You do not need a “green thumb” to be a successful gardener. Start small, with one plant. Pick the most forgiving plants; ones that take a lot of water (such as pothos, ivy, spider plant), or ones that need hardly any water (such as a cactus or succulent). A warning; if you pick either of those types of plants, you can lose ‘em, but never give up. You need to pay attention to your plants—at least once a week remember they are around. Your kids will scream, and your pets will yelp at you. Your plants will languish in silence. Therefore set up reminders, in your software or on a post-it. The basic books on growing plants will give you specific instructions on what to do. Growing plants is rewarding because they sustain us with nourishment and beauty, and are worth the effort.
You do not know what you are missing until you have tasted a homegrown tomato. There is a major difference in aroma, taste and texture. Beginners should read one of the books listed, and start with one plant. The taste is worth it.
I always thought roses were lovely, but rather boring because the ones from nurseries and florists were predictably lovely but had no scent. This all changed when I read about the revived interest in antique or old roses. There are many shapes, formations and more than one rose fragrance. There are roses that grow well in partial shade, others that do well in small containers, and there are roses, in gardens, that are over 100 years old. A rose is not just another pretty face—some dried rose petals are used for teas and jams.
I love fresh dill and it is one of the easiest herbs to grow. My experience growing it has been miserable—a few fronds and then nothing. This year I will try to take advice from the experts, and not give the plant so much attention.
We gardeners are a persistent and optimistic bunch, always dreaming, thinking and planning about what to do next: for a small windowsill or for something bigger. We welcome other gardeners, and wannabes, with encouragement and advice.