Why Simon Akeroyd thinks TikTok is the future for gardeners

Tiktok gardener Simon Akeroyd holding mug

Image: Simon Akeroyd is a popular TikToker

Simon Akeroyd, aka @simonakeroydgardener, runs a hugely popular TikTok account filled with bite-sized gardening tips and clever money-saving hacks. He has been the Head Gardener or Manager at many beautiful gardens including Sheffield Park, Polesden Lacey, Harlow Carr, Wisley, Coleton Fishacre and Agatha Christie’s Greenway. When he’s not gardening, he’s writing gardening books and has published about 30 so far. 

Recently shortlisted for the Garden Media Guild’s Individual Social Media Influencer of the Year Award 2023, we caught up with Simon to learn a bit about his journey as a gardener and the highlights of his career so far. Here’s what he told us…


Currant plants masterclass: best expert content

Whitecurrants on wooden table

Super sweet currant ‘White Versailles’ is the earliest white currant to crop in July
Image: White Currant ‘White Versailles’ (Organic) from T&M

Fruiting currants thrive in the UK’s cooler climate. Blackcurrants are delicious in pies and jam, white varieties are sweet enough to devour straight from the bush while redcurrants are the perfect addition to rich gravies and jewel-coloured jellies. Here, some of our favourite bloggers, Instagrammers, and vloggers share tips on how to grow your own bountiful buckets of delicious, colourful currants. 

Browse our full range of currant plants for delicious red, white and black varieties.


Spicy butternut squash soup recipe


Collection of butternut squash on ground

Spicy butternut squash soup recipe

Ken Stockley
Why not grow your own butternut squash to use in this delicious soup recipe from Ken Stockley?
Ken says: "A lovely, creamy soup. All of the veg came from my garden and I only used ONE Apache chilli, but it still made my mouth tingle! Don't forget to wash your hands after clearing out the chilli seeds."
Course Soup
Servings 2


  • 500 g butternut squash
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 1 onion
  • tbsp oil
  • ½ tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp mixed herbs
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 1 chicken stock cube
  • ½ red pepper
  • 500 ml water
  • 125 ml milk
  • 1 small chilli or half tsp chilli powder (optional)
  • Ground black pepper to taste


  • Cut the butternut or squash into one inch chunks, removing the peel and seeds and any ‘stringy bits’. Peel and chop the garlic, onion, red pepper and fresh chilli.
  • Put the oil into a saucepan on a medium heat and fry off the garlic, onions and red pepper (and fresh chilli if using) for a couple of minutes until the onion is soft but not coloured. Stir frequently to stop it sticking.
  • Add the butternut squash and continue to cook for another 3 minutes. Keep stirring throughout.
  • Dissolve the stock cubes in the water and then add to the pan together with the milk, herbs, chilli (if using) and lemon juice. Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat until it is simmering. Put the lid on the saucepan and continue to cook for another 20 minutes until the butternut is soft.
  • Remove from the heat and blend with a stick blender until smooth. If you prefer, you can leave it lumpy.
  • Reheat the soup again gently but don't allow it to boil. Season to taste with black pepper.


Find out how to grow your own squashes from seed through to harvest at our pumpkin and squash hub page.
Lead image: Squash Winter Butternut 'Hunter' F1 - Kew Vegetable Seed Collection from Thompson & Morgan
Keyword butternut squash, pumpkin, soup
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Broad beans masterclass: best expert content

Veg trug filled of broad beans

Freshly podded broad beans are absolutely delicious
Image: Broad bean ‘Bunyard’s Exhibition’ from T&M

Broad beans are the star of the ‘hungry gap’. Their pretty flowers are a welcome sight in spring when other crops aren’t quite ready or have reached the end of their season. Combine that with fantastic cold resistance and heavy cropping and they become a real no brainer! Follow these top tips from experienced garden bloggers and Instagrammers to grow your own bumper crops of broad beans. 

Browse our full collection of quality pea and bean seeds for new varieties and old favourites.


Win A Bumper Prize Bundle worth £100 from Thompson & Morgan

This competition has now closed, but congratulations to our winner Andrea U. Please keep an eye on our competition page for future giveaways.

Read our helpful article below if you’re looking for advice on transforming your garden on a budget.


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