When I started this blog I gardened in South Gloucestershire, on heavy clay. Our house was on a small estate, and the garden was small and overlooked. I grew trees and crammed it with plants and a pond, and loved it dearly.

Pond border in my old Gloucestershire garden

It was my first ever garden, and I started with shrubs and trees, gradually learning about herbaceous perennials, falling in love with grasses. A year living on Anglesey looking after a campsite introduced me to the joy of growing things from seed – and to growing things to eat. When we returned to Gloucestershire we got a greenhouse, and I had an allotment. I loved my scruffy little plot, and learnt loads, but I also had ME, and struggled to find the time and energy to make the most of it.

scruffy allotment plot

In the spring of 2012 we started looking for somewhere to move to by the sea. Somewhere with easy access to the essentials – Doctor, Dentist, food shops etc – but which would give us easy access to the sea if we were up to playing in kayaks, and give me a garden to work in.

Cemaes Bay little beach

We hit the jackpot, and found a little house in Cemaes Bay on Anglesey in North Wales. Cemaes Bay is the most northerly village in Wales, and has two lovely beaches, one of which is 150 yards from our front door, a good collection of shops and amenities (including a fabulous butcher), a lovely river valley, community woodland…

Original view from bedroom window

The front garden faces north, but is mostly in full sun. It gets the brunt of the northerly gales in the winter, and salt-laden winds have done for a number of plants since we moved here, but the climate is mild and the soil is free-draining, in places very sandy. When we arrived the front garden was quite overgrown at the very end, and there was high fence all along the left hand side. We could see the sea from our bedroom window – I took the photo above when we first looked round before we bought it – but not from anywhere else.

bedroom view post clearance

Part of the fence blew down in our first winter here, which proved to be a real blessing in the end. We discovered that without the fence – and without most of the overgrown shrubs at the very end of the garden – we not only had a much better view from upstairs, we also gained a sea view from our lounge!

Oil tank corner of new back garden

Original park border in back garden

The back garden is south facing and very sheltered from all but the worst south westerlies. We inherited an old and rather battered shed and cedar greenhouse, a lot of lawn and more overgrown shrubs. And so began the process of turning both front and back gardens into places that felt more “me”. A small kitchen garden with raised beds was one of the first things we did, all the borders have been deepened, and a lot of plant material has been removed or drastically cut back. It is an on-going adventure of discovering what grows well here, and of feeling my way forward towards a style of gardening that fits the place, my lifestyle and on a good day, makes my heart sing.

You can read about what the gardens were like when we first moved here in the posts I did introducing the front garden (part 1 and part 2) and the back garden. Subsequent posts mostly chart the course of the ups and downs of the ongoing development.

16 thoughts on “About Me

  1. What an encouraging tale. I started gardening properly when we spent 10 years on Orkney. Looking back it’s interesting how much the way I do things has changed ie more propagation and all organic. Although I still get seduced by Crocus once in a while……

    1. Hi Janet, sounds as if you started gardening around the same time as I did. I understand about the seductive powers of Crocus, though after a few bum orders I now tend to use smaller nurseries and have been much happier. I can’t grow everything from seed – that’s my excuse, anyway!

  2. Hello Janet, so pleased to have found your blog via numerous UK Veg Gardeners. Your story is amazing and the photos here, very beautiful. I’ve added you to my reading list and look forward to reading more – and learning from you! Caro xx

    1. Hi Caro, thanks for stopping by – if I can help others avoid the mistakes I will undoubtedly be making in this, my first year of having an allotment, so be it!

    1. They sound wonderful – if stupidly named. Fancy calling a dahlia after a pizza. Just make sure you wrap them up well for the winter ;-)

  3. Thanks for visiting my post. I was excited to look at where you garden. You have a great blog. I must say I have an affinity for the UK, since my ancestors are from there. I strive to have an English Garden, and love the idea that gardens are always changing.

    1. Hi Margaret, thanks for dropping by. I’m intrigued by a Canadian wanting an English Garden – do you mean cottage garden style?

  4. Hi
    I’ve recently come across your blog and have just spent some time checking it out. Great content and wonderful pictures!

    1. Hi Alison, thanks for dropping by. Good luck working out how to interpret your building survey, hope the move goes smoothly and you are soon getting to grips with your 2 acres.

    1. Hi Nathan, thanks for dropping by and commenting. I really must update the “about” page, as I am no longer in North Bristol, we have relocated to Anglesey!

  5. Hello Janet! What an interesting story. I’m really pleased to have found your blog and following your adventures in the garden! It looks lovely! Thanks so much for visiting my blog too :)

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