What is it?     What you need     Getting started     Find out more


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What is it?

  • Gardening in some form is one of the most popular activities in the UK.  

  • It can range from looking after indoor plants and window boxes, through tending a small patio or roof garden, up to care of an extensive area of lawn, flower beds, shrubs and trees.  

  • Many people also grow their own vegetables and fruit, either in their garden or on a nearby small garden (or allotment) usually rented from the local council.    

  • Entering your garden products in local competitions is also part of gardening for some people, especially the vegetable and flower growers.

Find out more


British Gardening Online
HDRA (Henry Doubleday Research Association)
National Council for the Conservation of Plants and Gardens  01483 211465
National Society of Allotment and Leisure Gardeners  01536 266576
Royal Horticultural Society  0207 834 4333


Allotment & Leisure Gardener 
Amateur Gardener 
BBC Gardeners' World Magazine 
Garden Answers 
Garden News 
The Garden 
The Kitchen Garden 
The Water Gardener 

Getting started

  • Find a local gardening group or club (see organisations above).

  • Take a class or course at your local adult education centre.

  • Consult books or magazines on different types of gardening.

  • Check in your local library/paper or garden centre for more information.

What you need

Skills and people
  • Gardening can be done by all people whatever their age or sex.  It can be quite energetic (for example if you choose to do much digging), but it can also be taken very gently and is popular with older people.  

  • It is easy to take up, though there are many skills involved in special types of growing if you want to learn them. 

  • Gardening is something that many people do at home, either on their own or with other members of the family.  

  • But many gardeners also belong to local groups and clubs, where they can share experiences, get advice and have social contacts.  Clubs are also active in organising local competitions for the best growers.

Equipment or clothing
  • Plants or seeds of some kind are obviously essential, together with soil in the ground or containers in which to grow them, and some basic tools.  

  • There is a wide variety of special equipment of different kinds (for e.g. pruning, watering, lawn care, greenhouses etc) and many natural and chemical fertilisers and care products.  

  • There are also special garden shoes and other garden clothing, though many gardeners just wear suitable old clothing.

A place or facilities
  • Your own house and garden, however small, is the obvious place for gardening.

  • House plants can be grown almost anywhere, providing you choose the variety suited to the light and heat conditions.  Similarly only a small outdoor area or conservatory is needed for larger containers.  

  • Many more serious gardeners rent local authority allotments if their own home provides an inadequate growing area.

Have a go - get started now

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