Gardening Is Blooming

Hello, I'm Clare an English florist living in Los Angeles, California. I was raised deep in the English countryside in the North of England by two passionate gardening parents. Nowadays, I live with my three teenage kids in Sherman Oaks, California, and design romantic, wild, and garden-inspired arrangements for flower delivery in the Sherman Oaks area and beyond. I also work with clients on custom flower arrangements, flowers for birthday parties, and events. 

According to Reuters: W. Atlee Burpee & Co sold more seed during the month of March than any time in its 144-year history - that's incredible. I get asked fairly often by friends, neighbors, and regular clients for garden advice. I love to help and pass on anything I may have learned from my gardening. I am in no way an expert gardener and I'm an impatient one too, though I'm working on that. Here are my top five tips:

1.  If you're growing vegetable plant veggies you are going to eat. I know that seems obvious but all those zucchinis I grew last year were a lot for one person (me) to get through - my three teenage kids hate zucchini. 

2. Remember to water and feed your plants and flowers. Water every day during dry weather and feed once a week when they are blooming. Try and feed your veggies and cut flowers the same day each week - they like it like that! 

3. If you can place your pots or planters where you can see them (frequently) do that -  at the front door or in the yard where you can see them through your kitchen window or on your pathway/staircase from your car. It's nice to admire your handiwork and pat yourself on the back.

4. Trial and Error. This is a big one for me. I'm all about trial and error. Make a note of what grows well where (I can't rely on myself to remember.) I have a dedicated notebook with rough drawings of what is planted where and how well they grew. If you planted your tomatoes too close together, make a note of it and you'll change it next time, or not enough sun for your zinnia, write it down.  Don't rely on remembering. It also makes sense to make a note of what is grown where because you should rotate your veggies. Growing the same vegetable in the same spot year after year draws the nutrients from the soil and can also lead to disease in your plants. 

5. If you're just starting out, pick three things you are going to grow and focus on them. When I first started out I planted everything and then found it difficult to keep up with what needed attention.

 I'd love to see the "fruits of your labor" if you post on Instagram you can tag me, or send me a photo to hello@smithandlily.com. Good luck and happy gardening. 

A couple of books I love  are:

The Gardens of Arne Maynard. When it comes to flower growing and planning a garden, there is lots of inspiration to be found in the garden designer's book. The book features twelve gardens around the world designed by Arne describing the design process of each garden and details of plant selection.

In Bloom by Clare Nolan gives a detailed, easy to follow guide to growing, harvesting, and arranging homegrown flowers. 

 

 

 

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