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Novice Homeowner Does Gardening

July 14, 2016

I love a good DIY project as much as I love surrounding myself with people that know more than me. One of those people is Emily Moseley. She is a friend and co-worker of mine who, along with her husband, has a knack for trying knew things. PR Manager by day, and DIY-er by night (and weekend) - she has found a real green thumb on the hand that loves to write.


Thanks for sharing your tips and tricks, Emily! 



Last year my husband and I purchased and moved into a new house in the dead of summer, so there was no way we could plant anything and keep it alive in the 100 degree days. So all winter I Pinterested and planned what my first yard projects would be.  


In previous rental homes & apartments, I’ve dabbled in potted plants and herbs. I’ve done a decent job of keeping things alive – but not great. Now, in OUR house, we have a front and back yard with some inherited landscaping but plenty of “blank canvas” space for us to do our thing.


Through my first spring planting season I acquired a few tips for other novice gardeners that really have application throughout life. In no particular order:


  • Only bite off what you can chew. Full landscaping is a lot of work – that’s why there are lots and lots of companies out there to help you. But if you really want to grow something yourself and dabble in the green arts, your best bet is to choose certain areas or projects you can really dedicate yourself to. Don’t spread yourself too thin.

  • There is no such thing as too much water, especially when it comes to outdoor plants. South Carolina summers are brutal – don't worry about overwatering your plants during the intense summer heat waves.

  • Things will die. No matter what you research, plan or do, some plants will die. This might be to human error, but it might also be due to extreme weather, unexpected conditions (like soil quality) or pesky critters that like to gobble up your plants. Don’t take these deaths personally. Use them as learning experiences.

  • Learn your sun and shade. Pay attention to the direct sunlight that your yard or porch is receiving and plant accordingly. If you plant a full sun plant in partial shade, it won’t be happy, and vice versa. This easy trick can help put your plants on the path to success. 

  • Like most other things about life, nothing is perfect. My favorite gardening project was my herb tower. With my father-in-law’s help and Pinterest inspiration, we were able to construct a pyramid that had 9 separate compartments for herbs. In full sun, herbs can grow like crazy, and will take over a space pretty quickly. The compartments were my solution. I selected 8 different herbs and a pretty flower for the top.


Here’s what it looked like a week after planting:


Things were going good – I started using my mint and parsley for salads (recipes here and here), basil for pasta. Then we went out of town a few weekends.  Then the June heat wave hit. And then I got a brutal summer cold. All of a sudden, my perfect, Pinterest worthy herb pyramid looked like this:


I still have some usable herbs – and I might be able to salvage some with better pruning, but I learned which herbs did best, and next year, I can switch out the unsuccessful ones.


I know a tiny bit about gardening, but I know more than I did last summer. And I consider that a win.




To learn more about Emily, visit her on social media:

To be a guest blogger email HintheH@gmail.com.


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