Grow a Garden - Your New Years resolution for 2017

By The Diggers Team

Seeds To Sow Now

10 things you can do to fall in love with gardening and make an impact!

Growing a garden and some of your own food is possible for all of us, whether you live in an inner city apartment or a sprawling block

The health and wellbeing benefits that come about from gardening are well documented, however it is also one of the most achievable and helpful actions you can take to benefit the environment. 

To get you started, here are 10 actions you can take to make an impact and fall in love with gardening.

 

1   Sow Seeds

Growing from seed is one of the greatest joys of gardening and here at Diggers we encourage everyone to give it a go. In our time-poor lives purchasing seedlings has grown in popularity.  They provide a quick fix to missing the window for sowing from seed, but in skipping this step and buying time, we risk losing touch with seeds which are the basis on which all life relies.

Not only do many varieties do much better if you sow from seed, it also opens up a wider choice of varieties to try and if the seeds you choose to sow are open pollinated varieties, you can collect your own and never have to buy a packet again. 

Check out which seeds you can to sow now here. You can buy all our seeds online or visit one of our garden shops - Heronswood House and Garden is home to Australia’s biggest heirloom seed wall.  

2   Grow Heirlooms

Our supermarkets are boring! Predominantly offering hybradised varieties, they are designed to be uniform in appearance and tough enough to withstand their long journey from field to shelf instead of prioritising best tasting and open pollinated varieties.  BUT in our gardens we can grow food like our grandparents used to, and by doing so we really can positively impact biodiversity. Have a look for purple beans, black tomatoes, green apple cucumbers and colourful carrots. Diggers varieties are nearly always heirlooms and part of our mission is to make them commonplace again in Australian backyards.

 

3   Invite the Bees

Bees and beneficial insects don’t ask for a lot and it’s well known that life is getting tougher for these crucial pollinators. There are some great books and articles available that dive into ways you can support these tiny creatures, but simply it’s about making sure your garden is not all flax, deck, lawn and swimming pools. Flowers make the world go around, mix them with your vegies, turn your nature strip into a wildflower meadow and make sure you have a good dose of natives for our native bees.

 

4   Create a Summer Garden

Australian gardens have traditionally focused on spring flowers, a hangover from the influence of English gardening traditions which travelled to Australia with it’s migrants.  Yet summer is the time we are in our gardens, entertaining and enjoying the Australian lifestyle. At Diggers we have spent many years trialing summer flowering plants and lush garden plant combinations that are drought tolerant, aesthetically pleasing and permanent. Choose cool colours like blue and purple to please the eye on a hot day or create a lush summer garden using layers of soft succulants and interesting green foliage to create a sub tropic ambiance.

 

5   Plant Trees

The saying  “A society grows great when you plant trees in whose shade you will never sit in” has never been so important as our world hots up. Trees are playing an increasingly important role in cooling our cities and when chosen carefully can even help in protecting us from bushfires. Even a small garden should have space for trees, and many varieties are suited to pots so even renters can enjoy them and move them from home to home. Decide to contribute to the generations ahead by planting at least one great tree or offset your carbon by donating to an organisation like Greenfleet.

 

6   Mix Flowers and Food

Ornamental edible gardening is a mouthful of a term to describe choosing edible plants which, when planted together, create a garden full of interesting foliage, complimentary colours and have the double use of providing food. Use Oregano as a ground cover or rhubarb for structure, five colour silverbeet for the striking stalks and bananas for their foliage. 

 

7   Unleash Your Creativity - Plant Your Own Picture

Gardening is a slow form of art. It is an opportunity to create a space to reflect your favourite colour pallet, your particular aesthetic and to change the picture every year with a new selection of plants. Whether your garden space is large, small or just a balcony there is a ready made canvas waiting for you.

 

8   Visit Gardens

Beautiful established gardens, created over many years by master gardeners, are becoming rarer as properties are traded as real estate and the new occupants do not see value in the garden.  The Diggers Foundation was established to work to protect some of these gardens. Make a point of visiting gardens wherever you go, take note of planting combinations, talk to the gardeners and enjoy the wellbeing benefits of wandering around these calming spaces.  Start with your nearest Botanic Gardens and then move onto Diggers Gardens.

 

9. Support Specialist Nurseries

The arrival of big box warehouses in almost every suburb has had a devastating impact on local nurseries and specialised growers. Protect the range of outstanding and rare plants we have access to by seeking out local growers and buying and learning from them. Horticulture and small scale nurseries must remain a viable career path to ensure we don’t loose age old skills and knowledge.

 

10. Join The Diggers Club.

Help us to 'Save The Gardener' and we will help you to grow a beautiful and productive garden.

Our members enjoy 8 garden seasonal magazines a year full of the best advice and garden worthy plants, seeds and bulbs, unlimited entry to our gardens and members discounts on all our products as well as access to our online tools and resources.

We are owned by a charitable Foundation which works to protect historical gardens, garden traditions and the preservation of heirloom seeds. We are passionate about home grown food, beautiful ornamental gardens and providing gardening advice suitable to our climate. By joining us you will learn to garden.  You will be in good company with our 75’000 members. 

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Member Benefits

Seasonal Garden Magazines

Filled with plants, seeds inspirations and advice on gardening.

Visit Beautiful Gardens For Free

Unlimited entry to Australia’s most beautiful gardens at Heronswood, St Erth and Cloudehill.

Personalised Garden Advice

Members can access free advice to help you succeed from our qualified staff online, via email or phone.

Member Discounts

Every plant, seed and bulb is discounted for members, and delivered to your door.

Member Exclusives

We save our rare and unique, best new plants and seeds for members only!

Free Plants and Seeds

Select 4 packets of free seeds every spring and autumn, plus qualify for free plants with orders.

Saving Seeds and Gardens

Your membership supports our foundation to preserve heirloom seeds, gardens and our gardening traditions.

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SNAPDRAGON MADAM BUTTERFLY MIX
SNAPDRAGON MADAM BUTTERFLY MIX
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Double flowering snapdragons that perform beautifully as cut flowers, with long stems for the vase. Suits all gardens and arrangements.
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