Anyone can garden – having a green thumb is a myth

The myth of the ‘green thumb’: you can garden! Don’t know where to start? No green blood in your veins? Can’t keep ‘even’ a houseplant alive? Of course, you can’t actually be born with green fingers, but is it something that some people have and some people do not?

Here at GoTo4 Gardening, we think that anyone can garden! One of the most common reasons people give for not working in their garden is that they don’t have a ‘green thumb’; this is a myth! With a bit of advice and keeping things simple to start, anyone can garden – and garden well!


Read as many gardening books as you can

If you want to follow instructions, then the chance is you probably will succeed; this is how gardening works to begin with! Read, read, read, then purchase some plants that will suit your garden, look after them, and they will probably do OK. Gardening is a developed skill and for most people this skill is self-taught. Gardening can quite often be a case of trial and error but this is, or at least should be, a process to be enjoyed.

Design and experiment!

Once you have a little experience under your belt, then now is the time to experiment. Trial new plants and see how they grow in your garden. With gardening, you will never know all there is to know. Even the most knowledgeable of gardeners and the most experienced garden designers are always learning to improve their trade. We are all in this together. We really do believe that successful garden design can be achieved by anyone!

Five essential elements of successful garden design

In garden design, there are five basic elements that are required for a garden to be an aesthetically pleasing design: colour, form, line, scale, and texture. The creative use of features and plants creates a wonderful garden that will serve its design brief and will make looking at, and being in a pleasure.

We will use these five points to consider how the beginner garden designer can emulate the designs for themselves.

  1. Colour

    The use of colour is essential in garden design. The careful colour choices of plants and feature combinations will make or break your design. The use of similar colours creates tranquility, and different colours show contrast. Cool and warm colours can change the mood of the person who views or walks through the garden. It is safe to say that colour choice is one of, if not the, most important design aspect to get right!

  2. Form

    The choice of the shape of a plant or object is its form. The form can help to create drama in your garden; sudden wild-looking planting alongside low and clipped plants will challenge the eye and the mind. Formal gardens are likely to make good use of form, especially the use of clipped hedging. When one thinks of a natural looking garden, free-flowing plants, and their forms will play a big part in the design. Objects to have their part to play when it comes to different forms in a garden; pots, sundials, and even greenhouses, for example.

  3. Line

    Lines can be found all through a garden design, and they don’t have to be straight! Around a bed, along a path, or in the method of planting; lines are everywhere. Lines have a real effect on the flow of the garden, so make sure you are using them to their full potential. Think about how the eye will be drawn along the line and what you will see at the end of the line. Straight lines and angles create a formal appearance, and curved lines can be used to create a more natural look. Lines are not just on the ground either. Use plants, hardscaping, and objects to create vertical lines too. You can pull the eye to the landscape with the use of tall trees, for example.

  4. Scale

    The scale is a very important element of garden design, but you can also create the illusion of scale with planting and hardscaping. The scale must be balanced to be effective though. This means that when you are choosing the plants or objects for your garden, you need to consider the size of the space and how the size of the object will effect it.

  5. Texture

    Traditionally, texture has been created with the use of plants. Contemporary garden designers are now utilizing the textures that are found in hardscaping, gravels and chippings, and objects to add texture to their designs. When using plants to create texture, it is important to remember that the many different parts of the plant help to create different textures. Consider how the plant will look through the seasons and it’s changing shape and textures when you are planning your planting scheme.

Next week we will explain goal oriented garden design and different types of plant