Growing Nicely began 5 years ago as part of my business blog when I was a freelance garden designer. When work changed direction, the blog developed into being more about gardening including growing food. Design is still there, because I like the garden to look good as well as being practical.
Now the blog also includes the renovation of our previously neglected garden, we moved here 2 years ago. I don’t use any chemicals, try to manage it all sustainably, & although gardens are a passion, I want to spend a minimal amount of time looking after it.
The main part of the garden is 19m long & 10m wide & was part of an old (Victorian, I think) walled vegetable garden, now just one beautiful brick wall survives. We inherited some lovely David Austin roses, hellebores & yellow azalea, along with brambles, ground elder & areas of boggy soil.
My design of the garden subdivides it into different areas. Over half the lawn has been replaced with a small vegetable garden, 2017 will be the first year of growing vegetables here. I’m busy planting more shrubs, perennials & grasses & plan to grow annual flowers from seed.
I have lots of ideas, & fortunately, a very patient husband who helps me put my ideas into practise.
The blog is a way of sharing the joy of gardening, writing about how to keep it looking nice, grow a few vegetables, make delicious food with what I’ve grown & keep up with seasonal tasks. I hope my posts will inspire you to grow plants & vegetables in your garden or on your window-sill.
I’ve lived here in Surrey, South-East England for over thirty years, though I was born in Kenya and lived all over the world when I was a child.
Gardening has been my passion for a long time. I studied horticulture & garden design over 25 years ago as a mature student, & I loved it.
I’ve done all kinds of gardening. After college I looked after other peoples gardens for a while. I taught an evening class for beginner gardeners, which was very satisfying, because over the months, the students gradually became more confident about gardening. I’ve also lectured about planting design at the other end of the scale to professional garden designers, & I’ve done a few talks to Womens Guild Groups.
Over 12 years ago I designed & helped build 2 show gardens at The Hampton Court Palace Flower Show. It was nail-bitingly exciting, & has left me with a complete love of visiting the RHS Garden Shows like Chelsea.
I’ve written articles for garden magazines, co-authored a book ‘ Planting Design Essentials’ , & belong to The Garden Media Guild.
Along the way my 3 children have grown up & the family has expanded to include their partners & 2 grandchildren.
Please feel free to leave comments, ask questions & tell me about your garden, there’s space at the end of each post.