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Why do we all get scared of planting a garden? Maybe it’s all the overwhelming choices we find in garden centers or maybe we’re just worried the plants will die. My passion for gardening was earned honestly. I grew up on a farm in the middle of corn fields in Iowa and I didn’t move too far away. Actually I live about one quarter of a mile down the road. Mom always loved gardening and flowers so it’s really no surprise that I put in my first brick patio as a 7th grader. Even though some of the elements have changed, that patio is still there, serving as a reminder of where my passion for gardening began.

While my aesthetic has since changed, my love for gardening has not. I’ve learned like everyone else: some plants live and some die and that’s the beauty of gardening. You learn from your mistakes and realize nature is much stronger than you. The mistakes I make also help me learn how to be better, select plants that work and chose plants that have been well grown.

YouTube video

This summer, I’m excited to partner with Monrovia on a series that aims to simplify gardening and inspire you. Gettin’ Dirty is all about planning, creating, planting and caring for a new garden. While the idea of landscaping can sometimes be overwhelming, breaking down the process step by step can bring to light the ease of a project. And that’s what I’m hoping to show you in my own yard. I’m adding a perennial bed with subtle color and year-round interest as well as the beginnings of a whole new vision, complete with a boxwood hedge and a little hardscaping. I’m going through all the steps so you too can see that your vision really can become a reality.

I’m a believer in choosing plants that give you a head start. That’s the reason I love Monrovia. When I buy any plant from Monrovia, I know that it has been grown to the highest standards of quality. Honestly, I used to think the growing process didn’t really make a huge difference. But with some unfortunate trial and error experiences, I now see the difference in my own yard.

As with most things in life, before you start, it’s best to have a plan. Whether you draw the whole thing out or just think it through in your head, the layout is a great starting point. Fact of the matter is, plants grow. Period. What you buy today will (most likely) be larger in the future. Planning out your area will help determine what and how much you can fit in. If you haven’t planted in the area before, you may need to remove sod and till the ground. Roots like good drainage and need oxygen. A little planning goes a long way no matter if you’re planting one plant or many!

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I’m Kaleb! I'm not a chef, professional baker, landscaper, or designer, but I like to play each on Knollgate Farm. Come join me on my journey and let's learn together!

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  1. I’m wondering if I send pictures of my front yard would you help with plants? We’ve been in our home 20+ years everything’s overgrown, we want to pull out bushes our lilacs are so over grown we can’t fit in porch and look out. I want color all year, just something pretty to look at while rocking in front porch. We’re in Illinois I think same zone. We’ve tried garden centers but we want to do it ourselves, on a budget and landscapers/design has become very expensive.
    I love watching all of what you do. Thank you for sharing your love, knowledge

  2. Just found you and already Love watching your videos 👍🏽👍🏽 I am like you – Get Dirty Get Planting

    Thanks for all the tips