Gardening Basics

Posted on: 25 March 2008 by Gareth Hargreaves

Plantforlife launches Advice Guide to encourage first-time gardeners.

Plantforlife launches Advice Guide to encourage first-time gardeners.

According to research, a lack of confidence and gardening knowledge means that over a third of people in the UK do not make the most of their garden. The PlantforLife survey found this information gap was a common obstacle to people gardening with 37 percent saying that simple tips and advice on gardening would boost their confidence and get them planting.

Amazingly, only 6 percent of people surveyed see gardening as a creative leisure activity, so in an effort to encourage more people to experiment in their gardens, PlantforLife has teamed up with Blue Peter gardener Chris Collins to produce the Plant Advice Guide, a free easy to use booklet for anyone who wants a blooming garden but just doesn’t know where to begin.

Chris Collins says, "Over 70 percent of people surveyed by PlantforLife said they would like to know more about gardening, yet when it comes to choosing, planting and maintaining flowers, the names, species and sheer choice can be mind boggling and even slightly daunting. The Plant Advice Guide should equip any budding gardener with the basics to get started and see rewarding results this summer."

Research also showed that nearly half of people surveyed purchase plants based purely on colour, scent and shape. Avoiding jargon and technical terms, the Plant Advice Guide contains clear descriptions of 20 popular flowering plants and shrubs. The plants are listed under their common names and the guide also includes phonetic pronunciations, so people can be confident when asking at garden centres and nurseries. Finally, an easy to follow key explains how to plant, maintain and choose the perfect planting companions for a summer garden.

The PlantforLife survey also highlighted that one in four people are not seeking advice at garden centres or nurseries because they don't know what to ask for. To address this, the Plant Advice Guide includes space for people to sketch out a plan of their garden to take to their local garden centre or nursery where Plant Advice Experts can take them through the guide helping them select the right plants and flowers for their garden.

The Plant Advice Guide is also free to download from

Andrew Maxted, HTA Director of Commercial Services and PlantforLife spokesperson, says, "PlantforLife is the Horticultural Trades Association initiative to get people involved in gardening, regardless of their knowledge or level of skill. The Plant Advice Guide aims to provide people with the confidence, inspiration and know-how to create a garden that will not only enhance their outdoor space but get them more interested in gardening.

"This campaign will highlight what amazingly knowledgeable and approachable experts garden centres and nurseries have to offer. We want to encourage people to use that expertise and reap the rewards of watching their gardens blossom and bloom."

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