Starting a garden can seem overwhelming, both on your brain and on your wallet. Knowing where to start and what gardening tools to buy and endlessly researching rabbit burrows on the internet could ruin the process before we could actually put the trowel on the ground, so we reached out to Kaylyn Hewitt, chief floral designer at The Bouqs Co. (and Seasoned Gardener) for some advice.
“For as long as I can remember, I’ve been around flowers,” Kaylyn says of her journey to becoming a flower professional. “My mother loved them first. We had the nicest garden and she worked at the nursery in our town on weekends for fun. I never thought about a career in the flower business (or how they were a part of my life) until I graduated and started helping friends with their wedding flowers. Floral design was a hobby that turned into a passion which is now one of my greatest joys.
Read on for Kaylyn’s buying recommendations and gardening tips and tricks.
Clever: What are some common mistakes people make early on?
Kaylyne: I’ve learned to do my research on exactly when to start seeds and when to transfer your plants outside. It’s been trial and error for a few seasons, but now I pay attention to the specific needs or conditions that each seed needs in order to thrive. The best advice I can give is to always read the seed packets or the little flags of your nursery plants, they contain very useful information.
What are your essential tools for gardening or cutting flowers? And why are each of these tools important?
My all-time favorite for pruning and cutting flower stems for the vase are these Joyce Chen mowers. They are so precise and incredibly light.
For those days when I have to do a heavy pruning or cut branches, you can’t go wrong with the Felco secateurs. These are the best I have found to keep my hands and wrist from hurting at the end of the day!
Are there any tools that you would recommend specifically for novice or novice gardeners?
I have found grow lights, seed starter trays, and a good pair of pruning shears to be extremely useful for getting started.
If you are going to start planting mature flowers in a nursery instead of starting from seeds, I would start by purchasing a gardening kneeler. They are very useful in protecting your knees and back.
Do you have any favorite containers for flower cuttings or button vases?
I keep some of our mason jars outside in my garden shed. I like having them on hand because I don’t have to worry about rusting the metal containers on the outside. Another staple out there is my French market bag. They are the perfect shape for long-stemmed flowers and are so durable – this is my choice for farmer’s market groceries too.
Are there any tips you wish you had known before starting your gardening journey?
Honestly, I wish I had known how much patience it takes! I have never been so aware of my rushed nature. Gardening has been a life lesson for me. I learned to take things at a slower pace and to trust the process. I grew up watching my mom gardening (she is a master gardener), and growing up it felt like hard work, but now I think I understand how fulfilling and invigorating gardening can be.
Don’t be hard on yourself; some plants are super difficult to grow and don’t be ashamed if you have to buy!