What do they grow in Wales? Everything from wildflowers and ornamental grasses to home-grown vegetables. Here we reach beyond traditional stereotypes to bring you the lowdown on what – apart from leeks and daffs – makes the garden grow for green-fingered Welsh bloggers.
Inspirational and educational in equal measure, these blogs will have you reaching for seed packets and shovels in no time at all.
Sue’s homegrown harvest takes a starring role in her excellent blog, Our New life in the Country. A vegan, she makes going meat and dairy-free look seriously tempting, with dishes like pears in brandy sure to get your tastebuds watering.
Life in hilly north Wales is an adventure Sue shares with hubby, a menagerie of animals, a polytunnel and, as of last year, their very own wildlife haven. And because Sue’s other half is a carnivore, if you can’t quite ditch meat, you’ll love the Scotch eggs she cooks for him.
Creating space for debate is what makes garden designer and horticultural journalist Dr Noel Kingbury’s blog stand out. The comments chat at the end of his posts reads like a gardening salon with everyone exchanging theories and ideas.
Check out Noel’s post on gardener abuse, which touches on everything from the TMM problem (‘too much money’) of clients, to the issue of gardeners becoming the ‘general dogsbody’ during the winter. Try telling some clients there’s plenty to do in the garden, he says, “and their eyes begin to glaze over”. Spot on.
Foraging, allotmenteering, and gardening – Shaheen’s all about freshly grown produce, wherever she can source or grow it.
Starting out in Scotland, but now rooted in her native Wales, her blog chronicles her adventures from seed to plate. And her recipes really showcase the versatility of everything she grows. Bit of a sweet tooth? Her plum crumble cinnamon cake, served with lashings of cream, is delicious. More into savoury than sweet? Her delicious French bean, carrot and potato tacos are the way to go.
‘Why perennials?’ Anni’s answer is simple – you can grow ‘hardy, productive, reliable and tasty’ veg all year round for ‘virtually no work’. Plus, with a touch of forest gardening thrown into the mix, you can create a garden that’s truly biodiverse and nature-friendly.
There’s really no downside – especially when it results in groundbreaking parsnips and the chance to bamboozle a greengrocer. Want to know more? Check out Anni’s Guardian podcast – and she’s even written a book, which really goes to show just what a fertile project perennials are for her.
Ever considered going self-sufficient? Grandparents Dawn and Martin have been there, done that, and bought the five-acres they needed to make the dream a reality. Today, they’ve got livestock (she even makes her own mozzarella from their goats’ milk), bees, a polytunnel that’s fit to bursting, and an infectious can-do attitude.
Part of being self-sufficient means not wasting anything. Dawn’s a pro’ at it, foraging for ingredients for her elderflower champagne, and recycling lemon skins and pulp from the recipe into a household cleaner. Genius.
Perched atop the Wye Valley, the garden of Barn House is a thing of beauty – overflowing with vegetables, ornamental grasses, and a range of other perennials. Creating it was a labour of love for blogger and gardener Kate Patel, using heavy machinery and a lot of elbow grease. There was bindweed and ground elder to deal with, not to mention around 500 tonnes of red sandstone to excavate.
Blogger Liz of Holding On had a few goals for 2017, including expanding her food forest and keeping ducks. But even she was surprised at what she achieved – she harvested a whopping 800lbs of food in 50 days: “Not in my wildest dreams had I imagined that this plot could yield so much food in such a short space of time.”
Liz is undoubtedly the lady to turn to if you’d like to increase the productivity of your patch, not least because she only laid down roots at her little smallholding in Monmouthshire with her husband Mr J in 2015.
A garden is an extension of the home, says Lisa Cox. And it’s her mission to help families realise this through her work as a garden designer.
Whether you’re looking for some garden inspiration, you want tips on how to deal with a sloped garden, or get the most out of your garden furniture (hint: sturdy wooden stuff can be left out all year and ‘entices you out’, even in winter), Lisa’s your go-to garden blogger. She’s as generous with information as she is talented at designing.
98% of the UK’s flower-rich meadows have been lost in the past century say the folks at Carmarthenshire Meadows, a group that’s determined to fight the continuing decline of what’s left of our wildflower meadows.
Find yourself craving fresh air, flowers, and open spaces? This blog shows just what a bunch of committed people can achieve when they put their minds and backs into it. Fancy doing your bit for meadows in your area? You’ll find some great ideas here, like sowing yellow rattle to encourage other plant species to establish more quickly. Wildflower power!
Are you a blogger from Wales? Or have you come across a great Welsh blog we haven’t mentioned. We’d love to hear from you, via our Facebook page.