hickson-Booth

What brings you pleasure when you’re gardening?

If you have the gardening bug or green fingers, then you’re already loving your garden for the best part of it. However, you are maybe a season novice just dipping your toes into gardening and enjoying learning as you go. Or you are coming back and rekindling your love for being in the garden. Whatever stage, there will be some tasks you love, and this gains momentum year on year as your experience increases.

A survey carried out by Direct Science on Why garden? – Attitudes and the perceived health benefits of home gardening. It concluded that people who gardened were happier than non-gardening people. What if you haven’t reached the fun or pleasure in gardening? Are you seeing it as a chore? Then I would recommend surrounding yourself with enthusiastic gardeners. Join an online gardening group, find a mentor who can help you take your garden to the next level. Having a mentor could simply mean watching their videos, being in their community or buying a service.

A pleasurable garden border with delphiniums, alliums, eryngiums and euphorbia plants. Taking your garden to the next level comes is not something that happens over night.

What about me! How can you help a beginner like me start a garden?

Yes, in this article I have given my focus to those who have been gardening for at least one season. If you are a beginner gardener, then you are by no means left out of this conversation. This is a hobby which you need to be committed, gardening is a longer-term plan than a short one.

It will take at least five years of effort to truly bring your garden together. For some gardeners creating a garden can be your proudest achievement. Remember, celebrate your wins especially if you open your garden to the public! If this interests, you then I would highly recommend looking at doing an event with the National Garden Scheme.

As a beginner, take these tips and delved deeper, you will be amazed at your progress a year from now! My associated articles you will guide you and move you to taking your garden to the next level.

In conclusion

To sum up, build on your confidence and find your garden style with the help of your personality. Consider what your strengths are and celebrate your wind no matter how small they are. Where are you spending time and is this practical? Free yourself by delegating this work to someone else, even if you have to pay them. Nurture your soil like your garden nurtures your soul and you will have guaranteed results. Remember that no matter your location or aspect there are always plants that you can grow. When it comes to buying plants keep your inner magpie at bay! Read Buying Plants and How To Make The Right Choice to unlock your checklist.

Last but not least, remember gardening should be fun. It is designed to bring you so much pleasure that you will raise your well-being and happiness levels. Feel free to check out the highlighted text to delve deeper!

If you’ve enjoyed the content leave a comment below. 

Happy gardening 


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