Resources for Beginner Gardener

(Question)

Hello, I just moved into a house after being a condo dweller most of my life and i have a lawn and garden for the first time. Unfortunately I know absolutely nothing about gardening. Could you point me in the direction of a very beginner resource?

(Answer)

 

Congratulations on your new house!  You will have a busy year ahead of you.

Regarding your “lawn and garden” you should take some time to think about what you already have there, and what you want to use these spaces for.    For instance, are there already some flower borders?  lots of sunny grass?  big trees making shady areas?  will children and/or dogs be playing there?  do you envision having dinner parties/BBQs there?  and so forth.  You also should ask yourself how much work you want to undertake:  do you want a low maintenance garden?  to easy gradually into growing things?  have your own vegetable garden?   Budget is naturally another consideration.  If your house is brand new and in a new development, it would probably be wise to find out what kind of soil you have.  Plants care about soil, sun, and water.

The Toronto Botanical Garden, at the corner of Leslie Ave and Lawrence East (777 Lawrence East) is open to the public, and has an extensive library of books on all kinds of lawn and garden topics.  Check out their website at torontobotanicalgarden.ca.  They also sponsor a program of short lectures and seminars, as do many commercial nurseries.  If you want professional help, Landscape Ontario (landscapeontario.com) maintains a list of reputable companies by neighborhood.

If you are shopping for a book, be sure that it is about Canada specifically, since conditions in the United States or Britain are quite different.  There are many, but when I first moved into a house, I got a copy of Reader’s Digest Illustrated Guide to Gardening in Canada, and found that it covered all the bases.