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having spent all winter learning, and formulating my plans for the garden this summer, collecting seeds, researching and researching more, asking a zillion questions here, and then digging and improving my new borders.... I'mm now terrified to start! im suddenly frightened that my 'cottage garden' is going to actually be a messy overgrown out of control patch, or that none of my seeds will grow! What if slugs get them? (although ive yet to find a slug or snail in my garden...) or what if the birds eat them? or what if its too warm? too cold? too wet? freaky frost or snow arrives? what if what if what ifffffffffff......

We just moved to this house last year, and the neighbours have been watching my soil improving efforts with great interest for weeks, (ive ended up chatting to lots of them about it!), but now im thinking that they must be waiting for this amazing garden extravaganza... and im going to fail miserably... is this normal?


You won't fail, LH. not everything will go right but that's part of gardening.

If you've done your research and asked all the questions you won't be planting rhodos in chalk or bog plants in a gravel bed. Plants naturally grow and they will.

im actually just planting lots of different hardy annuals so surely theres not even that much that COULD go wrong.. right? 

Steve 309

What's the worst that could happen?    Nutcutlet's right - there'll be successes and failures and some things that just turn out differently.    Hardy annuals will be fine if you just stick 'em in the ground and brilliant if you look after them a bit.  And it'll depend on the weather of course.  Maybe keep some seeds/plantlets in reserve to replace losses?


And, do grow something to eat!

Im growing strawberries in a pallet, but only my front garden has proper earth.. the back and side are all paved / decked, and much as I would love a proper veg plot... im not sure my front garden is the place for it!


I had the same feelings with my first garden 4 years ago. I did exactly the same as you - lots of hardy annuals. Even the ones that didn't work out we're fine because others did so well they more than made up for it. It was, seriously, one of my best ever experiences watching that garden grow. I couldn't believe it. 

My expectations were low and I was AMAZED! Don't worry, even if some things don't work out other things will far exceed your expectations. It sounds like you've don't lots of research which is more than I did and I still had success so with all the work you've done I'm sure it will be wonderful. 

Everything you've pictured in your mind will be exceeded! It's wonderful! 

Make sure you post some pictures in the summer so we can see the results!

I'm starting again now with a new garden much bigger than the first one. I've had a few of those "agh!" Moments but I have faith in nature (and sweet peas). 


Even after 20 years of gardening, I still start spring thinking that seeds wont germinate, that all my perennials will fall off their perch and that shrubs will develop unspecified but deadly diseases.

Most of these things dont happen, but one of the wonderful things about gardening is that death does not have to be a disaster, look upon it as a new planting opportunity.

Plants want to grow, yours will and you will love your garden, it is pre-ordained.


Phasmid - sweet peas can transform almost anything can't they 

They should be available on the NHS doc!

One small piece of advice I'd give is - get some height - don't have everything on a similar level. It can look very dull even if you have lots of colour. And the aforementioned sweet peas will do the job very well Loganberry. A few wigwams dotted around will make a big difference 

great idea,.... im going to grow sweet pea along the back fence, but maybe i need some in the front too!


I dont think anyone here can claim that they got it right first time,every time, part of what makes it so satisfying is that there are no guarantees of success, whoever you are, but when it works the results are often magical.

Fully endorse growing sweet peas, when you cut your first bunch and bring them indoors it will brighten your day.

Have fun learning along the way.

Steve 309

Getting right first time is boring anyway, and non-eductional!  We learn from mistakes.  Eventually

Green Fingered Mikey
Trial & error pal thats how I see it now I'm new to gardening to so I know how you feel which I am sure everyone will like steve said it would be boring if we got everything right first time.

LHut..........I'd second all that I'd add talk to your neighbours about what they grow in their garden....what does well, what to avoid, etc. etc. People like nothing better than to have someone ask their opinion/advice so take advantage

You don't always have to actually do exactly the same but you may pick up a few tips ( and free cuttings if generous neighbours ).

Above all, so what if some stuff doesn't work out ?  You'll know for the next time

You enjoy your garden

After your annuals have put on a show this year (and I am sure they will), think about adding some shrubs in the autumn or next spring ready to look amazing next year.  Depending on your soil and position, things such as lavenders, hebe's, grasses etc which will give structure in winter and perennials such as geraniums, oriental poppies and others that will look better year on year.

Don't forget, that even if your garden looks amazing for a couple of years, it will be changing all the time, thats nature.  Things will outgrow their original position, will self-seed, will need dividing.

Good luck!

Steve 309

Oh yes - if there's one thing gardeners ylike more than gardening it's talking about gardening.  And if there's one thing we like more than talking about gardening it's giving advice.

Which is why this forums so busty.


Steve ............slip of the typing finger or something more deep rooted ?

Orchid Lady

Loganberry, I hope those feelings are normal because if they aren't then I need to worry too!!  I feel exactly the same.  I have had the neighbours watching/asking about my greenhouse and asking about my borders, I have told my family and friends how lovely and bright my garden is going to be is summer and now I'm thinking the same as you.....what if it all goes wrong and I look like a complete will be name change time again  As the others and more experienced people have said though, it may not all be perfect but it should go ok and will be an improvement on last year anyway.  Stay positive 

You will never be happy with your garden as it is a life plan and you will evolve with it.But if you have put in all that hard work in to it as all us gardener s have to do , then you will be rewarded.Just a question, have you placed your perennials in blocks to gain a more effective colour scheme( blocks of 3,5, or 7 perenials)









Steve 309
philippa smith2 wrote (see)

Steve ............slip of the typing finger or something more deep rooted ?

Hmmm... well it WAS a slip of the finger....