I love to talk about my garden. I talk about my garden here on the blog, during dinner parties, with random strangers, at plant fairs… pretty much anywhere that I meet a fellow gardener. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not showing off, it’s just sharing a passion and learning from other peoples’ experiences. Because to garden is to learn continually, and to help each other out.
Take seed sowing – you read the instructions on the back of a seed packet and see the lovely photo of the fully bloomed plant on the front and think, ‘that looks easy enough, I could definitely do that.’ But it’s actually nowhere near as easy as you expect. So when you next come across someone who wants to talk about gardens, you deftly steer the conversation towards seed packets, in the hope that they may be more successful than you and share some grains of wisdom.
Some people share their garden with the public, but I’m not sure I could take the criticism.
I did try opening up my garden one year, and it was pretty much a disaster. On the days when we were miraculously weed-free, the grass mowed, the sun shining and the roses at their best, nobody ever showed up; however, if we hadn’t cut the grass for two weeks, there were kids running naked in the garden, and the dog had just pooped on the lawn, you could be sure to find someone ringing at the gate “just wondered if we could look around the garden?” Never again.
Gardeners love to share. We love to learn, try new ideas, and share the treasures born from our gardens. From the first spring daffodils, through to the last fall dahlias, I have a good six months of gifting bouquets.
Gardeners tend to be generous people, and rarely jealous. I remember interviewing the highly talented Jacques Garcia about his astounding garden here in Normandy, at the Chateau du Champ de Bataille. He is a man with incredible vision, and he opens his work to the public regularly. When I asked him if he found the stream of visitors intrusive, he immediately replied that gardeners are such lovely people and expressed how much he enjoys chatting with other garden nerds.
So because I am not alone in my pleasure of sharing the joys of gardening, I thought I’d tell you about some of my favourite places online to glean inspiration.
Instagram is an amazing place to admire and learn from other gardeners. Just yesterday, I listened to a livestream of a talk with Kate Coulson, who was being interviewed about the creation of her two gardens: in the UK and in France.
Last year, I did a couple of live videos with my friend, Claus Dalby, in Denmark – an expert plantsman who is extremely generous with tips on garden design.
I love to watch the tutorials of Anya the Garden Fairy on Instagram, and I’ll be doing a live video with her at the end of April. She lives in the UK, so her seasonal tips on what to get done in the garden are always well-timed for me.
On YouTube, I learn all about no-dig beds from the softly spoken Charles Dowding. He explains what can seem like quite a daunting process clearly and simply, so much so that he converted a lot of people to change their way of gardening.
And, sometimes, I abandon the internet and pick up the age-old book by Vita Sackville West, who used to write a weekly gardening column for The Observer about her celebrated garden at Sissinghurst. How I would have loved to have known her! Her writing is so practical and attainable; I love it. There is an absolute nugget on every page, and it is with her wise words that I leave you:
“Successful gardening is not necessarily a question of wealth. It is a question of love, taste, and knowledge.”
Vita Sackville West, 6 March 1950 (taken from In Your Garden)
Read Next: Gardening Instagrams to Follow
If you love gardening as much as I do, make sure to reserve one of my new Garden Collection Boxes! I have filled this Box with beautiful gifts for in and around the garden!
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Dear Sharon, You would enjoy the books of Henry Mitchell, who (along with Sackville-West) is my favorite garden writer. Both wrote weekly, much-beloved gardening columns for decades.
“”One of the great voices in garden writing was silenced when Henry Mitchell passed away; thus his legions of fans will undoubtedly be delighted to learn of one last collection of Mitchell’s newspaper columns, organized in a month-by-month format. The reader may jump in at appropriate intervals, whether to savor sage advice or simply to ponder the musings of the thoughtful, impassioned gardening savant that was Henry Mitchell. If ever one has battled the odds and tried to grow a less-than-hardy specimen outdoors, how wonderful it will be to feel the special kinship brought about by knowing that Mitchell, too, tested the fates in this way. Maybe waging a battle with cutworms or wanting to crow about raising the most beguiling crocus will be a point of connection; surely there will be many such moments for any gardener fortunate enough to encounter Mitchell’s satisfying trove of essays. ”
Go to: https://www.amazon.com/Henry-Mitchell-Gardening/dp/0395957672
Hi David, so nice to see your name pop up here :). I will look out for the Henry Mitchell books, thank you for the recommendation.
Beautiful!!!! We’re working on getting things cleaned up . Once it warms up over here in Rhode Island , I can get planting!!! Hi to the pups!!! Bonnie Wood
Lovely inspiration Sharon!
I just finished doing some Spring gardening here in Victoroa, BC, Canada. The garden is definitely my happy place. Enjoy your garden.
Both my grandmothers were gardeners, my 90 year old mother is a gardener so no surprise to discover when I was about 20 that gardening was an important part of my life!
I love it when you feature your garden and your list of Instagram gardens kept me busy for days. I often refer back to it. Thank you for all the information and inspiration.
I am full of gratitude as a former gardner for sharing these beautiful gardens in remberance for the gardens I once had and nourished for so many years!
Today, I am an apt. dweller and adore taking these visual tours & can even sense the fragrance of it all as well which feeds my soul.! Xo
One of my favorites is Furlow Gatewood – an American designer from the Deep South – his work is wonderfully eccentric and personal. ‘One Man’s Folly’, a book showcasing his ‘estate’, highlights structures, interiors and what he calls ‘the yard’ and is available on line. When you have a moment look him up – it’s a treat. Luscious and replete the visual stories abound. He follows his own drumbeat, in the way that innately talented folks do. You may see something of yourself in this! Nice to see how the beds in your lawn have matured. I remember, not too long ago, when you shared thoughts on their layout.
Sharing one’s garden is the best way to enjoy it. Giving friends cuttings, seeds, sharing the goodness and sweetness of what appears in our flowerbeds. True garden therapy!
enjoyed your blog!
It’s really important to share. It gives some people some ideas.
Estoy leyendo tu blog desde Argentina, admiro profundamente lo que haces. Espero en algún momento tener una casa de campo con jardín bello como el tuyo.