The joy of gardening: how to embrace outdoor space to maximise wellbeing | Tips for gardening

Tips for gardening

The average gardener spends nearly two hours a week keeping on top of gardening jobs. This may not sound like a lot, but over the course of a year this includes:

  • 15 hours a year mowing the lawn
  • 13 hours weeding
  • 8 hours re-painting sheds and fences
  • 45 hours watering plants/flowers
  • 9 hours trimming hedges
  • 4 hours jet washing patios

Of course, these are all averages. Most homeowners with a garden will need to spend some time keeping their space well-maintained, but the amount of time needed will vary depending on the garden you have. A lawn with limited planting will not require the same amount of work as someone with bordering planting and a small vegetable patch, for example. Most gardeners will be happier spending more time pottering in their garden over the spring and summer months when the weather is better too.  

But whether you consider yourself a seasonal gardener or would simply like to make more out of your space, we’ve put together some gardening tips targeted at those who have a garden, as well as people who may have limited or no outside space. 

If you have a house and garden

The average UK garden is 188 square metres, according to ONS data, but there is a huge variation depending on where you live – from an average of 16 square metres in the City of London to over 700 square metres in Na h-Eileanan Siar, Scotland. Whatever the size of your garden, consider the following advice:

Design a garden that suits the amount of time you want to spend gardening

You may appreciate highly manicured gardens, but do you have the time to dedicate to maintaining one yourself? Think about how much time you’d enjoy spending gardening and plan your garden around that.

Plan ahead for the seasons

Any experienced gardener will tell you that one of the keys to success is planning ahead. This is especially true when it comes to the changing seasons. For example, if you want to enjoy blooming flowers in spring, you need to plant the bulbs earlier. By planning ahead and taking into account the growing cycle of plants, you can ensure that your garden is always in peak condition.

Consider what your garden will look like all-year round

Many of us find ourselves with a sudden urge to get outside and start gardening when it’s warmer. However, it’s important to take a step back and consider what you want your garden to look like all year round, not just in the springtime. If you live in an area with cold winters, you’ll need to choose plants that can withstand frosty temperatures for months at a time. If you’re looking for something to brighten up those dark winter days, you might want to consider planting some evergreens or holly bushes.

Consider what you’re planting and where

Before you select your plants, be sure to do some research or read the instructions on the seed packets or nursery tags. Think about where you want to add planting and how much light the spot gets throughout the day, as well as the soil type. Research should give you critical information on what conditions each plant will thrive in, as well as how deep to plant the seeds or how far apart to space the plants.

Prepare the soil before planting

Once you’ve found the perfect spot, it’s time to start preparing the soil. If you’re starting with an existing lawn, you’ll need to remove the grass and weeds. If you’re starting from scratch, you’ll need to till the soil and add some compost or other organic matter.

Think about garden security

When considering the layout of your garden, think about what you’re planting along your boundaries and how that impacts security. Lower hedges may be better so that you have visibility over your garden, for example. Having a secure garden shed also allows you to lock away any garden valuables, such as tools.

If you live in a flat or apartment without a garden

According to ONS data, one in eight British households has no garden. So how can those people enjoy the benefits of gardening and spending time outdoors without their own private space? Well, areas least likely to have a private garden are most likely to live close to a public park, according to data, so there’s the opportunity to visit public gardens and open spaces. 

You can also consider how to utilise other space which may be available, including:


Even the smallest of balconies can be used for gardening. You can hang certain pots and planters over ledges to maximise the space you have. You’ll be surprised what wildlife, including birds and butterflies, you may start seeing from your windows.


Gardening vertically is the answer for anyone with very limited space. Use wall planters or mounts, flower pot rings, or incorporate the use of wall vases to make use of any outside wall space.


If you don’t have space outside, a lot of indoor plants thrive in pots on windowsills or other locations. You can choose the right indoor plants to suit the conditions of your home – how much natural light you have, whether you’d like them to be low maintenance, and so on.

Communal gardens

A lot of flats and apartments have communal space outside, but it often goes unused and unloved. Why don’t you suggest planting some low maintenance shrubs or flowers for everyone to enjoy? You could even put some seating to encourage people outside.


For the most green-fingered, an allotment is the perfect solution to a lack of garden space. Although many have waiting lists due to demand, you could enjoy growing your own fruit and vegetables – plus, with an allotment, you’d definitely have enough to share with friends and family.

This guide covers everything that budding gardeners, living in the city or country, need to know: The Joy of Gardening: How to Embrace Your Outdoor Space to Maximise Wellbeing. Content by Compare The Market. Explore other Guides here.

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