Get gardening tips, inspiration and seasonal know-how thanks to these horticultural bloggers.

The French revolutionary Bertrand Barère de Vieuzac once called us a nation of shopkeepers. Yet, more than 200 years on, it is perhaps more apposite that we should be known as a nation of gardeners – and never more so than after more than a year of sporadic lockdowns. Those of us lucky enough to have our own plots of land – whether postage sized or somewhat larger – took to them with renewed fervour, weeding, planting and tending like our lives depended upon it.

The universal lesson all gardeners pick up almost immediately is that there is always more to know, no matter how many seasons you have planted and harvested through. Happily, there exists a wealth of experienced garden and horticulture bloggers in the UK, sharing both the views from their own vegetable patches and blossoming cutting gardens as well as tips and inspiration. These are a few of our favourite country and city gardeners.

The Middle-Sized Garden




Anyone else ever longed for a plot that’s bigger than a postage stamp, only to finally lay garden glove-clad hands upon it and immediately panic? If that describes you, then The Middle Sized Garden contains everything you need to get started. Alexandra Campbell, the gardener behind the blog, describes a middle-sized plot as one that ‘feels too big when you’re weeding it… but definitely too small when you want to add a greenhouse, shed, eating area or even just another enticing plant.’ As a journalist, she knew very little about growing when she acquired her 100ft by 80ft walled garden. But she did know how to mine expert know-how which she now shares generously with fellow neophytes here. Want to find small trees for your borders, or discover lovely low maintenance plants? This is the place to do it. Read all about it here.


The Enduring Gardener




Another excellent gardening blog, another ex-journalist (hardly surprising; they do, after all, know just how to turn in good, information-packed copy). This time it comes courtesy of the penmanship of Stephanie Donaldson, the former Gardening Editor of Country Living magazine. She knows, then, of what she writes. And since she began blogging, she’s teamed up with a greenhouse expert called Daniel who also happens to have trained as a chef at Ballymaloe Cookery School (expect, then some lovely food-related content thrown in for good measure). Come to read about the origins of the English country garden, design-led gardening and practical tips on how to choose a greenhouse. Read all about it here.


The Blackberry Garden




When Alison Levey bought her East Midlands house in 2007, the actual bricks and mortar were, she says, something of an afterthought. What really attracted her was the third of an acre of lawn, which was full of potential for an amateur but obsessive gardener. Fourteen years on, she has indefatigably installed seven raised beds, now full of vegetables, and admirably delineated (and inventively named) distinct planting areas of her plot. On her blog, she reviews horticulture books and products, as well as sharing the progress in her own garden and visits that have inspired her. Read all about it here.


Wild Flower Hour




More of a collective than posts from an individual gardener’s veg patch, we love Wild Flower Hour for many reasons – not least the clean, stylish and appealing aesthetic of the site, which makes excellent use of botanical illustration. Quite simply, at 8pm every Sunday, they post pictures of wildflowers shared by people from all over the country of flora found growing wild; simply upload a picture to the Facebook page and wait for the ensuing discussion about its identification. It may not be gardening per se, but for those who wish to cultivate a little of the wild – or simply expand their knowledge of indigenous plants – this is a great port of call. We also love the podcast, which asks questions such as ‘why don’t we love dandelions’ and covers topics such as roadside wild flowers. Read all about it here.


Stopwatch Gardener




Sheila M. Averbuch is a copywriter and a children’s author who lives in Edinburgh. She also happens to have an abiding love for gardening. We adore the sweet notebook format of her blog, which is easier to navigate than many others. She writes on everything from garden design to wildlife to growing from seed to roses – the latter of which she knows inside out, having taken a dedicated tour of every rose garden of note in the UK. Oh, and – perhaps as one might expect – she writes beautifully, too. Read all about it here.


Alternative Eden




Mark is a full-time clinical specialist in apheresis and peripheral blood stem cell collection. Gaz is a director for a national accountants and business advisory firm. And yet somehow together the duo finds the time to fashion an ‘alternative Eden’ of their own, thanks to their dedication to creating a tropical and exotic garden here in the UK. They began blogging in 2010, since which time it has morphed into a gardens and travel blog – and they have completed the build of their wonderful koi pond. Their extraordinary garden is living testament that it is possible to bring a slice of ‘jungle’ to these less than reliable climes. For information on the kinds of plants that have worked for them such as agave and gunnera – as well as accounts of their garden visits and travels – do scroll through their excellent blogroll. Read all about it here.


Anna Greenland




We love professional vegetable gardener Anna Greenland’s blog, which can be mined here for information. Since lockdown began, things have been a little less busy on it; however, she effectively does the same job over on her Instagram page, which is bursting with brilliant ideas and practical gardening tips and advice. She really knows her onions, too; for three years, she was responsible for Raymond Blanc’s extensive vegetable garden at Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons and remains his horticultural consultant, as well as having been head gardener at Soho Farmhouse. Now, she supplies organic produce to a coterie of other chefs too, including Tom Aikens and Jamie Oliver. Her first book, Grow Easy, is out in September, but meanwhile, you can follow her for everything you need to know about growing vegetables, and as a great source of knowledge about lesser-known plants that are actually edible. Oh, and her recipes are great, too. Follow her here.


The Anxious Gardener




‘A gardening blog. Mostly,’ is how The Anxious Gardener – aka professional grower David Marsden – describes his site. Having tended two remarkable and large gardens in the South Downs, he began to photograph and write about his efforts in order to share these wonderfully tranquil places with a wider audience. He has since moved to Gloucestershire and created his own horticultural haven there. Settle in for a good read; it is time well spent, and testament to why The Anxious Gardener scooped the Garden Media Guild’s Blog of the Year in 2015. As they said, ‘This is a deserved winner as it meets the judging criteria exactly: it is well written, has a clear sense of the human behind it, and has plenty of relevant gardening and plant-related information on it. It is funny, likeable, has beautiful photographs and a good balance between text and images. It also gives a public insight into a private world, which makes the viewer feel they are gaining special access to his beautiful, planterly view on life.’ Amen to that. Read all about it here.


The Urban Veg Patch




If staring wistfully at scenes of bucolic gardens feels all very well but ultimately totally removed from your real life, The Urban Veg Patch makes a great read. The 2018 winner of Garden Media Guild’s Blog of the Year, it is run by Caro, a writer, gardener and photographer who ‘grows veg that I like to cook’ in Dartmouth Park. She does so in the community plot which is attached to the flats she lives in; having been historically been well-tended by residents, by 2009, it had fallen into neglect and disuse. When the residents were asked whether they would like to apply for Capital Growth funding in order to grow vegetables, they leapt at the chance and the project has been growing ever since. We love the community aspect to this, as well as the idea of bringing back to life something that once was. There are also garden visit reviews, tips and product reviews too, all delivered in Caro’s honest and fresh voice. Heart-warming and beautiful. Read all about it here.


By Nancy Alsop
June 2021

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