Blogs We Love

Here at Thompson & Morgan we love to check out other blogs. There are so many great allotment and gardening bloggers out there, it would be a shame not to share what they do with you – here are just a few of our favourites.

9 top houseplant Instagram feeds

houseplants

How does your indoor garden grow?
Image: shutterstock

Houseplants are back in fashion. Just look at Instagram for proof. Among the enviable snaps of interiors, fashion and food, you’ll now find millions of posts on indoor gardening. There’s a new generation of urban horticulturalists busy transforming urban homes into lush indoor jungles, and sharing beautiful photos of their work.

So if stunning plant images, green interior inspiration, and expert plant-care advice sound like your bag, here are nine of the best houseplant instagrammers to follow.

@tribeandus

tribe and us instagram

This bedside jungle looks great and promotes healthy sleep
Image: @tribeandus

“Home is where you grow your tribe”. That’s the motto of Kate and Craig Williams, the dynamic duo behind @tribeandus. Their tribe comprises three gorgeous children and The Plants. There’s beautiful photography (see Craig’s own account at @craigowilliams) and sage indoor gardening advice in every post. Follow the family as they chase winter sunlight around their home, deal expertly with a mealybug attack, and use the purifying power of mother-in-law’s tongue to guarantee themselves a better night’s sleep.

@conservatory_archives

conservatory archives

Fill your home with plants
Image: @conservatory_archives

This bewitching plant paradise is the Conservatory Archives, a plant emporium situated in a disused East End ironmongers. Their Instagram feed showcases the wide, exotic collection of succulents, ferns and cacti curated by Korean horticulturalist, Jin Ahn. Expect stunning, envy-inducing images and expert advice on everything from when to buy a houseplant, to shaking out a Bucida buceras.

@houseofplants

house of plants instagram

Exotic, low-maintenance greenery for your home
Image: @houseofplants

“Life with a potted plant is, undeniably, better.” So say Ro Co, London-based botanical stylists and indoor plant specialists. Their forte is exotic, low-maintenance greenery that transforms urban interiors. Follow their feed for succulent styling in your living room, advice on how to care for your leafy calathea, and where best to put that trailing Philodendron scandens you’ve had your eye on.

@jamies_jungle

jamies jungle instagram

Jamie’s home is a beautiful jungle
Image: @jamies_jungle

Vintage interiors expert Jamie Song is a self-confessed plant hoarder. His Instagram account is called @jamies_jungle and, looking at his leafy, luscious living room (pictured above), it’s easy to see why. Follow his horticultural triumphs – including the Begonia ‘Corallina de Lucerna’, which has grown from tiddler to ‘hulk’ in less than 18 months. And share his struggles, including the near-impossibility of keeping his Brighamia insignis (Hawaiian palm) alive through another British winter.

@plantman_about_town

plantman about town instagram

Ian’s At Home With Plants installation won a Silver at RHS Chelsea 2017
Image: @plantman_about_town

If you need something to brighten up your home and fight off the winter blues, go for cheery cyclamen, says Ian Drummond. This garden designer and author is full of botanical wisdom. His Instagram feed is a bright and colourful take on indoor gardening. Try accessorising a terrarium with small toys to create a magical world for your child’s bedroom. Or installing phalaenopsis orchids on your bedside table – these night-time oxygenators will improve the quality of the air you breathe while you’re asleep.

@theglassgardener

the glass gardener instagram

Show off a Tillandsia caput medusae in a hanging terrarium
Image: @theglassgardener

When keen gardener and stained-glass maker, Sarah, discovered terrariums “it was love at first sight!” Now she’s the Glass Gardener, creating handmade terrariums with strong lines and a modern feel. This Instagram account showcases her work and it’s pretty inspirational. From 80s sci-fi inspired polygons to pentagon teardrops filled with ivy, nephrolepis and peperomia, The Glass Gardener shows just how much can be achieved in a miniature biome.

@toro_studio

toro studio instagram

Tor’s Instagram feed has a pure, calming aesthetic
Image: @toro_studio

Tor Harrison believes plants can dramatically improve our mood, spirit and wellbeing. Plants can help us look after ourselves better, cleansing the air we breathe and bringing the outdoors in. This Instagram feed from her Cornish plant emporium has a pure, calming aesthetic. From sculptural airplants to majestic, velvety staghorn ferns, Tor’s imaginative images will leave you feeling soothed and inspired.

@stringandbloom

string and bloom instagram

Growing from seed is this instagrammer’s passion
Image: @stringandbloom

“Home is where the plants are” for this London-dwelling Canadian. And growing plants from seed is one of @stringandbloom’s favourite obsessions. In fact, she can no longer buy avocados as she can’t bear to throw the stones away, and already has too many little trees on the go! From fetching shots of her peperomia raindrop to super-easy tips on succulent propagation, this pretty Instagram feed is a mine of green wisdom.

@jarandfern

jarandfern instagram

Demijohns and mason jars make the perfect terrariums
Image: @jarandfern

If you love the pretty terrariums pictured above, you’ll love Jar and Fern’s Insta feed. The pair lovingly transform mason jars and demijohns into perfect, low-maintenance mini ecosystems. Demijohns are particularly well suited to creating a self-watering environment thanks to their shape. But you’ll need some nifty tools and expert guidance to turn one into a terrarium. Follow Jar and Fern for help in achieving this green version of a ship-in-a-bottle.

Are you a houseplant instagrammer? Do you follow an urban gardener that we haven’t mentioned? Check us out on Instagram and we’d love to hear your recommendations on our Facebook page.

9 fantastic flower garden blogs

flowers in a garden

Flowers are the fruits of many gardeners’ labours

You can’t beat time spent gardening, but even the most enthusiastic of growers need a little downtime. Here are nine of our favourite flower garden blogs – reading to enjoy over a well-earned cuppa and a biscuit.

The Amateur Plantsman

chrysanthemums blooming for the amateur plantsman

Glorious chrysanthemums in the sunshine
Image: Amateur plantsman

There’s nothing like chrysanthemums for coverage and colour, but if you’re worried they can’t withstand the vagaries of the British climate, the Amateur Plantsman says: “While the large decoratives, pompoms, incurves, spiders, quills and other…forms might not stand up to the cold, there are others, with smaller, simpler flowers, that are tough enough to withstand winter.”

Early retirement saw this Berkshire based gardener freed to indulge his passion for plants. Join him as he shares his hopes and disappointments, successes and failures – anyone for a winter-flowering fuchsia?

Helen Gazeley

begonias

Begonias provided a lightbulb moment for Helen

“Do I like hanging baskets? Oh, come on! Who doesn’t?” says gardener and blogger Helen. She was blown away by the stunning display of begonias her first attempt at hanging baskets produced – it’s just a pity she’d hung them at her father-in-laws. She won’t make that mistake again!

A wealth of information, gardening tips and advice awaits you here. Helen’s blog features product and book reviews, show news, garden visits, plant information, and more. Always up for gardening related chat, she says: “I’ll be really interested to hear what you think,” she says, “whether you agree with something I’ve said or not.”

Rachel the gardener

rachel the gardener salix kilmarnock

This Salix Kilmarnock needs potting and pruning
Image: Rachel the gardener

A weeping willow is a spectacular tree, but as blogger Rachel says, there aren’t many gardeners who’ve got the space for a 60ft tree. But you can always buy a dwarf willow which is created by grafting weeping branches onto an upright trunk. This little tree makes a wonderful flower garden feature, she says, but only if you plant and prune it correctly.

Rachel the gardener is a horticulturalist well worth a read – do check out her botany guides, “for use in the field by UK Botanists, both Improvers and complete beginners, to help swiftly narrow down the identification of a plant.”

Hurtled to 60 and now beyond

hurtled to 60 zinnia

Peach delight – one of several zinnias “on trial” at Parham gardens
Image: Hurtled to 60

If you haven’t visited the National Memorial Arboretum yet, why not let this avid gardener, photographer and blogger give you a taste of what’s in store? The 150 acre site is home to over 30,000 trees, almost all of which are dedicated to the memory of service and sacrifice.

The prairie-style garden plantings are impressive too, says  Hurtled to 60 – if only she knew who the designer was. Here you’ll find a host of musings from the flowerbeds, as well as garden visit reports to inspire. Short of planting ideas for next season? Check out her report on the Parham plant trials –  the zinnias are to die for.

Flowers from the farm

flowers on the farm

British flowers at their best
Image: Flowers from the farm

Do you like your flowers with no air miles and few road miles? Flowers from the farm is a network of “farmers, smallholders and gardeners, who…grow and present a different range of flowers from those available in the supermarkets and the wholesale markets.”

If you thought British flowers were a summer only luxury, think again. Narcissi flourish in Cornwall and the Scillies during the winter, as do tulips from Lincolnshire, which are available from Christmas. Flowers from the Farm boasts over 500 members – want to be a flower farmer but don’t know how to start? You’ve come to the right place.

Catharine Howard

catharine howard potager

Catharine’s mini potager is a bit like a giant window box
Image: Catharine Howard

How many self-sown edibles can you grow in a small space and still manage to create an alluring garden feature? That was the challenge garden designer and coach, Catherine Howard set herself when she planted a mini potager in her own Suffolk garden.

We think you’ll agree the tulips looked great – check out the post to find out what came next.

Catherine’s gives you the lowdown on garden design and offers her professional services as a gardening coach, plus there are plenty of garden visits to inspire inform.

Susan Rushton

susan rushton colchicum

Blooms to die for – literally
Image: Susan Rushton

Fancy some killer plantings for autumn? Colchicum autumnale are deadly – and they look awesome too. The foliage of these delightful blooms is known to have been confused for wild garlic and consumed, with unfortunate consequences. We think you’ll agree, they’re gorgeous, but perhaps best left to “RIP” in someone else’s garden…

Blogger Susan says: “I’ve seen far too many trendy, almost flowerless gardens, but for me, a garden just isn’t the same without them.” A woman of her word, you’ll find a wealth of rose, prose and photos here. Looking for some floral punch to bring your garden to life? Check out these orange lilies.

London Cottage Garden

london cottage garden

Can you spot David Hockney’s influence here?
Image: London cottage garden

From where do you draw inspiration for your garden design? The London cottage gardener shares his gardening muses – the Hockney vibe really stands out, but you’ll also find influence from 1960s textile and interior designers, Susan Collier and Sarah Campbell, plus Kaffe Fassett and more.

The London Cottage Garden is, as the name suggests, all about one gardener’s transformation of a patch of the big smoke into “a chaotic abundance of colour, scent and movement”. We think he’s done it – you’ll love the before and after pics.

Jeremy Bartlett

jeremy bartlett fungus

Piggybacking toadstools
Image: Jeremy Bartlett

Stepping back from flowers for a moment – how about a piggy back in a fairy ring? We’re talking about Piggyback Rosegill, Volvariella surrecta, a parasitic fungus that grows on the caps of decaying Clouded Funnel toadstools. Blogger jeremy Bartlett is as mad about fungi as he is about flowers, which makes for an interesting read.

Interested in plants since he transformed his sandpit into a garden when he was five, Jeremy studied Botany at university, before graduating with a genetics degree. He subsequently gained a PHD in plant genetics. Want to learn more about wild fungi and flowers? He’s well worth a read.

Have you come across any excellent flower gardening blogs we’ve forgotten to mention? Do let us know – just pop over to our Facebook page and leave us a message.

Nine notable seed bloggers

seeds in a pot

Ready to be planted…
Image: shutterstock

Nurturing plants from seed is the ultimate way to grow your own. It’s rewarding to tend your plants from first sprout to bumper crop, and it saves a fortune on buying plug plants. Here we present nine of the best gardening blogs we’ve found, that have an emphasis on growers who like to start from the beginning.

Mud and gluts

mud and gluts apple blossom

Gorgeous apple blossom – this is Christmas Pippin
Image: Mud and gluts

Taking on allotment is a steep learning curve, so why not let blogger, Beryl guide you through the process? Her blog details her transformation of an overgrown allotment plot into…well…she’s let it go a bit lately, but it’s still producing some excellent crops.

A self-confessed seedaholic, Beryl says “Seed-saving and unusual edibles have quickly become a bit of a ‘thing’.” Check out her trees grown from nuts and cuttings – you’ll love the crab apples – such stunning deep-pink blossoms.

Alan’s allotment – Man vs slug

cadalot CAD allotment plan

The engineer’s approach to gardening
Image: Cadalot

What happens when you cross an allotment with a structural engineer? Precision planting for one thing, attention to detail for another, and plenty of notes to help you with your own plot too. Wondering about the best configuration for planting your onions? The 55 seed layout does the trick for Alan.

If you’re about to take on a new allotment, this is the blog for you. Follow Alan’s progress as he puts his systematic, logical approach to work to clear, prepare and plant the plot. Expect CAD drawings and step-by-step instructions.

Weeds up to me knees

cactus dahlias

In a Dahlia state of mind?
Image: Pete Polanyk

Punk gardening, podcasting, and tunes to die for make Weeds to me knees an experience more than simply a mere blog. We love the combination of record selections, and tales from the garden – it’s an eclectic mix – just like some of Pete’s plantings – check out his magnificent walking onion.

Fun and informative, you’ll love Pete’s blog. Can you name a song with a Dahlia in the title? He can. Why not slip over to take a look, and have a listen?

The Propagator

propagator blog seedlings

Happy seedlings: hollyhocks ‘powder puff’ and ‘creme de cassis’
Image: Propagator blog

You’d be surprised just how many plants do best when sown in the autumn and overwintered ready to plant out as the weather warms. Sweet peas, hollyhocks and calendula – and that’s just for starters, says the Propagator.

An excellent resource for anyone who relishes the challenge of growing from seeds or cuttings, the Propagator is a self-confessed seed nut. Why not follow his “ramblings, progress, disasters, setbacks, results and some tips along the way”?

Life on pig row

greenhouse harvest life on pig row

Just a sample of the greenhouse harvest
Image: Life on Pig Row

Carry on growing and harvesting herbs right through the autumn by sowing growing them on your windowsill say the guys at life on pig row. Their top tip: “Plants hate massive leaps in temperature, as we all do, so give them a woolly jumper at night in the shape of a bottle cloche.”

Life on pig row grew out of the Oldham family’s ambition to grow a “Dig For Victory” garden on their half-acre plot, learning over the years to be as self-sufficient as possible. If you’re a gardener on a budget this is a great blog for you.

Mark’s veg plot

chilli harvest from mark's veg plot

Harvesting the chilies before the weather turns… chilly
Image: Mark’s veg plot

If you look at blogger Mark’s PSB – purple sprouting broccoli – and don’t go green with envy, you must be an expert grower too. Insect netting has made all the difference, says Mark, who also recommends regular watering, a good feed, and making sure you tie the plants to sturdy stakes to stop the wind from blowing them over.

An excellent blog with plenty of growing ideas, tips and insights, Mark says now’s the time to prepare your favourite chilli plants for overwintering in the house. His advice is to prune hard and replant in fresh compost to reduce the number of beasties that migrate indoors with the old soil.

Modern veg plot

achocha from the modern veg plot

Why not give the Achocha a try?
Image: Modern veg plot

What do Chinese green noodles, Hidasa reds and Ojo de Tigra have in common? They’re all beans – and just three of over 20 varieties this blogger grows. Quite simply, if you love tasty, delicious, nutritious beans, Modern veg plot is the place to start, with some interesting beanie delights for you to try.

Modern veg plot documents one gardener’s “adventures in growing hopefully interesting and sometimes unusual edibles in my greenhouse and allotment plot”. Like the achocha pictured above which this blogger says tastes exactly like green peppers.

Real men sow

strawberry plant with ripening fruit

Get your fruit in before the first frosts

“If you’re thinking of adding fruit to your plot, now is the perfect time” says blogger, Jono. The soil’s still warm this month which means the roots have time to bed in before the first frosts bite. An allotmenteer and blogger par excellence, Jono (aided by mum Jan), says taking on the plot is the best thing he’s ever done.

If you’re new to growing, Jono’s blog is for you. Not sure which fruit plants to go for? Jono gives you the lowdown on what to plant and how many plants you’ll need. Useful and well written, his top ten tips for beginners are also a good place to start – “Just plant,” Jono says, “Plans are for next year.

Sunday Gardener

sunday gardener sweet peas

Sweet peas add a splash of colour to your veg plot 
Image: The Sunday Gardener

Have your tomatoes stopped ripening? There’s only so much chutney you can make, so why not take a leaf out of the Sunday Gardener’s book? This blogger says the foolproof way to ripen tomatoes is to cut them from the plant but leave them on the vine, then lay them on cardboard indoors, preferably by a window.

“An independent website offering down to earth gardening advice and tips”, Sunday Gardener does exactly what it says on the tin. You’ll love the monthly rundown of jobs to do in the garden  – have you potted up your strawberry runners yet? Now’s the time.

Have we missed a seed blog that you love? Please do send us your recommendations– just visit our Facebook page and leave us a message.

13 vibrant veg growing blogs

fresh vegetables

Take some tips from these amazing bloggers about growing veg!
Image: shutterstock

Say goodbye to tasteless supermarket produce by growing your own delicious nutritious fruit and veggies. To help show you how, we’ve hunted down some of the best vegetable gardening blogs around.

It doesn’t matter if you’ve got a sprawling allotment, or a scrubby patch of urban garden – here’s the inspiration and insight you need to help you on your way.

Allotment Garden

 

John Harrison has 40 years worth of experience to share on his blog.
Image: shutterstock

To help you get your veg plot started, blogger John gives you all the advice you need. You’ll get growing tips categorised by month and vegetable, and for extra inspiration, a vegetable show growing section. Check out John’s pics and step-by-step instructions for growing prize-winning onions, potatoes, and more.

With 40 years gardening experience under his belt, you can be sure John knows his stuff. He says gardening is: “healthy exercise without having to pay for a gym or run around in circles and you get to eat healthy fruit and vegetables without all those pesticide residues.” Give this blog a try.

Digging the Earth

digging the earth's allotment

Sarah believes if her family can garden, you can too!
Image: Digging the Earth

With two years of allotment gardening behind her, blogger Sarah says, “grab a spade and have a go, if we can do it, then there’s not many that can’t.” An inspirational read, you’ll love Sarah’s 10 reasons to garden even if it’s raining – for starters, she says, you get to enjoy a cosy cuppa in the shed…

Bitten by the gardening bug, Sarah and her family now tend three plots. “A bit of planning’s in order”, says Sarah. If you’re in the same boat, check out her list of at-home allotment tasks – it’s a great place to start.

Her Outdoors

her outdoors allotment

Jane Merrick’s ultimate planting tip? Garlic.
Image: Her Outdoors

Got a plot but can’t decide what to grow? Take Jane Merrick’s advice and plant garlic. The Independent columnist and Britain’s Best Allotment judge says: “If the conditions are right, it’s easy to produce a decent crop.” Plus, it’ll make you feel productive over the winter.

A blog that’s busting with excellent hints and tips, beginners will love Jane’s advice on embarking on your first allotment. And for more experienced gardeners, we recommend Jane’s post on dealing with weedy paths – the woodchip really does look great.

Plot 7 Marsh Lane

plot 7 marshlane's raised beds

Healing and life-affirming, gardening changed Belinda’s life.
Image: Plot 7 Marsh Lane

Gardening was the perfect route back to full health for kidney transplant recipient, Belinda. Now her blog is an inspiring and informative resource for anyone who loves life in the garden.

Need some crop rotation ideas? Belinda’s scheme includes diagrams to help you decide where to plant everything from broad beans to parsnips. You’ll also love her wildlife section in which she gives the lowdown on the bugs, birds and animal visitors to the allotment.

Our Smallholding Adventure

seedlings from the smallholding

Tracy’s smallholding seedlings.
Image: Our Smallholding Adventure

Our Smallholding Adventure is the “frugal journey from street house to small holding, fast food to self sufficiency and shop bought to homemade” for the Chadfield family.

With lots of fruit and veg to use from their smallholding,Tracy’s posts about preserving produce are sure to be of interest. As she says: “It’s a really satisfying feeling preserving seasonal produce that we’ve grown right here!” It looks delicious, too.

Check out Tracy’s quick and easy sweet chilli sauce and the homemade strawberry vodka! And with the winter fast approaching, her elderberry winter tonic looks pretty good too…

Allotment Diary

veg from the allotment diary's plot

Dan grows some delicious veg on his Yorkshire allotment.
Image: Allotment Diary

Ever wondered about the dedication it takes to grow a 10lb onion? Let blogger Dan take you through the process step-by-step from sowing to harvesting as he tries to break the 10lb barrier.

Dan keeps a diary of everything he grows, which is a great source of gardening information, and check out his YouTube channel  too. We love the idea of planting your peas in lengths of guttering. It means you can “germinate them indoors and slide the plants out into the beds when they’re big enough”. What a great labour saver.

The Backyard Larder

the backyard larder's soup veg

The perennial veg Alison harvested for stew.
Image: The Backyard Larder

Veg gardener Alison is hooked on perennial vegetables like kale, sea beets, artichokes and sorrel, and once you read her blog you will be too. As she says, they’re the ‘perfect edible plants for a busy lifestyle!’ Less work than traditional veg, they even keep producing during the winter.

Ever heard of skirret? This long-forgotten Tudor veg is one of Alison’s current crops. She shares what she’s learned growing it over the past years, as well as this top tip – use it in stew! She says it’s ‘best part of the dish, so satisfying with their sweet taste and potato-like texture.

Carrot Tops Allotment

british queen potatoes

A small yield of potatoes, but a big yield of advice from the Carrot Tops Allotment.
Image: Carrot Tops Allotment

Protect your beans and peas! This year, the Carrot Tops allotment plot came under attack from weevils. That meant holey veg leaves for blogger Adam, but the good news is, he always shares his experiences so you won’t make the same mistakes. He says start by covering your bean with fleece or cloches to help the plants outgrow any damage.

Adam’s blog runs the full gardening gamut from how to help bees to a recipe for a delicious carrot cake with cream cheese icing. And for keen composters, his top 10 composting tips reveal some good ideas – like adding paper.

Rainbow Chard

rainbow chard

The rainbow chard grown by the folks at the Rainbow Chard blog!
Image: Rainbow Chard

Wondering what to plant after your tomatoes are finished? Organic allotmenteer Lou recommends salads like winter purslane to keep your greenhouse or coldframe producing even as the weather cools.

Pop over to Rainbow Chard every week for photos and a rundown of the happenings on this organic allotment in Norwich, along with great ideas for what to cook with your homegrown veg, like this vegetable toad in the hole. And do check out the ‘monster green butternut squash’ – a beast at 16lbs, a real monster.

Self-Sufficient in Suburbia

self sufficient goats eating weeds

Jonathan’s animals love weeding day at the allotment.
Image: Self-Sufficient in Suburbia.

Is your garden more derelict that delectable? Jonathan Wallace knows how you feel. But over the past 10 years, he’s transformed the space in his ongoing “battle to be self-sufficient”.

It’s hard graft, Jonathan says, but it’s working. Today, he has livestock, bee colonies, and a thriving garden that produces more veg than you can shake a shovel at. Tune in to watch Jonathan’s videos in which he discusses a wide range of topics from making pigeon burgers to cherry-rhubarb jam and more.

Down on the Allotment

patio veg

Matron’s courtyard vegetable garden.
Image: Down on the Allotment

You don’t need much space to grow delicious vegetables, says Matron. She says to prioritise climbers which will “make their own space up against the wall.” Runner beans, tomatoes, and squash are all grow well in her courtyard veg garden.

Inheriting a ‘dig for victory’ mentality from her parents, Matron has always loved gardening and her blog is a treasure trove of useful and unusual tips. If you can get your hands on some fresh walnuts, her step-by-step guide to how to pickle them is a must-read.

English Homestead

english homestead gateway

Kev and his family are trying to be self-reliant on their homestead.
Image: An English Homestead

If you’ve got budding young gardeners at home, this is the blog for you. Having grown up on a farm, today, Kev is a carpenter, homesteader, and at-home dad to his three kids.

About self-reliant family living, Kev’s kids help him forage for blackberries, collect eggs, and can now even identify edible wild foods by sight. He says, “they’re building skills and hopefully a work ethic which will last them a lifetime.” This is a top read – you’ll love his tips on making the most of a courgette glut, and dealing with rabbits evading a rabbit-proof fence

Urban Veg Patch

raised urban veg beds

The community veg patch at York Rise.
Image: Urban Veg Patch

Avid gardener Caro Shrives is part of a group that works to revitalise the overgrown gardens of the historic 1930s flats in North London where she lives.

Nurturing the community, as well as a mini orchard, Caro posts pics of the gardens from yesteryear, as well as in-progress shots of the current plots. It’s a gardening journey through history and one that’s sure to inspire.

While it’s now more of a solo project, it’s one Caro loves. Her passion for gardening is contagious – and particularly of interest to anyone involved in shared gardening.

Have we missed any of your favourite veggie gardening blogs? If so, we’d love to hear from you – please get in touch via or Facebook page.

9 wonderful Welsh garden bloggers

welsh country garden

A beatiful Carmarthenshire country garden
Image: shutterstock

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.

Our New Life in the Country

our new life in the country's polytunnel

Autumn’s here, but Sue’s still harvesting kale, spinach and tomatoes from her polytunnel.
Image source: Our New Life in the Country

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.

Noel’s Garden

noels garden in bloom

Practice what you preach – naturalistic gardening at work at Noel’s home.
Image source: Noel’s Garden

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.

Allotment 2 Kitchen

shaheen with her carrots

Fresh, seasonal and delicious are the watchwords of Shaheen’s blog.
Image source: Allotment 2 Kitchen

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.

Anni’s Perennial Veggies

polyculture in full force

A glimpse at one of Anni’s vigorous polycultures ‘surging towards maturity’!
Image source: Anni’s Perennial Veggies

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.

Being Self-Sufficient in Wales

self sufficiency with a polytunnel

Dawn’s polytunnel keeps them in business year-round.
Image source: Being Self-Sufficient in Wales

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.

Barn House Garden

garden house barn

Creating the garden at Barn House was a real labour of love.
Image source: Barn House Garden

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.

Find the posts on Kate’s self-proclaimed ‘grassy’ blog inspiring? You can always arrange to visit and see the garden for yourself.

Holding On

holding on 4 epic harvest

Liz’s harvest this year was epic to say the least.
Image source: Holding On

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.

The Room Outside

The before and after pictures of this Monmouthshire garden show amazing change.
Image source: The room outside

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.

Carmarthenshire Meadows

carms meadows

Wildflower power in the blog of the Carmarthenshire Meadows Group.
Image source: Carmarthenshire Meadows

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.

7 supreme Scottish gardening blogs

scottish highland garden

Autumn view of a Scottish highland secret garden
Image: shutterstock

With wild chunks of land in the countryside and petite backyards in the capital, veg plots and flowerbeds, these are seven of our favourite Scottish gardening bloggers. Dig in!

A Pentland Garden Diary

chicken proof herb garden

Nadine and Sandy’s chicken-proofed herb garden
Image: A Pentland Garden Diary

When Nadine Pierce and her ‘partner in gardening grime’ Sandy moved to the edge of the Scottish Pentland Hills in 2013, neither had much gardening experience. But their ‘keen and willing, if slightly clueless’ approach totally paid off. Today, their garden – and their blog – is thriving.

But with abundance comes problems – namely, chickens that merrily demolish lovingly planted herbs. Sound familiar? Take Nadine and Sandy’s advice and stick bamboo around your herb bed so they can’t get in. Problem solved.

Edinburgh Garden Diary

cut flowers from the edinburgh garden

Joanna’s garden provides her with a constant supply of beautiful cut flowers.
Image source: Edinburgh Garden Diary

Without a garden in London, I didn’t know what I was missing’, says blogger Joanna. When she moved to Edinburgh with her husband (‘The Brazilian’), she got her hands on her tenement building’s small, neglected patch.

Now a total gardening convert, Joanna says ‘caring for a few feet of your own soil can exalt your soul to the higher realms of serenity and satisfaction.’ Do check out her post about her visit to Newliston Estate – it’s so evocative you’ll feel like you’re there with her. Oh, and her photos are beautiful too.

Leavesnbloom

beautiful blues

Rosie Nixon’s gardening pictures and helpful tips will inspire and guide
Image: Leavesnbloom

Wildlife gardener and photographer Rosie Nixon says ‘anything that buzzes, creeps, crawls or flutters,’ distracts her from her weeding. That’s great for us because it means more of her gorgeous photographs to coo over. See something you like? Just mosey on over to the fine art shop on her blog and pick up a few prints.

In the meantime, check out Rosie’s post on growing pulmonaria. Inspirational and educational in equal measure, she covers everything from how to say it (‘pul-mo-NAIR-ee-a’) to how to care for it. Needless to say, her pictures are a knockout.

Mal’s Edinburgh Allotment

allotment herbs

Herbs are among Mal’s favourite things to grow and cook with.
Image source: Mal’s Edinburgh Allotment

Ardent bread baker and gardener, Mal knows how to turn a few simple ingredients into a showstopper. Whether he’s blogging about baking brioche hippopotami or sharing his excitement at cracking carrot cultivation, you can feel his passion in every post.

Herbs are one of Mal’s favourite things to grow and eat. But not coriander. ‘It’s the bane of my life,’ Mal says. ‘Every year I try to grow it for leaf and every year it bolts. Well this year… I’m going to beat it!’ Watch this space to see how he gets on.

Quirky Bird Gardener Blog

Rona’s Monarda Marshall’s Delight in full bloom
Image source: Quirky Bird Gardener Blog

When Rona Dodds first came across Monarda she was a student at National Trust for Scotland’s Threave School of Gardening. She says ‘Not only were they memorable for their colour but the lovely almost spicy scent of flowers and leaves.’ One look at her post about them is sure convince you to give them a try.

Back then, Rona guessed that the flowers in question were M. Cambridge Scarlet. Today, having been gardening privately and professionally for 30 years she knows exactly what she’s talking about. If you want tips from a woman who knows her way around a garden – Rona’s blog is the place to be.

Square Sparrow

square sparrow veg harvest

Some of Square Sparrow’s autumnal harvest.
Image source: Square Sparrow

Gardening and blogging from ‘deepest darkest Kinross-shire’, farmer’s daughter, Karen Elwis, aka the Square Sparrow, is no stranger to mucking in and getting stuff done in the great outdoors.

At home, she’s doing it with the help of HunterGatherer (aka her husband) and the company of a Highland pony, a fat cat, a flock of chocolate-coloured Shetland sheep, and occasionally, her three kids. It’s a full house, and the homestead  gets even busier in the autumn when the polytunnel produces its veggies, Victoria the plum tree gives rich pickings, and Vinnie the vine creates ‘myriad bunches of tiny green grapes’. There’s much to love on Karen’s blog, not least the gorgeous pictures of her Scottish smallholding life.

The Bonnie Gardener

bonnie gardener lupins

Nicola has a deep and abiding love for herbaceous perennials.
Image source: The Bonnie Gardener

Are you a fan of herbaceous perennials? Blogger Nicola is: ‘Watching herbaceous perennials develop in any garden is a thing of beauty and it brings me a huge amount of joy.’

That’s why she’s creating ‘a large, flowing herbaceous river right through the middle of the garden’ this year. Inspired to plant a few yourself? Nicola’s pick of the perennials will give you plenty of ideas. There’s plenty here to help you keep your garden looking its best.

Do you know of any other brilliant Scottish gardening bloggers? Let us know on our Facebook page!

8 inspiring indoor garden blogs

indoor plants flowering

Indoor gardening can be as satisfying as outdoor!
Image: shutterstock

Gardening’s not all about braving the weather and turning over forkfuls of soil. Thousands of gardeners get their horticultural joy indoors, tending their plants in the shelter of their homes.

Here are a few of our favourite indoor gardening bloggers – read on, take a few tips from them, and learn how they keep their houseplants happy!

Jane Perrone

jane perrone's chillies

Feeling cold? Jane’s chillis will keep you warm…
Image: Jane Perrone

Guardian gardening editor, Jane Perrone, loves trying new plants based on their name. ‘Ear of the Devil‘ lettuce proved irresistible. It turns out the pointy, red leaves grow well in containers, and aren’t too attractive to slugs!

Her regular gardening podcast, On The Ledge, features top tips from experts including legendary organic gardener Bob Flowerdew and New York plant scientist Christopher Satch. She waxes lyrical about everything from how to make your houseplant collection ‘#shelfie-worthy’ to how growing indoor microgreens can ‘fill your plate as well as your instagram account.’

There’s plenty of sound advice on Jane’s blog, too. Do you know how to tell if a plant is potbound? Check underneath the inner pot – if there’s a mass of roots on show, then it definitely is. Time to re-pot to a larger home!

The Joy of Plants

bromeliads joy of plants

Use different coloured bromeliads to balance your interiors
Image: The Joy of Plants

Did you know that you can use plants like fern palms and livistona to create a mini indoor rainforest and improve the oxygen levels in your home? Or that different colour bromeliads can help balance your interiors in a similar way to feng shui (try blue to refresh and cool, red for power and energy or pink to encourage relaxation and romance). If you fancy giving either a try then this is definitely the place to find out more.

The Flower Council of Holland launched thejoyofplants to promote flowers and plants in the UK. There’s info on six plant-based topic areas including home decor, people, events, fashion, care and food — so something for everyone to dip into.

These guys love unusual food ideas, too. So if you’re looking for something different to do with your herbs, surprise your tastebuds with this delicious rosemary ice cream recipe.

Flowerona

Azalea

Azaleas will brighten any home
Image: Shutterstock

Definitely mark Flowerona down for a visit if you’re getting married. There are a whole load of ideas for interior cut flower designs and arrangements, including a series of gorgeous image-based posts focused on the most beautiful wedding flowers in the land.

Becoming ill on her own honeymoon made blogger, Rona, want to make some life changes. She signed up for an evening class in floristry and built up the skills to leave her customer service job and become a full time florist, writer and trainer. She describes Flowerona as ‘a feel good place for people to escape to and be inspired by.’  We couldn’t agree more.

Want to add a dash of winter colour to your home? Rona’s advice on azaleas is invaluable. Choose a plant with plenty of buds and a few open flowers, and keep it in a bright place, but out of direct sunlight. Or, if your own home’s already full of plants, these sweet flowers make an ideal gift for friends or family!

Urban Botanics

urban botanics mini cactus garden

Get creative with projects like this mini cactus garden
Image: Urban Botanics

If you have limited space to grow your plants then Michelle at Urban Botanics can help. She offers hints and tips on growing in limited spaces and caring for plants on windowsills, roof terraces and balconies.

Learn how to grow indoor food that knocks the socks off the supermarket versions. Green-fingered Michelle tries out tomatoes, green peppers and chillis on her living room windowsill and praises them for their superior ‘sweetness and flavour’.

Fancy trying your hand at creating something new? There are lots of little projects to try with easy step-by-step instructions. Make your own homegrown herbal tea with chamomile or mint, or create a low-maintenance mini cactus garden that makes a beautiful table centrepiece.

Green Grow Blog

 

green grow avocado

Follow the photo stories of plants like this avocado, grown from seed
Image: Green Grow blog via Victoria’s Instagram

Anyone who’s ever tried to look after a new plant will understand the struggles and triumphs shared on Green Grow, which charts the highs and lows of real life plant care using photo diaries.

Watch the rapid growth of an abacate avocado from Sao Paolo, Brazil and learn how easy it is to grow your own from a leftover seed (peel off the dark skin to make it sprout roots and get growing faster). Or witness the gradual rescue of a beautiful Fiddle Leaf fig as it’s nursed back to life in Ohio through trial and error with different amounts of water and sunlight.

Haarkon

botanic gardens

Life through a lens: take a peek at  some of the world’s best indoor gardens
Image: Haarkon

Wondering about your next holiday? Follow Sheffield-based photographers India and Magnus as they explore indoor botanical spaces around the world. Their image-based blog is the perfect place to escape, explore and seek inspiration for your own indoor gardening (and your travels).

Venture up a deep, dark staircase to discover a plant-filled secret hair salon in Sheffield or negotiate unsealed roads to discover the fincas, bananas plants and exotic Moorish architecture of beautiful Cordoba in Andalucia.

It’s no surprise to hear this striking blog was recently featured in the Daily Telegraph, and recommended in BBC Gardener’s World Magazine.

Hannah Grows

hanna grows open terrarium

Learn how to make an open terrarium
Image: Hannah Grows

Essex-based gardener Hannah Schlotter believes that ‘getting your hands in the soil is a perfect tonic to the chaotic modern world.’ She’s an ambassador for Kew Gardens’ Grow Wild campaign to rejuvenate Britain’s wild flowers and her passion for plants shines through in a mix of engaging written and video blogs.

Try your hand at practical projects like making your own terrarium (try using a jam jar to keep costs down) and rescuing supermarket basil (did you know you can separate about about twenty plants from one pot?). And learn about caring for different types of plants like Fittonia, which, true to it’s South American roots, needs plenty of misting.

Hannah’s on a bit of a mission to bring back the viola and recommends adding some instant colour to your winter window boxes (as well as to salads and cocktails) with this cheap and cheerful, antioxidant-packed edible flower.

Garden Withindoors

Impressive hyacinth displays from forced bulbs
Image: Garden Withindoors

Want to try your hand at forcing hyacinths? Julie, blogger-in-chief at Garden Withindoors can answer pretty much any question you have on the topic.  Recording her forcing results since 2011, Julie encourages around 200 bulbs a year to flower, changing varieties (and suppliers) as she goes along.

The key to forcing bulbs in water is to have the base of the bulb not quite touching the water – otherwise it’ll rot. Follow Julie’s progress from September’s start to the end of the forcing season in March, and delight in the pictures she shares of what she calls her “fabulous floral firework display”. We can only agree!

Are you an intrepid indoor gardener? Share your favourite pictures with us on our Facebook page – we love to see what you’ve been growing.

10 terrific organic and permaculture gardeners

organic gardening vegetables

Organic gardening is becoming more and more popular
Image: shutterstock

Do you long to garden the natural way? Take a look at our collection of great organic and permaculture blogs. They’re sure to provide the inspiration, tips and ideas you need to change the way you grow.

Lovely Greens

strawbery planter made from old pallet

Re-use, recycle, get fruit!
Image: Lovely Greens

You don’t have to spend money to make your garden look great. Check out the beautiful creations Tanya from Lovely Greens makes from wooden pallets! “Passionate about sharing how to make useful things”, she’s an expert at finding ways to repurpose items you already have lying about the house

You’ll love  the way Tanya takes it back to basics with her post on gardening with sticks and twigs. She creates practical plant supports, DIY birdhouses, delicate decor, and more with totally natural resources. There’s no limit to what you can create with the materials nature provides.

Two thirsty gardeners

cucumber seedling

Heavy metal cucumber – a young rocker
Image: Two Thirsty Gardeners

Did you know playing your cucumbers heavy metal produces bigger crops? That’s according to Nick and Rich, the duo behind Two Thirsty Gardeners, who’ve been pondering how to get the best results from their cucumbers this year.

Gardening is thirsty work, so it makes sense to turn your produce into tasty drinks. Well, that’s the idea behind this quirky blog. Follow the team as they chronicle their journey from novice cider makers to, well, novice gardeners, turning their harvest into beer and cider.

This week in the garden

foraged food flapjack

Forage for your dinner
Image: This Week in the Garden

Want to “work less, grow more and spend much more time just enjoying being outside”? You’ll want to take a leaf from blogger and permaculture fan, Kay Hebbourn of This Week in The Garden. She says instead of slavishly following standard gardening practises, she’s learning from nature instead.

Do take a look at Kay’s foraging calendar, a guide to what you can safely find and eat each month. Gathered your ingredients? Now head over to the recipe page to make something tasty! We can’t wait to try the kohlrabi, beetroot, carrot and apple salad. Perfect for summer, it sounds amazing.

Gwenfar’s Garden

permaculture garden

Permaculture Produce
Image: Gwenfar’s Garden

Chronic illness hasn’t stopped Julieanne Porter, AKA Gwenfar, squeezing a beautiful permaculture paradise into her Sheffield back garden. Find out how she does it by popping over to her blog – a mine of information to help you avoid things like waterlogging and taking on more than you can handle.

As well as Julieanne’s gardening posts, you’ll find lovely snaps and charming accounts of day trips and mini-breaks. Like when she and her husband visited Dovedale – check out her photos of pygmy goats…very cute.

Permaculture Designer

Growing in glass!
Image: Permaculture Design

You don’t need a permaculture diploma to create one of these easy-to-make terrariums. Popular since Victorian times, they were originally used for transporting tropical plants to the chilly UK. Blogger Flo shows you how to make yours from recycled materials. An added bonus – when they’re finished, they survive with very little attention.

Qualified in Permaculture Design, and a founding member of the Low Carbon Trust, Flo knows what she’s talking about. Over the years, she’s been involved in many forward-thinking ecological projects, and shares her thought-provoking ideas on her blog.

Reclaiming Paradise

seedlings

Magic Seeds
Image: Reclaiming Paradise

Ever since blogger Jackie watched helplessly as trees were chopped down to make way for parking spaces, she’s been doing her bit to bring some colour back into the world by turning her garden into an organic paradise.

But even with 20 years of gardening experience under her belt, Jackie still feels the magic when she spots those first signs of life after planting a seed. An expert germinator, take a look at how she got her parsley to sprout. Perhaps it has something to do with her fascinating new peat free plant pods.

No Dig Home

no dig polytunnel

No digging here!
Image: No Dig Home

Tired of digging the garden? Stephanie Hafferty’s No Dig Home is for you. She says when you disrupt the soil, it tries to recover itself – with weeds. It’s time to throw out your shovel and learn how to grow crops without disturbing the earth. Stephanie also co-wrote a book on the topic with Charles Dowding called ‘No Dig Organic Home and Garden.’

In nature, nutrients come from above ground – think of a forest floor. By mulching, Stephanie adds a top layer of compost and manure – no digging needed. If you’re hoping to follow in her dig-free footsteps, Stephanie’s post on setting up a no-dig polytunnel is a great starting point.

My Climate Change Garden

yellow flower

Gardens hold our future
Image: My Climate Change Garden

The climate is a-changing, and the garden bears the brunt of it. Blogger Deborah seeks to make life a little easier for gardeners by tracking updates from experts, and providing tips and tricks on staying one head of the game.

Deborah believes that the garden provides an opportunity to understand climate change. Her award winning blog full of tips on how to garden for the future.

No Dig Organic Gardening

aubergine and tomato plants

Frost free flower
Image: No Dig Organic Gardening

One of the innovators of no dig gardening, Charles Dowding helps budding organic gardeners by providing events, courses, books, talks and of course blog posts.

You’ll love his regular updates on his work tending the gardens at Lower Farm and now Home acres. Discover how long to keep your tomatoes under cover–  it’s a good idea to keep them sheltered until any chance of frost has passed – and how soon you can put out hardier vegetables such as onion and lettuce.

Our Little Field

sweet potatoes

The first steps to sweet potatoes
Image: Our Little Field

Our Little Field is The Good Life for real. It’s the story of one family’s attempt to grow their own food and live as sustainably as possible.

Have you ever tried to grow your own sweet potatoes? This tuber is a popular ingredient for many healthy dishes and tastes great too. Check out this step-by-step guide to getting yours to grow. It all starts with plonking a sweet potato in a glass of water. We loved step two – planting in a pot – the potato looks like it’s waving!

If you’ve enjoyed these blogs, or have a favourite organic or permaculture blog you love but we haven’t mentioned, please let us know on our Facebook page.

10 awesome allotment blogs

Check out these awesome allotmenteers
Image: shutterstock

There’s an allotment revival going on at the moment. And it’s no wonder. Growing your own helps you eat better and cheaper, get fit, and spend quality time outdoors with friends and family.

If you fancy grabbing a piece of the ‘good life’ for yourself, then have a nose through these awesome allotment blogs. With practical how-tos, delicious homegrown recipes and inspirational pictures, they’ll make an allotmenteer of you yet.

Veg Plotting

veg plotting's home grown figs

Homegrown figs queuing up to feature in Michelle’s figgy cheese tart
Image: vegplotting

Ever wondered if you should break the rules when it comes to bulbs or asked yourself how to deal with ‘June drop’? Michelle, the green fingers behind Veg Plotting, has all the answers. This allotmenteer and ‘subversive soprano’ from Wiltshire has been tending her plot since 2003, when her husband’s illness inspired her to grow good, honest fayre for her family.

Fifteen years on, Michelle grows pretty much everything. Veg Plotting is a wonderful mix of advice, inspiration and humour. You’ll find a wealth of tutorials and some magnificent recipes including allotment soup and figgy cheese tart.

Our Plot at Green Lane Allotments

The berries are in at Green Lane allotments!
Image: Green Lane Allotments

It all started in the ‘80s with a single plot on a West Yorkshire allotment. As growing went out of fashion and neighbouring plots became vacant and overgrown, Sue and her husband took another plot, then another, and so on, until they ended up with five!

Sue is now the oracle on all things allotment-based. She generously shares growing techniques and top tips with her readership; such as why you should always leave slug-nibbled berries on the plant. Plus there are garden sudokus for rainy days and ‘young seedlings’ ideas to get the children hooked on growing.

Flighty’s plot

Flighty is pleased as Punch with his Polka Dot cornflowers
Image: Flightplot

Flighty’s Plot is tended by Mike: ‘allotmenteer, armchair gardener, blogger and sofa flyer’. Mike took over his allotment in 2007 and instantly fell in love with growing, getting to know the local wildlife and regular chat with fellow plot holders. Indeed, reading Flighty’s Plot feels a lot like chatting to an old friend.

Let Mike keep you up to date with the progress of this season’s crops and his close encounters with Foxy. When he’s not tending his allotment, Mike can be found on the sofa with a good book and a nice cup of tea. Our kind of chap.

JibberJabberUK

raspberries frpm jibberjabber's plot

The recent raspberry glut provided jam, muffins and crumble for Ness
Image: jibberjabberUK

Ness is the CBO (Chief Baking Officer) at JibberJabberUK, a blog about growing, cooking and baking for the family. The family started their allotment adventure to take control over how their fruit and veg were grown. They have certainly succeeded!

With monthly allotment updates and fantastic photography, this blog will show what can be done with a little imagination and a lot of hard work. And once you have harvested your goodies, be sure to check out Ness’s recipes such as her rhubarb, lemon and ginger friands.

Agents of Field

agents of field's jam

Follow these beauties as they journey from allotment to breakfast table
Image: Agents of Field

Sophie and Ade are the Agents of Field and their mission is to save the Earth ‘one forkful at a time’. Their superpowers are sustainability, thriftiness and some very green fingers. And with twenty years of film and TV production between them, their blog is bursting with beautiful images and witty words.

So dive in and let horticulturalist Ade show you how to battle aphid invasions and upcycle just about any old rubbish into vital equipment for the allotment. Then settle down and discover how chef Sophie transforms both crops and weeds into mouthwatering meals. Nettle pesto, anyone?

Sharpen your spades

peas from sharpen your spades

Richard’s Blauwschokker peas are thriving in his no-dig allotment 
Image: Sharpen Your Spades

Richard Chivers is the man behind Sharpen Your Spades. His early growing career was a tempestuous one as he hurtled from one short-lived allotment fling to the next. But in 2015 he settled down with the plot of his life and hasn’t looked back since.

In his blog you’ll find a wealth of goodies from an allotment diary – a record of the frustrations and successes of organic growing – to comprehensive growing guides. Having sharpened his spade in the past, Richard has recently hung it up in favour of the no-dig gardening technique. Intriguing, huh?

The Green Fingered Blog

green fingered blog bug hotel

All bugs are welcome at the Holiday Inn(sect)
Image: greenfingeredblog

Growing doesn’t have to be expensive, time-consuming or difficult, says Paul Cartwright, the Green Fingered Blogger. His posts are always informative and often eccentric. Whether it’s creating a cheap and easy bug hotel, trying to grow watercress on a garden fence and discovering the cure for wisteria hysteria, it’s all worth a read.

Paul is convinced that spending time amongst plants is good for the soul, and we have to say the same about loafing around this blog.

The Bohemian Raspberry

seedlings

Chelle’s chillies, peppers and aubergines survived eviction from the polytunnel
Image: Instagram/ bohoraspberry

Chelle dreams of having her own smallholding one day. But until then, this gardening rebel is happy tending her plot-and-a-half at the local allotment. She’s the blogger behind Bohemian Raspberry as well as being a mum, horticultural student and gardening addict.

Knowledgeable, funny and warm, you’ll enjoy her beginner’s guide to growing cut flowers, take her advice on when to sow your seeds and share her joy when her son gets the gardening bug. Magic.

Horticultural ‘obbit

gooseberries from the horticultural hobbit

These gooseberries will soon be simmering with ginger, turmeric and spices
Image: Horticultural Hobbit

‘You won’t find romance here,’ warns Punam Farmah, psychology teacher, adventurous allotmenteer and writer of the Horticultural ‘obbit. This honest blog documents the natural experiments – some successful, others not – conducted on Punam’s allotment in Birmingham.

Discover how she transformed the jungle that was Plot 2a into a treasure-trove of taste (it took two weeks and 48 full green waste bags) and follow her delicious tutorials to create delights such as gooseberry pickle.

Grow Like Grandad

eggshells don't deter snails

It’s official: eggshells do NOT deter snails
Image: Grow Like Grandad

The granddads Matt Peskett wants to emulate are his very own – Grandad Jack and Great-Grandad George, both head gardeners in their time. And it’s thanks to Grandad Jack that our blogger got his first taste for growing.

Grow Like Grandad is full of expert information on allotmenteering, from how to grow giant pumpkins to a comprehensive guide to tackling your first allotment. It’s beautifully written and there’s always something to make you smile. The Snail Barrier Performance Trial (time-lapse video) is not to be missed.

We hope these wonderful blogs have inspired you to get growing or even to start your own allotment blog. And if you write about growing we’d love to hear from you. Visit our Facebook page and share a link to your gardening adventures.

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