One of my main aims with Gardener's HQ is to get people to embrace their gardens. The site shares insights and advice on cultivating and tending to a wide variety of plants, from everyday favorites to unique additions that will help elevate your garden's appeal.
But first, let me introduce myself. I'm Dean, a former Plant Biologist. It has been many a year since I earned my PhD carrying out Flowering time research at the Max Planck Institute, and later helped with the Rice and Grasses Database at Cornell.
Nowadays, my main passion is this gardening site. Learn more about my journey and connect with me via my About Page.
My site currently carries growing guides for over 550 genera of plants, and for more than 250 specific garden plant species. You'll also also find a wealth of general gardening articles to explore.
My plant growing guides are designed to provide quick and easy access to essential information, yet still carry plenty of in-depth information for those requiring further knowledge.
In addition to the 'Gardeners HQ Plant Growing Guides', which provide information on sowing, locating, and caring for your plants - the Gardeners HQ site also carries garden feature articles on diverse topics such as helping attract wild-life to your garden and learning how to add wonderful year-long color to your garden.
Future topics will be aimed at organic gardening, growing plants in Containers or Small spaces, Square-foot gardening, Raised bed gardening, and Garden Design and Landscaping. Check out this post on How to make compost for an example
I am also planning an 'In the garden' section, which will provide ideas on enjoying your time outdoors, and advice on choosing gardening tools and appliances.
This section of Gardener's HQ will also make it easy to find the right garden furniture and decorations to turn your garden into a joyful extension of your living space during the warmer months.
Looking for some gardening ideas? Then why not give some of the following garden plants a go.
Learn How to Grow and Care for the Yucca Plant. This makes a great landscaping plant and is ideal in dry areas, but be careful of it's sharp leaves.
Have you ever thought about growing succulents such as the Ice Plant? Learn how in our Mesembryanthemum Growing Guide.
The Pot Marigold carries an abundance of beautiful golden flowers. The petals also have a culinary use.
Pistacia chinensis is a slow growing tree that is great for adding shade to the garden.
If you are living in a warmer area then Ixora coccinea can make a great hedging plant.
An interesting low-growing mat-forming plant to grow as ground coverage in sunny or partially shaded parts of the garden is Ceratostigma plumbaginoides
The Glory flower is an evergreen perennial climber that can help to attract wildlife to the garden.
New Zealand Bur can make a great groundcover, but be sure to only grow it where it is allowed because it may become invasive in ideal conditions.
Looking for a gardening challenge? Then why not see if you can successfully grow a Blue Poppy
Looking for something a little different? Nodding Star-of-Bethlehem is a good performing plant with distinctive bell-shaped flowers.
Another plant that produces beautiful blooms is the Hyacinth flower.
Feeling fruity, then why not give growing the persimmon Diospyros kaki a go?
If you like trees, and live in a warm area then how about adding a palm tree such as Chamaerops humilis to your landscape.
Or maybe you'd like to grow a rare succulent such as the Candle Plant. This has green or grey leaves and is best grown in a container.
There are many reasons to start gardening.
A lot of people say that they enjoy to garden because it helps them to feel at one with nature and mother Earth.
Surely there are few things more satisfying – other than your own family of course – than sowing a seed, nurturing the seedlings, and watching them turn into a fully-grown, beautiful creation.
There are many benefits to be gained from making a little effort and learning how to start gardening:
Grow Healthy food
In these days of mass-produced everything it is no surprise that gardeners like to grow their own fruit, herbs, and vegetables.
Not only does it taste so much better when it is freshly picked but you know exactly how it was grown, hopefully avoiding non-organic pesticides as much as possible
A Beautiful Garden
Go on I’ll admit it, even us men love beautiful fragrant flowers.
By planting the right flowers in your garden or yard, you will be able to bring color to the garden all year long; even in the winter if you use evergreen species such as Daphne, Buxus, Lavender, Japanese Fatsia, Camellia, and Euonymus.
To me, there can be little as delightful as a Fall flower garden; the contrast of bright displays along with the wonderful colors produced by senescent leaves makes the garden at its most beautiful.
To Be at One With, and Bring Nature into the Garden
In addition to the plants themselves, growing the right plants can help to bring many birds and animals into your garden.
You might try to grow butterfly garden plants for instance, to bring these beautiful creatures into your garden; a delight for young and old alike.
Exercise and Getting Yourself Outside
There is nothing better than getting a bit of fresh air, and what better way to do it than to spend some time in the garden? Not only will you help to boost your vitamin D levels from the sunlight, but you will also be partaking in both anaerobic and aerobic exercises.
Not sure what to do in the garden? Then be sure to check my monthly gardening to-dos, like my July Garden Jobs page.
You may not think that gardening involves much effort, but gardening typically burns from 300 to 400 calories an hour; especially when you are doing vigorous garden activities such as mowing the lawn or forking/turning over the soil.
As long as you do not already have the condition then gardening can be good for the bones; of course, if you are suffering from ill health, then you should ask your doctor for advice before doing any strenuous activities in the garden.
Making and Saving Money
Nowadays, money does not seem to be as easy to get as it used to.
By growing your own fruit and veg, not only will you enjoy better tasting food but you will also save money on prices paid at farmers markets or the supermarkets.
If you concentrate on growing crops that you enjoy to eat and that tend to cost more money than commonly grown plants, then you are likely to save even more money.
Muskmelon, and Chick Pea are particularly delicious fruit and vegetables to consider.
Many people take this a step further, and grow excess vegetables to sell at a farmers market stand for themselves, or to give to their friends in exchange for other things.
Many gardeners also make money by growing flowers in the greenhouse and selling them as seedlings/young plants on a market, or even to a nursery/garden center.
You can not only make money by selling plants though! It is estimated that a nicely kept garden can add 10–15% to a price of a property, and make it much easier to sell.
Having Fun Gardening with the Kids.
Sharing gardening tasks with the little ones can be a lot of fun for all involved.
There is not much that beats the feeling of watching the seed you sow grow into a fully-grown plant.
You can also have fun indoors learning how to sprout mung beans with them; and then you can cook with them too.
The Cardoon plant Cyanara cardunculus, is a tender perennial plant that looks like celery but tastes more like Artichoke.
Geranium sanguineum is a perennial that blooms with pink flowers in the summer. It is known by the common names of Bloody cranesbill, Blood-red cranesbill, or Bloody geranium.
Canna is a half hardy perennial that is often grown as an half-hardy annual in the garden. It is commonly called Canna Lily or Indian Shot.
All of the plants featured on this site can be navigated from the navigation bar or easily found from the search bar at the top right; here are some garden plant growing guides to get you started: