Learn how to Grow an Organic Garden

Tips for how to grow an organic garden filled with fruit and vegetables, herbs for skincare, and DIY projects made with free and eco-friendly materials.

There are all kinds of gardeners in the world. People who love their house plants, herbaceous borders, succulents, or are fascinated by a single type of flower. I’m the kind of gardener that likes to put the garden to use. For me growing a garden is as much about creating a beautiful green space as it is about practicality. At the heart of Lovely Greens is ways to grow an organic garden and then using your harvests to better your health and well-being. Organic gardening for beauty products is a major topic and if you’re here to learn how to make natural handmade soap with homegrown herbs you’re in the right place.

I like to grow plants that serve at least two purposes — that could be plants that look great but are also edible, healing, therapeutic, or provide food for wildlife. When I speak about useful plants, as I do in my book, I mean plants that humans can use. A way to reap a reward for the effort of growing a garden. Although I love creating a beautiful space to relax in and to enjoy, it’s important to me to grow plants that I can eat and use to nurture my creativity. At the very least, they should provide habitat and food for the beneficial wildlife that lives in my garden too.

Grow an Organic Kitchen Garden

A kitchen garden is simply a place where you grow fruit, herbs, and vegetables for your own table. It could also be a backyard garden, an allotment, a community garden, or even a balcony. There are a lot of terms thrown around in gardening, and it can be confusing to the beginner. I aim to show the process of starting a garden, and growing food, as easy as possible.

As a practical gardener, I feel that it’s important to keep the garden as organic as possible. Organic, meaning avoiding using pesticides, herbicides, or fungicides. One reason is that each herb, flower, and vegetable that I grow is going to end up either in me or someone I love. The bees and butterflies are going to have their fill and hedgehogs are going to have a root around too. Poisons should not be used on food, or on the plants and soil in your garden. Instead, you can use companion planting, composting, no-dig gardening, and many other methods to help keep your garden as natural as possible. Browse gardening tips and kitchen garden ideas.

Growing a Skincare Garden

You can use many homegrown herbs, flowers, and vegetables to make soap and beauty products. Peppermint in zesty soap, chamomile in a soothing lotion, and even wild foraged rose petals to make natural skin toner. On Lovely Greens, I share ideas for growing skin-beneficial plants and then using them in beauty recipes. Many of the plants I use in soap and skincare can also be used in food or for other uses, so you could grow plants for dual purposes! Explore growing a skincare garden, and ways to use the plants in handmade soap and beauty.

Gardening Projects and DIYs

Building and creating your own garden is a labor of love, and can also be very expensive. Buying containers, plants, tools, and even the bigger pieces of kit, like greenhouses and sheds! That’s why I try to DIY as much as I can for the garden, especially if I can do it with free, reclaimed and eco-friendly materials. Everything from making newspaper plant pots, to pallet planters, to propagating new plants! Browse all gardening project ideas

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Where can I see more of your garden?
    • I have two growing spaces, a rented space (the allotment) and my home garden. Aside from the website, the best place to see both is on my YouTube Channel. I also share a lot of photos and tips on Instagram and Facebook and you can learn more about me here.
  • What gardening zone are you?
    • Although I am American-born, I don’t live in the USA, I live in the Isle of Man, a crown dependency of the United Kingdom. We’re right in the middle of the sea between England and Ireland and have a unique climate. Technically we are zone 9a, using the USDA system, thanks to the Gulf Stream that flows around the British Isles. However, we have the same latitude (54.3240° N) as the middle of Canada. That means that our winters are long and dark and have longer stints of cold. To put our climate into perspective, we’re almost as far north as southern Alaska, but are considered to have the same gardening zone as parts of northern Florida. Weird huh? The USDA system doesn’t correspond well with our region, though, and there’s no way that I can grow many warm-weather crops outdoors. That’s why I often refer to my zone as similar to zone 8.
  • Where should I start if I’m a complete gardening beginner?
    • Read and watch videos from trusted sources. Get inspiration from blogs like Lovely Greens, gardening books, and gardening tv. YouTube is a great place for information! I also recommend that you read this article on 15 Mistakes that Beginner Gardeners Make. It will help you avoid some of the pitfalls.
Tanya Anderson of Lovely Greens at her allotment garden