Starting a garden can feel overwhelming—both for your brain and your wallet. Knowing where to begin and what gardening tools to buy and going down endless internet research rabbit holes might ruin the process before you can actually put trowel to soil, so we reached out to Kaylyn Hewitt, lead floral designer at The Bouqs Co. (and seasoned gardener) for some advice.
“I’ve been around flowers for as long as I can remember,” Kaylyn says of her journey to becoming a floral professional. “My mom loved them first. We had the most beautiful garden and she worked at our town’s nursery on the weekends for fun. I never thought about a career in flowers (or how woven they were into my life) until after I graduated and I started helping friends with their wedding flowers. Floral design was a hobby that turned into a passion that is now one of my greatest joys.”
Read on for Kaylyn’s shopping recommendations and gardening tips and tricks.
Clever: What are common mistakes people make when first starting out?
Kaylyn: I’ve learned to do my research when it comes to knowing exactly when to start seeds and when to transfer your plants outdoors. It’s been trial and error for a couple of seasons, but now I pay attention to what specific needs or conditions each seed needs to thrive. The best advice I can give is to always read the seed packets or the little flags in your plants from the nursery—they include very helpful information.
What are your must-have tools for gardening or flower cutting? And why is each of those tools important?
My all-time favorite for pruning and cutting flower stems for the vase are these Joyce Chen clippers. They are so precise and incredibly lightweight.
For the days when I need to do heavy pruning or cut through branches, you can’t go wrong with Felco pruning shears. They are the best, I’ve found, for keeping my hands and wrist from feeling achy at the end of the day!
Are there any tools you’d recommend specifically for first-time or newbie gardeners?
I’ve found grow lights, seed starting trays, and a good pair of pruners to be extremely helpful for just starting out.
If you are going to start out planting mature flowers from a nursery instead of starting from seeds, I would start with getting a gardening kneeler. They are so helpful for protecting your knees and back.
Do you have any favorite vessels for flower cuttings or bud vases?
I keep a few of our mason jars outside in my gardening shed. I love having those handy because I don’t have to worry about metal vessels rusting outside. Another staple back there is my French market bag. They are the perfect shape for long stem flowers and so durable—it’s also my go-to for farmer’s market runs.
Are there any tips you wish you’d known before you started your gardening journey?
Honestly, I wish I knew the amount of patience that it takes! I have never been more aware of my hurried nature. Gardening for me has been full of life lessons. I’ve learned to take things at a slower pace and trust the process. I grew up watching my mom garden (she is a master gardener), and growing up it just looked like hard work, but now I think I understand how fulfilling and life-giving gardening can be.
Don’t be hard on yourself; some plants are super hard to grow and don’t be ashamed if you have to buy!
Original article appeared on Architectural Digest | Author Rachel Fletcher