National Gardening Week 2018, A Passion for Plants


National Gardening Week 2018 is about sharing the love.


Gardeners sharing our passion for plants with other gardeners and inspiring non-gardeners too.



Let me pose a question to you:

Should those of us who love gardening be encouraging others to feel the same?
By which I mean, is it relevant if people only have a small balcony or shady courtyard? And anyway, aren’t most people too busy to garden these days? Isn’t National Gardening Week 2018 aimed purely at those who have reasonably sized gardens? And have the leisure time to garden in them, of course.

pittosporum tenuifolium tom thumb, red tulips, tulips, bulbs, spring flowering bulbs, evergreen shrub, lytes cary, cornwall


I know that some of my regular readers do only possess a balcony or small courtyard – and that one only has a couple of large window boxes. For whatever the reason those are the gardens they have, and they are passionate about gardening in their small spaces. They will certainly find a new garden to visit, a gardening event to attend, a new plant to squeeze in somehow. For these people, gardening is about the dreaming and the planning as well as the doing.

alpine strawberries in pot, container planting, fruit

The flipside is the people who have bought a house which is the right size and in the right location, which comes with a large garden which they do not know what to with. For the purposes of telling you a tale, I need to generalise a little; bear with me and read on…


Garden Scenario 1

Some of those individuals will let most or all of the garden revert to a wilderness and become a haven for local cats and foxes. Bees and butterflies will enjoy the buddleia, nettle and bramble flowers. Birds and ants will make nests in the undisturbed trees and undergrowth. Now arguably that is better for the environment than paving over it all! But it still a waste of precious garden space that humans could enjoy alongside the wildlife. What could National Gardening Week 2018 do for these people?

greenhouse, shed, overgrown garden

Garden Scenario 2

Others will sigh and accept they do not know what to do with the garden. But as they do want to use some of the space and feel it should look reasonably tidy will find recommendations for a local gardener to ‘deal with it’. For now, shall we ask whether National Gardening Week 2018 has anything to offer the owners of these gardens?

sharpe and lawn mower, border collie, dog, garden, patio

Garden Scenario 3

Faced with the large expanse of green outside their back door, the new owners feel a kernel of a thought; the seed of an idea that perhaps they could do something with this garden. They don’t quite know where to start, or indeed what should be the starting point. What could National Gardening Week 2018 do for these people?

slate chippings, lavender edged flower and herb border


If those are the questions and scenarios, what solutions might be possible? I offer a few suggestions…

Garden Scenario 1

I would say the first, and possibly hardest part is to encourage these garden owners to acknowledge that there is a benefit to having a usable garden. This may mean taking the monetary route, ie how the value of your property is increased by a beautiful, practical garden. Or it may be really watching and listening to others who are passionate about plants and feeling inspired by the person, even if not by the thought of actually gardening themselves.

A drip, drip approach to encourage these people to slowly wonder if it is possible to ‘do something’ with that outside space. And in the meantime the wildlife will thrive.

self seeded plants growing between york stone pavers, herbaceous perennials, wildlife friendly, pollinator plants


Garden Scenario 2

One of the key elements is finding a good gardener. This begins with paying the proper rate for a qualified and experienced person or persons. (I will proffer some advice on choosing a gardener in another blog). If these owners and their garden are lucky, the gardener will be passionate about their job, plants and gardens and know what they’re doing. This will result in a garden that the owner is pleased with. So does National Gardening Week 2018 have anything to offer them? Well, a canny gardener may suggest to the owner that visiting an open garden would help show why they need some summer flowering shrubs.

And whilst the non-gardening owner may return with a wealth of impractical ideas, they have been inspired by another person’s passion for plants. all the gardener then needs to do is direct the passion towards the right plants for this garden. Or suggest a garden designer to create a planting scheme that they can maintain, and the owner will love. Sensible garden designers and maintenance gardeners have good relationships, so their joint clients have the benefit of a beautiful garden.

These owners may in time, even get the gardening bug themselves once they understand the wonderful results that can ensue.

long water, hampton court palace, RHS Hampton Court Flower Show 2016

Garden Scenario 3

These garden owners have already started on their gardening journey. They may well visit some gardens and attend events during National Gardening Week 2018 and be inspired to do a bit more. That’s when they may search for gardening blogs on the internet; start talking to friends who love gardening and even buy a plant or two.
If you know someone in this scenario, why not point them in the direction of Plews Potting Shed blogs? Or Plews services, which hive listed below to help both new and established gardeners.

We wouldn’t want them to be disappointed when those plants die, and they give up on gardening as being too difficult…


watering in newly planted herbs, border collie, planting scheme, rosemary, thyme, marjoram, herb border, garden designer, planting design, garden project, kent

Go on, share the love of gardening and your passion for plants. We gardeners are a generous lot.

National Gardening Week 2018 takes place 30th April – 6th May. There will be events happening at garden centres and open gardens across the country for you to join in with. The decision was made to change this gardening week to a later date for 2018 to be sure that the weather would have encouraged more flowers to bloom. And at this time of year, there’s still plenty of time to catch up if you had a late start to the season.

golden elder, sutherlands gold, sambucus racemosa, planting design, garden project


If I’ve inspired you to rekindle or discover your passion for plants, why not get in touch? Plews can help you with

and much more besides.

Need more time to sit and ponder? Plews Potting Shed is a great resource for inspiration and “how to” help.

Gardening articles you may enjoy from our Award Winning Blog

Previous National Gardening Week blogs –

Thoughts from the Garden
Gardening Questions Answered
Getting Going with Growing

Other topics and blogs –

Wild about Gardens – Design Ideas for Humans and Wildlife
Summer Gardens, Ten Herbaceous Perennials for Pollinating Insects
Inspiration for a Courtyard Herb Garden
Tomato Tasting – 5 Varieties to Grow in Pots

heuchera, santolina, stipa, front garden design, parterre garden, knot garden, formal garden, planting design

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