Best Garden Plants For Beginners | Contemporary Garden UK

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Best Garden Plants For Beginners

Best Garden Plants For Beginners

If you'd like to make the most of your garden this year but are not sure where to start, here are some of the best garden plants for a beginner. As a fencing and landscape company with over 35 years of experience, we've seen gardens of all shapes, sizes and styles. Everyone has to start somewhere so we thought we'd shared the plants we think are great for beginners. Plus a few tips and tricks for when you are first starting out.


Our Favourite Garden Plants For Beginners

Growing your first plants can seem a bit daunting if you've never done it before. However, there are plenty of easy to grow plants that need little maintenance and are suited to most British gardens.


Common Flowers

Probably one of the easiest ways to get into gardening is to plant some of our most common flowering plants. They are bright and pretty and will instantly add colour to any garden. Many of these plants are very inexpensive and can be bought as seed or as small plants. Our favourites include:

  • Nasturtium - They are prolific growers and produce stunning cup flowers in hues from orange and red to pinks and purples. Plant them once and the seeds they produce will keep it coming back year after year.
  • Marigolds - These bright yellow and orange flowers are a staple in gardening centres. They are robust little plants that are hard to kill and provide plenty of food for buzzing bees and butterflies.
  • Pansies - Another very easy to grow flower, they have a huge variety of colourings. They don't like too much bright sun as they can droop in hot summer so a little bit of daily shade is good.
  • Sunflowers - Fun for kids and adults alike. They are easy to grow and will brighten anyone's day once they are in full bloom. They are also great for attracting wildlife into your garden.

There are countless more gorgeous flowers that are easy to grow but these are our top ones for beginners.



Ornamental grasses are an often overlooked plant but they are an excellent addition to any contemporary garden. Plus they are very maintenance-free when you select the right variety. There are tall and short grasses. By choosing a combination, you can add texture and height throughout your garden. Here are a few easy to grow varieties.

  • Golden oats Stipa gigantea. This is a tall variety with spectacular yellow branching clusters of flowers. It can grow up to six feet tall making it a great option for creating a screen and adding privacy to your garden.
  • Blue oat grass Helictotrichon sempervirens. Another tall variety with small flowers and grey-blue leaves. This can grow to three feet providing medium coverage.
  • Blue fescue Festuca glauca 'Elijah Blue'. This short variety has intense silvery-blue leaves.
  • Feather grass Stipa tenuissima. This delicate short grass has wispy blades with fluffy brown flowers. Great to add interest and texture to a space.



While most gardeners like to start with flowers, we know many people would love to grow some food for fun. Here are the best starter vegetables for a beginner.

  • Lettuces - You only need a small amount of potting soil and a container to make plenty of cut and come again lettuce. There are endless varieties but choosing a leaf mix will provide you with some variety. They are very easy to grow and you will have some salad leaves in as little at 30 days for some varieties.
  • Microgreens - Think mini lettuce. Many of us will remember growing cress as a kid and this is the same process for micro greens. You don't even need a garden. You can grow micro green mixes but many bigger vegetable seeds can also be grown as microgreens. Broccoli, radish, cauliflower and even carrots can all be grown as microgreens.
  • Radishes - Quick to grow, they are a good first veg project. Most will mature within 30 days in the right conditions, just ensure you thin them so each radish has space to grow a juicy root.


Tips and Tricks for Your First Garden

Gardening is all about having fun, enjoying nature and getting out in the sun (when it decides to show up). The plants we've suggested are great for beginner grows but here's a few extra growing tips to get the most out of them.


Research First

This is probably the most important part of your gardening journey. Researching will make sure you choose the right kind of plant for your garden. The location of your garden in the UK can affect the plants to choose as well as when to sow or plant them. It's also important to think about the area in your garden you want to place the plants. What's the sunlight like, is there a lot of wind, and can you keep it well watered. All things to have a think about. Talk to local growers in your area or just your neighbours if they have a green thumb. Gardeners tend to be very friendly people so don't worry about asking for help.


Get Plug Plants

Some people feel they need to grow plants from seed to be proper growers but there is nothing wrong with plug plants. If you're a beginner, it's great to get your plants from a garden centre or grower so you can get used to looking after a new plant that's a bit more established. Once you feel more confident you can grow from seed.


Sometimes It Just Doesn't Work out

Sometimes things just don't go to plan. If you've accidentally left your plants to frazzle in the sun or you've been overwatering them in a panic, don't worry. It's all a learning process. Also, sometimes the weather just doesn't play right and things die without your control. Any experienced grower will tell you they face different problems every year so don't feel bad if your pansies aren't popping through when you expect.

We hope you've found this interesting and it's got you excited to grow some plants. If you want more inspiration for your garden, check out our blog which we update weekly.