The Importance of Experimentation in a Garden

Experimenting with wildflowers, ornamentals and edible crops could yield excellent results in your garden…

In a garden, it is important to experiment. While other gardeners, books, and other media can teach you a lot, learning second-hand is never enough to create a truly great garden. Even the very best gardens are a work in progress. All gardeners have to observe, experiment, and respond to change over time.

It is very important to remember that a design is just a starting point – not the end point for a space. It is important to set hypotheses, and repeatedly test them, over time. No one has all the answers and there is a surprising amount that we do not know about plants, ecosystems and their interactions.

Even if you are just starting out on your gardening journey, don’t be afraid to experiment in your place. Try out new plants, new companion planting combinations, or new techniques. Some experiments will of course fail. But you will learn a lot in the process. In particular, you will learn what works well not in general terms, but in your own specific garden.

Experimentation really is key to developing gardening skills and deepening knowledge of plants and ecosystems. And sometimes, the most unlikely of experiments can turn out to be a big success.

Don’t be afraid to go against the grain and buck the norm in your garden. Slowly, over time, small experiments and outlandish combinations might just turn your garden from something humdrum into something magical – and perhaps entirely unique.

Of course, certain things in a garden will never work. But the best way to learn is to try, and, if you fail, change tack and try again. Just make sure that you take notes of your experiments, so you know what works for the future, and can form better hypotheses for your particular garden in the future.

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