I’m a fairly recent convert to gardening. In my teens and early 20s, I had no appreciation of the joys to be found digging and watering, planting bulbs and pulling weeds and generally pootling around with a cup of tea in hand, looking at what’s going on in your little patch of land.
When I bought my first flat with a garden, about a decade ago, a little spark of interest was born. I bought a few plants online chosen for their attractive-looking flowers (almost certainly completely unsuitable for where I lived) and stuck them in the ground and forgot about them. Then wondered why almost everything died and anything that was alive didn’t flower as it was supposed to.
From then on, I started to pay proper attention and slowly, slowly, bit by bit, have started to understand how and why things grow.
In the early finding-things-out-myself days, it seemed as if there was some special code language attached to gardening; odd-sounding jargon abounding whenever I had a problem to solve or read a gardening book or magazine.
In all honesty, it wasn’t until I took a course in horticulture a few years ago, that I really started to understand what some of these phrases were all about.
As I’m just starting out on another course in 2015 (this time in garden design, about which I am supersupersuper excited) I thought it might be a nice time to run a little series on the blog.
Now, I wouldn’t in the slightest like you to think that I think I’m any sort of gardening expert. (Nor would I like you to see my actual garden, right now, which is a pretty ugly mess of half-planted beds, grass that needed a decent mow back in the summertime, and the world’s biggest and ugliest greenhouse…)
However, as I’m learning new things every week, I thought it might be quite fun to share a gardening jargon buster. Once a fortnight throughout the year, I’ll be working my way through the alphabet, sharing a few thoughts and tips on various gardening terms.
I’m picking the ones I hadn’t heard of before, or ones that always confused me, or, sometimes, just things I find especially interesting. (It’s possible I am the only person in the country who is so utterly fascinated by the concept of dehiscent seeds.)
So, if you’re interested in that sort of thing, then please do check in here on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month and I will (hopefully!) get all the way from A to Z by the time 2016 swings around.
I’m kicking off the alphabet tomorrow with an A for alkalinity and acidity (aka soil pH). Something that is actually quite weirdly fascinating once you dig into it a little (‘arf ‘arf, pun intended…)
I’ll keep this page as a contents page, adding links to each article as I publish them, so do bookmark this if you just want to come back in a few months and see a bunch of articles all at once.
So, then, til tomorrow!
The jargon buster index:
A: Alkalinity to acidity; understanding soil pH levels
B: Biological control: why birds beat bug sprays
C: Calcifuges: all about the acid lovers of the plant world
D: Deadheading plants: how and why to go for the chop