Gardening is a great hobby for everyone. It can be as big or small of a project as you want and have the time and space for. The benefits are numerous and for most gardeners it is an inexpensive hobby with wonderful payoffs.
Most people who become fanatical gardeners often begin telling their story with a familiar line: "It was just supposed to be a small plot for flowers" or "a small spot to grow a couple of tomato plants". That seems to be where the magic begins. One small, satisfying success leads to another, curiosity kicks in, and soon one is wandering through garden shops thinking about next year.
If you have an out-of-the-way spot in your yard that seems dull, dig out a very small area two or three feet square. If it is a sunny spot, find a plant or two that you really like that does well in the sun. Perennials are the best choice because they will come back every year and, if you are lucky, they will need to be divided eventually. At this point you can use the "free" plants to expand your garden (see how this happens!), give to a friend or donate to a non-profit fund raiser.
What if you are an apartment dweller and have not even an inch of yard? That's when the wonder of container gardening enters the picture. Every year gardeners find new and surprising things that grow in containers.
If you want colorful blooms, choose geraniums, impatiens, or pansies. Again it depends on the amount of sun or shade. And you can start very early in the spring, long before anything is blooming anywhere else. Or, you can use your containers for tomatoes, lettuce, peppers and other veggies. Imagine coming home after work and picking your own fresh "salad" right from your balcony. That beats standing in line at the supermarket any day.
There are a few things to keep in mind about containers. When you are buying containers, choose larger sizes, preferably ones with saucers to keep your floor dry and tidy. Pay a little more money for good potting soil. Expect to water more frequently, though that depends on the size container and your area.
Once you have brightened your corner of the yard or balcony, you could add other features, such as bird baths and feeders or small water gardens or dish "waterfalls". Again, this is where the obsession begins to take root (pardon the pun).
If you get this far, you will, no doubt, have begun to notice that you wake up some mornings eager to "get out there". You'll also notice that you are being drawn outdoors more often, and that is always a good thing. Gardening is something that you can also share with children, either your own or neighbors, and friends who come by. It could possibly be the perfect hobby!
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