Kim’s the perfect inspiration for first-time gardeners

Like all new gardeners, she made a lot of mistakes in the beginning.

With this in mind she’s brought out a back-to-basics book, First Time Gardener, which aims to inspire newcomers with the confidence they need to make the most of their garden.

Kim’s advice to beginners is: “Anyone who is going to take up gardening for the first time should get their nose into some books and just read a bit about what plants require to thrive.”

She also believes it’s important to consider how much time you have and when you are going to use your garden – which may have a bearing on where you site your patio to get the rigt amount of sunlight – and that you set yourself a budget.

“The vast majority of your budget is going to be spent on manpower – for instance someone to lay your patio. Materials can be picked up here and there. Plants are quite expensive, too,” she says. If you have a blank canvas and are wondering how to design your garden, Kim advises you visit gardens close to you, whether in a stately home, a National Trust property or simply a keen gardening neighbour’s plot.

“See how plants work well and what you like about the garden you are walking around,” she advises.

“You also have to think about what your own style is. Flick through magazines to look at different styles and consider which will fit in with your home and immediate area. If you’re working in an urban space, privacy is an issue as you don’t want people overlooking you – and in a sense you are freer to try out different styles. If you are in a more rural location something very contemporary might clash in a way you don’t want it to. Kim appreciates that for some, creating a new garden is a daunting prospect. “If you don’t trust your own instincts it is worth paying for professional advice and searching for a designer to come and give you a consultation. It’s a good investment for the long-term future.”

First Time Gardener by Kim Wilde is published by Collins and is priced at £17.99.