6 inspiring garden blogs

inspiring gardens

Some gardens are made to inspire – and here are some inspiring garden blogs
Image: shutterstock

Some gardens and gardening blogs are just too good to not to share, which is why we’ve scoured the web to bring you a bunch of superb blogs that showcase some really special gardens and truly dedicated garden owners and keepers. From the Sussex Weald to craggy Cumbria, here are eight extraordinary garden blogs.

The anxious gardener

anxious gardener tulip tree

The tulip tree in spectacular autumn display
Image: The anxious gardener

Here’s your chance for sneaky peek at not one, but two five-acre plus private gardens – one in the South Downs National Park, the other in the Sussex Weald. This charming and well-written blog is gardener David’s way of bringing these enchanting but rather secluded spaces to a wider audience.

You’ll love David’s post about the tulip tree, which having been planted too close to the house in Sussex, presents a pain in the proverbial for the man tasked with clearing the gutters. But every autumn, this large, but unremarkable tree has a chance to shine – and with his wonderful photography, David does his subject full justice.

Growing family

growing family gardening

Make every minute in the garden count
Image: Growing family

Time starved? From lifting your patio containers to prevent winter water-logging, to a reminder to deadhead your summer flowers, blogger Catherine’s 10 minute gardener  series gives you quick, manageable jobs to help you keep on top of your garden when life’s hectic and crazy.

An account of her gardening life which revolves around growing her family as well as her plants, you’ll love reading about Catherine and co’s latest ventures in and out of the garden. From what to look for when choosing outdoor clothing for kids, to family-friendly holiday activities, there’s something for everyone here.

The middle sized garden

middle sized garden

The magic of an overgrown garden
Image: The middle sized garden

“A middle-sized garden doesn’t usually have a drive, and vistas and views tend to be of next door’s garage,” says gardener, author, blogging expert and writing coach, Alexandra Campbell. But that doesn’t mean a middling-sized patch can’t be something special – which is the raison d’etre of this fun, friendly, info-packed blog.

Renovating a garden, and wondering whether to bulldoze the lot? Don’t says Alexandra: There’s a “magic about it that a brand new garden can never hope to achieve.” Take a look at architect, Tom Croft’s extraordinary garden renovation – we guarantee inspiration awaits.

Dinchope diary

dinchope windfall for birds

Leave some of your windfall fruit for the birds
Image: Dinchope

Want to bring more wildlife to your garden but don’t know quite where to start? Let Jenny Steel be your guide. A plant ecologist and author with over 30 years experience as a wildlife gardener, she certainly knows how to make your garden a hotspot for birds and other wildlife.

About thirty percent of us put out seed and peanut mixes to help keep the birds fed during the winter, but do remember give your feeders and bird tables a clean from time to time, Jenny says. “There are several bacterial and viral diseases that affect our birds and these can be passed from one to another in their droppings or by close contact.”

DIY garden

diy garden butterflies

Grow the right plants and the butterflies will come
Image: DIY garden

Help save the butterflies, says Clive Harris – “Gardener, blogger, outdoor enthusiast, husband, dad, and all the rest!” That’s because three quarters of British butterfly species and a quarter of moths have declined over the last 40 years.

Help by growing butterfly-friendly plants, like nettles, bird’s-foot trefoil, nasturtium, garlic mustard, ladies smock, long coarse grasses, oak, elm, holly, and ivy, says Clive. And that’s just for starters – checkout his post for a wealth of information about the lives of our fluttery friends. DIY garden does exactly what it says on the tin – everything you need to help your garden grow.

Growing nicely

borage growing nicely

Jill looks forward to enjoying her Pimms with a sprig of borage in it
Image: Growing nicely

New to gardening and wondering how to harden off your seedlings for planting out? Find an area of dappled shade, says blogger Jill, and, on an overcast day, put your young plants out for a couple of hours before bringing them back inside. Repeat over the next two weeks, gradually extending the outdoor time until the plants adapt to life in the garden.

Blogger Jill is a professional gardener, garden designer, and instructor, and now creates this wonderfully informative blog which showcases her garden, and gardening adventures, from garden visits to how to grow food for the plate. You’ll love her recipe for elderflower cordial.

Have we missed any fab gardening blogs you love to follow? Do let us know what we’re missing by popping over to our Facebook page and leaving us a message.

10 professional gardeners show how it’s done

pro gardener pruning

There’s more to pro gardening than just secateurs
Image: shutterstock

Looking for a bit of gardening inspiration? It’s always nice to know that the hints and tips your favourite garden bloggers pass on are backed up by some verifiable gardening know how. We’ve scoured the web to bring you the scribblings of ten professional gardeners – blogs from green-fingered pros with skills and knowledge to share.

Jack Wallington

jack wallington

Pro gardener Jack takes some inspiration from the Lost Gardens of Heligan
Image: Jack Wallington

Jack’s rock garden may consist of just the one rock – and not even a real rock at that, but it’s worth a look because it’s just the sort of quirky personal growing project you’d expect from an RHS qualified horticulturist who specialises in creating contemporary gardens with unique plantings.

The Sempervivums are just about hanging in there but what’s really required is a bit of moss to provide the growing media for other plant species to grow into. An entertaining and informative blog, there’s so much interesting reading here, a quick visit could last hours.

Driftwood by sea

geoff stonebanks open garden

Geoff’s stunning garden, with the sea as a backdrop
Image: Geoff Stonebanks

If you’d like to see how someone takes a patch of barren, sloping seaside garden and turns it into a major attraction on the National Open Gardens Scheme calendar, you’ve come to the right place. Aided by a small army of volunteers, Geoff Stonebanks now opens his garden to the public to raise money for charity – raising nearly £100K for a variety of charities, including MacMillan Cancer Support.

We think you’ll agree Geoff’s patch is a heck of a garden, and a must-visit-site for anyone growing in harsh salt-laden conditions near the sea. The great Monty Don himself describes Geoff’s East Sussex garden as “a small garden by the sea that’s full of character”.

Pulling weeds

pulling weeds cydonia pruning

Let Graham help you whip your fruit trees into shape with some winter pruning
Image: Pulling weeds

“Trees put out shoots in all directions, which can lead to them becoming quite congested.” Says professional gardener, Graham Wright. If you’re in need of a quick lesson on the art of pruning your fruit trees, here’s a good place to start. With his quince tree doing just that, he’s waited until the dormant time of the year to get his secateurs out.

What you should be looking for is an open shape, Graham says. This lets the most light into the centre of the tree, which is essential if your fruit is to ripen properly. The quince jelly’s on you then Graham.

David Domoney

david domoney buddleja cottage

Buddlejas make an excellent border plant – just remember to prune vigorously
Image: David Domoney

If you’re looking for some low maintenance outdoor plants to help get a beginner gardener off the ground, you’ve come to the right place. TV gardener extraordinaire, David Domoney gives his top five recommendations. He says: “Buddlejas are great for putting into beds and borders if you have recently moved to a place with a larger garden or are branching out from container planting.”

Presenter of ITV’s Love Your Garden, and the resident gardening expert for This Morning, David’s blog is a superb resource for anyone interested in gardening or wildlife. Fancy testing your knowledge of British birds? Why not take David’s fun quiz?

The tattooed gardener

tattoed gardener

Snake’s Head Fritillaries make a colourful spring display
Image: Tattooed gardener

Looking for something a little different to brighten up your spring garden? Take a look at these Snake’s Head Fritillaries nodding their, chequered purple and white, bell-shaped blooms. Most bulbs like free-draining soils says Dennis, aka the tattooed gardener, but not this one, which makes it perfect for wetter conditions.

Former head gardener at Trinity College, Cambridge, Dennis is now a gardener, garden consultant and children’s writer. His blog is a font of gardening knowledge and wisdom, with tats and the odd bit of Megadeth thrown in for good measure.

Mr Plant geek

mr plant geek

This nandina goes from green to pink to bright red
Image: Mr Plant geek

“Every so often, a plant comes along that makes you question whether it’s actually real or not,” says gardening expert (and former T&M Product Development Manager) Michael Perry. He’s talking about the pillar box red leaves of the unbelievably riotous nandina (pink blush) – a low maintenance foliage plant you’ll love for its year-round colour.

Well-written and quirky, you’ll enjoy Michael’s unique take on gardening. As he says, he’s just a tiny bit lazy, which makes him an excellent source of gardening hacks and shortcuts. Check out his post on “wabi-sabi” – the art of imperfect gardening, which is all about relaxed simplicity and asymmetry.

Judi the gardener

dingly dells

Anyone for a Dingly Dell?
Image: Judi the Gardener

How would you fancy having a Dingly Dell in your garden? Garden designer and developer, Judi will build one for you. We’re talking about the ultimate place to relax and unwind, created especially for you.

A former dancer and choreographer Judi says she loves to put on her creative hat to help her clients unmuddle their ideas and make an exciting plan for their outdoor spaces. You’ll love what she’s done with the olive tree at one satisfied customer’s garden.

Katie Rushworth

katie rushworth container pond

Kids will love creating a mini pond to attract wildlife to the garden
Image: Katie Rushworth

You’ll know Katie Rushworth as one of the team from ITV’s Love Your Garden. Here she blogs about her love of gardening, and offers the occasional tidbit of behind the scenes insight from the show.

Check out Katie’s ideas for creating a kids’ mini pond for the garden. She says “A small container pond can be a fantastic way to welcome wildlife and get your little ones involved in a quick and easy project that will bring joy for years to come! “.  Katie’s blog is a treasure trove of helpful advice for gardeners, complete with recipes to help you use up your bumper crops.

Thomas D Stone

thomas stone moving shrub

Thomas demonstrates how to move well-established plantings
Image: Thomas D Stone

If you’ve ever wondered how to move well-established shrubs from the wrong place in your garden to somewhere better, Thomas Stone says it’s all about getting the root ball out of the ground. Not sure how to go about it? Check out his post which gives you a handy step-by-step process to make a success of your transplantation.

With nearly 30 years as an RHS trained professional gardener behind him, Thomas says the key to keeping his passion for gardening alive, is never to stop learning. That’s good news for his readers  – there’s a wealth of gardening knowhow waiting for you here.

Ellen Mary Gardening

ellen mary gardening edible flowers

Add some colour to your food with edible flowers
Image: Ellen Mary Gardening

Gardening can be hard on your back, but not when you follow pro’ gardener, horticultural TV and radio presenter, and blogger Ellen Mary’s advice to go vertical with your planting. From reusing soft drinks bottles to raised beds and making planters from pipes, she’ll soon raise your gardening sights – and if you want to extend your menus, this is the place to start learning about edible flowers!

A self-confessed gardening addict, Ellen Mary is a trustee of Anglia in Bloom, and horticultural coordinator for the Royal Norfolk Show. We don’t know how she finds the time to pack in all her gardening-related occupations. She says, “If the job is to do with gardening – anything goes!”

Do you have a favourite pro’ gardening blog we’ve missed? We’d love to hear from you. Just head on over to our Facebook page and tell us all about it.

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.

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!

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