About this blog

This started as a tale of two gardens, one in Gironde (SW France), and one in West Sussex (UK), and the life that links them. More recently we have exchanged our West Sussex garden for a West Sussex seaside apartment, so only have one garden now. With almost 3 acres (1.2 hectares) that’s probably enough.

I have had a lifelong passion for gardening. An early memory is of writing a gardening column in a class newspaper, orchestrated by a student teacher on work experience, aged 7. Other early memories include the smell of geraniums (pelargoniums of course) and tomatoes in my grandfather’s Victorian conservatory, giving the Chelsea chop to a stand of Michaelmas daisies (and the horror expressed by my mother as she thought that year’s flowers were doomed as a result), and my father’s dahlias lined out in the front garden.

My gardens have included a north-facing strip of subsoil on a housing estate, a much-loved family garden on sunny, Surrey, sandy loam, three allotments which regularly flooded in winter, and a tiny walled space in West Sussex. And now we have an almost 3-acre garden in south-west France.

We are embarking on an exciting adventure, one which I rarely dared to dream of but which somehow has come about, to develop a beautiful large garden. And I shall be writing about that adventure.

But I shall also be writing about the many other aspects of me, my life, my interests, and my concerns, hence the title of this blog “Renaissance Gardener” (with a respectful, yet humble, nod to the great thinkers and creators, the polymaths, of the past). And in 2023, in my late 60s, I have received a diagnosis of autism after a lifetime of struggle. So I shall write about autism and my autistic life, but will try not to become a foghorn or even an advocate as there are plenty of much better qualified advocates than I who am still trying to work out what the diagnosis means.

At the outset I said that one thing this blog will try never to be is one of those didactic lists of how to garden. There is more than enough of that kind of material already on the web and I don’t intend to add to it. I am not an expert in anything beyond what it is to be me.

I hope you enjoy reading my blog.

6 thoughts on “About this blog

    1. Thanks, Deb! Whereabouts are you in the two locations? I read some of your recent posts while at the airport and identified with your concerns about the FB gardening group. I remember posting something along the lines of “I have a new garden in x location, can’t wait to get going, what advice would you give” to be greeted by a chorus of comments such as “put your feet up and pour a glass of wine”! Would it be elitist to set up a group called “real gardeners in F” …? I long to make contact with keen gardeners in my area …


    1. Hi, Nancy, thanks for the interest! I haven’t yet worked out how to add that feature to the blog. I’m just a beginner! I will be having some help in the next week or two from a designer friend and one of the features that will definitely be added is the opportunity for people to sign up for updates. I’ll try (very hard!) to remember to add your email address to that (assuming I can do it myself …). Thanks again!


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