Thursday, 30 January 2014

My Fledgling Garden

When I first began to take a real interest in my garden, it was because I had been inspired. It's a powerful motivator. I was inspired by a toddler wandering around the garden, and loving the outdoors. Olly inspired me to stop, look, see and do. And I have never looked back.

The start of my gardening journey 2011
Of course inspiration can only get you so far. I am not one for meticulous planning, and I can find it difficult to trust my own judgement. I am easily distracted. I don't follow instructions well, if at all. I am not a rebel. I am just not good at seeing things through. And I think that's why gardening is the perfect creative outlet for me. A garden is a never ending creative project that can be changed and altered at will. There is no point at which it will be finished. Not my garden anyway.

Mostly I find the whole gardening process a relaxing and absorbing one. But if I do get bored, I can walk away for a while, and return later to find that nothing terminal has happened. If a plant doesn't thrive, I pull it up and put it on the compost pile. I haven't failed. It just didn't work (thank you Laeticia for shining the light on that theory). I can create a tapestry of colour and texture just outside my patio doors.

Nowadays inspiration comes from many different places. I have collected quite a lot of gardening books, mostly from charity shops. Last weekend I added to my collection with this book by Sarah Raven that I bought for a pound at a table top sale. It has been by my side all week. It is a fantastic reference book with lots of hints and tips, and I have already written down some ideas for my garden.

I follow loads of gardening blogs. My favourites are My Tiny PlotGarlic and SapphireCommon Farm Flowers and Out Of My Shed.There's also lots of stuff I follow via Facebook, including The Enduring Gardener, Garden Naturally Group and DirtWorld Girl. I love all that free advice and information you can get from these sites. I am one of Pinterest's newest members, and my lust after portfolio of plants, design, landscape and ideas is rapidly growing (so is my Duran Duran board, but they can't be potted up to look all lovely in the garden. Shame). I love this resource, because it is the best waste of time on a rainy Sunday afternoon.

I buy the Gardener's World magazine every month (I know, I am 95). I think that it's the best out there. It's packed with seasonally relevant articles from greats like Monty Don and Carol Klein. They have a website and a weekly television programme too. Oh and I do love Gardener's Question Time on Radio 4. I find it inspiring to know that there are experienced gardeners who are still learning about their own little patch of land. And while I'm at it, can I just plug The Great British Garden Revival? It was a wonderful series heralding our gardening heritage here in the UK. It's on I-Player at the moment. My favourites were Kitchen Gardens with the rather scrumptious Allys Fowler and Stumperies, which has inspired my latest garden project.

Nothing beats wandering around our wonderful historic houses and their gardens for inspiration. We are National Trust members, and this year I have made a solemn pledge to myself to visit at least five gardens in our local area before the summer. Next week we have free passes to visit The Eden Project. I always find that an inspiration. I have written here about having a nosey at the gardens of my neighbours. I think that might be one of my favourite ways to walk the dog on a summer's evening. I have taken a lot of pictures leaning over a wall or a fence or a gate.

My inspiration takes many varied forms, but perhaps the biggest is my garden itself. Walking around my garden, and getting down on my hands and knees to inspect something closer. Or sitting in the sunshine and soaking up the beauty on a July day. Learning from my little space a little more each season. Nothing will ever inspire me more.


The winner of last week's giveaway is Amy at Love Made My Home. Congratulations Amy! If you could email me your address, I'll send the bulbs to you. Thank you to everyone who took part, it was great fun to do.

And thanks for reading!

Leanne xx


  1. Congrats to Amy! Your blog looks beautiful, Leeanne. I really love it. I also love reading about your gardening exploits. I always learn something and I love seeing what you grow. I picture you wafting, of course. :)

  2. Oh Wow Leanne, thank you for the giveway win!! You are so very kind. I was reading down thinking, I must tell Leanne that I subscribe (yes, I commit!) to GW magazine and watch the programme religiously. Not sure that it has made any difference to my gardening, but I try! Anyway, there I was thinking I must say that, I must say that, don't get distracted and forget and then you totally threw me with your wonderful announcement at the end. Thank you so much. I will e-mail you! Hope that you have a great weekend. xx

    1. Just realised that I don't have your e-mail, you can reply to me though as I am not no reply, or my e-mail address is on my blog. Thanks again xx

  3. Your garden looks beautiful Leanne, much as I would want mine to look one day. Full of colour and movement.

  4. I love your blog's new look! It was so lovely seeing pictures from your garden. I love gardening, and can't wait to get my garden boxes built this spring here at our cottage so I can start in again. Thanks for the gardening blog links - I will check them out.

  5. Gorgeous summery post - just the lift I needed on this grim day - and such a beautiful garden you are making there.

    Your blog's looking great too :)

  6. Oh lucky you finding a Sarah Raven book at a sale. Sarah Raven and Alys Fowler are my inspiration. SR's vegetable book is second-to-none. And I've been re-watching Alys Fowler's "The Edible Garden" on You Tube, it's brilliant. Have you been to Heligan? I loved it there, so beautiful. I'm going to Cornwall on holiday in the summer, so I might try and visit again.

  7. Those are wonderful pictures of Olly enjoying your garden. That Sarah Raven book was such a bargain, a copy of it has been in my bookcase for many years and is one I often refer to. Your new header is beautiful.
    Sarah x

  8. oh look at iddy biddy Olly! I love your gardening posts they are so inspirational! I think i will start getting gardeners world as well oh and as for national trust membership..ive been trying to convince hubs for years...perhaps this is the year xxxxx

  9. oh by the way the blog looks utterly awesome!

  10. What a delightful post I love reading about others pottering around in their gardens

  11. The blog looks lovely. You must be pleased! I loved seeing those summery photos - it really brightened up my morning. Always nice to be reminded that the sun does shine...sometimes! x

  12. Loving the new blog!! It's fab!!! You must be pleased. Well done to Amy, lucky girl!! Well so how you've gotten me thinking. You see I love gardening too, but I always feel like I lack do much knowledge and gardening like most things requires dedication , time and money. I used to spend hours reading and preparing plans if plants I want to purchase only to find that my garden centres don't stock them, this has happened time and one again, and so the upshot is that even though I love it I feel like I've lost a little interest in reading and planning. Maybe the gardeners magazine will inspire me a little again, so thank you for that. It's also time, too many things that tickles my fancy. Enjoy your weekend xxx

  13. Your blog space is looking lovely. I loved your header before too because I love seaside pictures so much.
    Leanne could you possibly tell me how you make the collages with so many pictures. I love it. Your love of your garden shines through your writing beautifully. Enjoy a lovely spring and summer xx

  14. What a lovely post. Your passion for growing just shines through. I liked what you said about not failing, I need to take that on board. And how cute is baby Olly?! Yum. xx

  15. Your garden looks great. After years of neglect, we got back into gardening last year, thanks in no small part to the lovely summer, so I'm also looking for inspiration.

  16. Life as we know it, can be so stressful. But once we look at our garden and see the vibrant colors of our plants, the stress we feel will melt away. Anyway, it’s good to know that you found your inspiration at your own garden. And I hope it will grow bigger in time.

    Bethel Woodard @ Sollecito Landscaping Nursery