One of the best decisions you can make is to take up or do more gardening. As a beginner gardener you benefit yourself, local wildlife, and your garden. Not only will growing plants improve the look of your home and outside space, gardening has also been proven to be incredibly therapeutic.


Spending time outdoors is thought to significantly reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. Caring for plants or growing produce brings a wonderful sense of purpose, pride, and satisfaction.


With so many plants to choose from however, getting into gardening can seem like a daunting prospect for the beginner gardener.


Positive Start

The best way to get started with gardening is to choose plants that are low-maintenance. As they will thrive in a range of conditions. This means that as a beginner gardener no matter the space, you’ll be able to get to grips with the basics of plant care.

To help you choose the first few plants for your new patch, I’ve listed my top five favourite plants for the beginner gardener. Each of these are easy to grow and will suit nearly all conditions.

An apple a day

Apple trees are not just for the seasoned pro, beginner gardeners can have them too. Also they’re not just for people with acres of space – many dwarf varieties can be grown in a border.


Make sure you buy a self-pollinating tree, such as ‘Laxtons Superb’. Otherwise your tree may not bear fruit. Simply ask at your local garden centre and they should be able to help you. Apple trees generally like a sunny location, they can be planted during the winter, as long as the ground is not hard with frost.

fan trained apple tree


These trees are so wonderful. Not only do you get a beautiful blossom in spring, you can also be harvesting your very own homegrown apples through summer and autumn. You also get fabulous autumn foliage colour and the branches are perfect for nesting birds, who will feast on your apples too.

Beautiful buddleja

Buddleja davidii (butterfly bush) are immensely hardy and low maintenance flowering shrubs. Ideal for beginner gardeners, with their long spires of small flowers that are known for attracting lots of beautiful butterflies.


Great for positioning in beds and borders, they can grow very large if left unchecked. So be vigorous when pruning, cutting it back to one or two buds from the old woody growth.

• Sun – Full sun or partial shade
• Position – South, West or East facing
• Exposure – Sheltered
• Moisture – Well-drained or moist but well-drained
• Soil – Chalk, loam, sand, or clay

fan trained apple tree

Flowering forsythia

A great easy-going shrub for beginner gardeners that give you a vibrant cloud of yellow flowers in spring.


Forsythia requires a sunny spot but is happy in all soil types and aspects. A hardy plant, forsythia will survive comfortably in a UK winter. As an early spring bloom they are welcome sight before the rest of the garden has woken up.

fan trained apple tree

Again, Forsythia is prone to growing quite large if left to its own devices, so regular clipping back is necessary. It can make a beautiful hedge if clipped annually.

• Sun – Full sun or partial shade
• Position – South, North, East or West facing
• Exposure – Sheltered
• Moisture – Moist but well-drained
• Soil – Loam, sand, clay, or chalk

Honeysuckle, I’m home

Every garden can benefit from a climbing plant. As not only do they add visual interest with their variation in height and structure. But they are also fantastic for masking any unsightly walls or fences.


Honeysuckle will thrive in full sun or dappled shade in any soil type, and is semi-evergreen. Meaning it will bring foliage colour to your garden all year round. Depending on how hard the winter is. In the summer it brings beautiful sweetly scented flowers that look delicate but are in fact really hardy.

‘Halliana’ is a great variety with white and yellow flowers that have a heady scent.

• Sun – Full sun or partial shade
• Position – South, West, North or East facing
• Exposure – Sheltered
• Moisture –Moist but well-drained
• Soil – Chalk, loam, sand, or clay


Happy herbs

Herbs are the best plants to try if you want to get into edible gardening.

There’s a real satisfaction in using fresh herbs you have grown yourself in the kitchen. Plus they are easy to grow indoors or outdoors. And can easily be grown in containers to save space.


Rosemary is particularly hardy, will thrive in poor soil and needs very little water. Sage, lavender, and mint are also good plants for growing. Mint can be a little rampant – so may be best in a pot.


Try growing thyme, basil, parsley, and oregano together in a warm, sunny border or in pots on the patio. Herbs are relatively cheap to buy and only need a light trim to keep them looking healthy.

For more garden planting ideas, check out my blog:

Or check out my Pinterest board for more ideas: