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I have a greater appreciation of looking after our planet
In today’s CoirProducts blog post, Mike Palmer, co-chair of the Garden Media Guild, and a passionate and devoted gardener, shares with us his knowledge and background in gardening. Mike opens with how he first got into gardening and who inspired him.
“I was about 7 years old when I started gardening. My parents were both avid gardeners, and very intuitive with a love of roses. I asked if I could make my own small garden in a tiny patch of ground next to our shed. And that was where and how it all started”.
Now with his own garden, Mike details how his gardening has changed, and what perspectives it has brought to his life.
“I have a greater appreciation of looking after our planet, as such, sustainability, biodiversity, reducing the use of plastic and peat in my garden is a priority. I don’t use chemicals and will look for naturalistic and/or alternative approaches to dealing with pests and diseases. With my interest in looking to eliminate/reduce the use of plastic in my garden, coir-based products have been a great option. I now use coir based pots for potting on newly propagated cuttings, and I love the coir based growing medium for sowing seeds and propagating, especially. I also have a wider and more considered approach to planting now. Planting in larger numbers for greater impact, using plants that attract pollinators and, of course, planting something new to me whenever I can. As a plant-a-holic, I love trying new plants in the garden and new combinations”.
Gardening is an activity which can bring something different to each person. Some crops and plants are harder to grow than others, gardening can often be weather dependent and there are a whole range of benefits it can bring to people’s lives. Mike tells us of his own unique experiences with gardening.
“I garden every single day, except when the weather is ridiculously wet or too cold. But whatever the weather, I will always step outside for my daily ‘garden inspection’. With growing, if you adopt the thought process of’ right plant, right place’, there shouldn’t be a problem. I always choose plants that will (on paper at least) thrive in the conditions that I can give them in my Bournemouth garden. Whenever I try a plant which might not thrive in my borders, I will try and containerise it and grow it that way.
As for benefits, this now seems like a bit of a contrived answer, but physical and mental well-being is definitely at the top of my list. As co-chair of the Garden Media Guild, an Instagram broadcaster and a garden podcaster, my time in my own garden is extremely precious. I can lose myself very quickly and forget the pressures of day-to-day life. I was trained as an artist and illustrator and so gardening lends itself to my creative side. I love putting plants together with interesting colour combos, textures and forms to provide year-round interest”.
Gardening does take time and effort, and while at times, it may seem like hard work, the satisfaction and enjoyment which gardening brings is so fulfilling. For those who may be struggling, or are just getting into gardening, Mike has some tips to share:
“Patience! And not to put too much pressure on yourself when you set out on your gardening journey. I think back to when I started and the mistakes I made. Mistakes are learning opportunities. Social media can also be very intimidating. Few gardeners seem to share their failures, concentrating instead upon successes. And finally, don’t be afraid to ask questions. There is no such thing as a silly question, and if there is, I’ve asked loads of them myself”.
Thank you to Mike for sharing his story with us. You can find more about his gardening on his Instagram @mike_thegardener and via his podcast – Mic the Gardener with Mike Palmer.
If you’d like to share your gardening journey with us and the gardening community, send us a DM on instagram, or email email@example.com.