Gardening with John Gabriele

Gardens are an artistic expression of the gardener themselves.

Gardens are an artistic expression of the gardener themselves.

Gardening is a fantastic hobby for everyone, from those with bottomless pockets to those who are more frugal and want to exercise their creative streak with limited outlay.

Either way gardening will require you to get your fingers dirty as patience and dirty hands come with the territory.

Sourcing plants for the garden can be as therapeutic as gardening itself. Who doesn't enjoy a nursery ramble?

Plants and sundries can be sourced through other means though, community gardens, garden clubs, online catalogues and mail order being a few.

The frugal gardener can save money by collecting seeds and cuttings from neighbours' gardens, just be sure to ask for permission first.

Propagating your own plants is where patience is required as growing seed and cuttings takes time for plants to establish and mature.

Your own garden can also be a source of new plants. When growing annuals and vegetables, if you allow a few plants to run to seed you can collect and store seed for future plantings or leave them to self-sow amongst garden beds.

These volunteer plants can be left in place, transplanted to other areas or potted into containers.

The old bartering system is another way to source new plants. Crop and swaps are a great way to increase the diversity of plants in your garden. You can even exchange plants through online websites.

Before heading out to purchase or source plants, establish a clear idea of what function you want the plants in your garden to achieve.

Screen plants, specimen shrubs, border plants, floral display etc; there are many reasons for choosing plants and if you know what function you want them to perform before you source plants, you are well on the way to making the correct selection.

Gardens by their very nature are things of beauty and are more than just a cultural expression, they are an artistic expression of the gardener themselves and a reflection of a gardener's personality.

So now you have no excuses; with a little hard work and some savvy buying, swapping and propagating, you can grow a garden to rival any other.

This story Find plants for your garden that reflect your personality first appeared on The Canberra Times.