This tutorial will provide you with an ambitious actionable plan of garden making from design to building, demonstrating my holistic approach to garden creation, when the whole picture has to be looked at and different areas simultaneously has to be dealt with, in order to to make the most out of the time and saving as much physical work as possible. The tutorial is best for busy people starting a garden or even allotment plot from sketch and who would like to achieve a low maintenance garden, as it contains plenty of shortcuts how to make life easier. It is useful for everybody new to gardening who would like to learn about eco-friendly practices, either because this hobby keeps the body and mind fit and healthy, or because growing your own is the best way to get fresh and organic food, and starting it all as a retirement pastime can be slightly late. If you take gardening seriously, you might have to do some further research (regarding both techniques and plants) but this tutorial will show you what you need to know to start, plus how to be creative and efficient. It’ll help you to make the most important step, which is actually the first step. After you just have to keep going, but by then you’ll be hooked anyway.
Horticulture is in crisis fortunately, as crises are the best opportunities to develop and move forward. After the machinery and chemical revolutions we are at the green revolution now what we can refer to as slow gardening, similar to slow food movement. I started to truly respect nature in my late 20’s when I first experienced the healing power of herbs and since then I try to model it in private gardens at the intersection of grand design and organic approach. The earliest childhood memories are very often related to the garden and with every single green space I come across with, I keep trying to recover that lost paradise unconsciously and constantly.
You will be able to overlook the steps and the whole learning curve of the course from garden planning to building.
By creating your own mood and style board you'll clarify your aims and objectives which will be an enormous help throughout planning process as well as the hands on work.
You'll collect all the relevant information regarding your climate and soil in order to underpin your plant choice. After taking measurements of the garden you'll be able to create a simple base plan.
Depending on the size of your garden and your preference, your list of plants can be very short or very long. You'll learn what aspects to consider to achieve a natural and practical planting.
You'll learn about the importance of composting and the science behind, the main ingredients of the ideal compost and the different composting methods. You'll be able to make your own organic fertiliser and differentiate between the major plant nutrients.
After considering practicalities, aesthetics and ecological features you'll be able to draw the design or create one on a computer or even a phone using free softwares or apps.
Again, depending on project this task can be carried out very quickly but it can also take years! In general at least a whole season is required unless you start from a "blank slate". You'll learn the smart way to tame and win back your garden from nature with respect, how to get and plant new plants and how to help them to establish.
You'll learn about different gardening tools as well as gardening activities you can save time and energy on. You'll be able to tackle weeds with ease, carry out simple pruning techniques and the most rewarding propagation methods.
You'll have a quick insight of the importance of the planting or moon calendar.
I am Zsu Marchant, gardener, garden coach and horticulturist (FdSc) with working or volunteering experience at Garden Organic, National Trust, Food and Environment Research Agency, Weleda biodynamic herb garden and different European organic and permaculture gardens and farms. I provide professional help and service for people who believe in greener living.