Meet the ‘Google’ gardener!


Thank God for Google! I am sure I am not the only one who swears by it.

Thanks to big G, there is an easy fix for everything. Anything we need help with, anything we want to know, any place we have never been before….no sweat..just Google!

With the onset of spring in the Southern Hemisphere, I was suddenly surrounded by lovely patches of green and fresh blooms. Amidst all that, my little piece of brown earth stuck out like a sore thumb. So much so that even the birds passed us by without a backward glance!

Winter had not been kind to my garden….and neither had I. Apart from the occasional watering of the lawn and the beds, I had pretty much ignored the garden for the last four or five months. So unsurprisingly, not much had survived the cold winds and low temperatures of Joburg.

Embarrassed by its sorry state, I decided it was time to get cracking. After all, how difficult could it be to get some new plants and set them in the earth? Well, I was soon going to find out!

In all my life, I had never really worked in a garden. Admired, appreciated and walked off. That was the extent of my involvement with flowers and plants. Anything more was totally uncharted waters for me. But I wasn’t frazzled. After all, I had Google God on my side!

So very diligently I set to work. First things first – I needed to know what flowers/plants I should buy for my garden. This opened a whole new can of worms. Not only did the search throw up names like begonias, petunias, pansy, verbenas, but it also took me to websites with words like mulching, deadheading, compost, plant feed, slow release fertilizers, liquid fertilizers, potting soil..the list was never-ending. Imagine the predicament of a first time gardener. I was LOST.

But not for long. Google god to the rescue again (wonder why there is no super hero movie about big G!). I put aside my list of plants for the time being and set about preparing the garden for planting. Hours of research, reading and tips from professional gardeners, I was back on track.

If I really wanted my flowers to bloom, and continue blooming, I would have to put in some back breaking work. For a week, I toiled. I cleared the garden of dead leaves and plants. I removed the weeds. I pruned. I deadheaded (now I know what it means!) existing plants. I loosened the soil. I added compost. I even made a diagram tracking the hours of sunlight each section of the garden received!

The paraphenalia
The paraphernalia

Then it was time to figure out which plants I wanted. Not easy again. Before buying them, I needed to determine which ones would do better in sunny areas and which ones in the shade; which ones needed special care and which ones would grow with little or no attention; while some were climbers, others were ground covers; some were annuals, others were perennials; some were exotic and some were indigenous! Oh my word….even when I went to bed, I could hear my brain reciting- Dianthus: full sun; pansy : full sun to semi shade; Star Jasmine: climber for the hedge; and so on.

After spending hours in the sun, my garden now looks a wee bit presentable. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Big G for its unparalleled support and knowledge, for the hours of selfless guidance and words of encouragement, without which my brown patch of earth would remain brown.

Praise be to the GOOGLE GODS!!

The 'new' petunias
The ‘new’ petunias
Waiting to be planted.....
Waiting to be planted…..


4 thoughts on “Meet the ‘Google’ gardener!

  1. Hats off to you!! We are quite “florally impaired.” But cannot bear to part with our one decrepit houseplant, an orchid that got all stalky and spidery… any advice?

    1. Unfortunately, being a novice myself, I am in no position to give you any advice! Have never grown an orchid in my life! The only thing I can suggest is…Just. GOOGLE!! And hope your precious plant survives.

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