to Under The Ivy, my garden web pages. Here you can find an
archive of monthly garden newsletters, a gallery and related features
started to write a regular gardening newsletter a few years ago.
At this time it was The Herb Garden Newsletter and was centred round
my interest in herbs, their uses and particularly folklore. I wrote
it as a way of sharing, keeping in touch with friends and getting
to research on a regular basis. There was fact and reason, but I
held back a little from talking too much about myself. After all,
gardening is about gardens, right?
Herb Garden Newsletter came to an end about the time I had my second
child, and was busy away from writing regularly. Then in December
2001 it struck me how I missed having the regular something to write,
the achievement of it – and wouldn’t it be a good idea
to have this monthly goal again to help me with both writing and
gardening? Also I liked to connect to other likeminded people. I
knew I didn’t want to just give out more info on herbs and
cover old ground. So I started to write something new.
interest in journal writing led me toward the idea of putting together
a newsletter based almost entirely on my own journal notes, so that
I would be putting two arts together: gardening and journal-writing.
Although I aim to share, I am very specific about what I include
from my journals which are private books. A journal can be a writer’s
greatest asset and friend. Mine is a true hotch potch of diary-style
notes, poem fragments, to-do lists, art attempts, observations,
favourite quotes, doodles, my daughter’s handwritten contributions,
notes toward essays – a right brew of creativity and I guess
many people find themselves possessed by the same crazy patchwork.
I do mean possessed, for somehow journals do become shape shifting
creatures, always wanting the acknowledgement of your pen, your
the newsletter is more than a letter about gardening, or for me
it certainly is. It can be read for snippets of advice and gardening
suggestions. Or it can be read as something more and I don’t
mind how people wish to look at it, just as long as it entertains.
a self taught gardener I’ve had no horticultural guru to tell
me what I should and should not try and I appreciate the making
of mistakes as a way of learning. My garden is a small to average
plot next to other houses, and close to farmland in Cambridgeshire,
England. The garden is pretty average but to me the plants are extraordinary,
no matter how common or rare they may be to others. As a whole the
garden gives me great pleasure and opportunity.
gardening experience began when about seven years ago when I planted
a herb patchwork in the sandy front area of my grandparents’
seaside garden. From then on I began to read more about herbs and
gardening generally, Moving frequently meant shifting a growing
number of container gardens until we came here. I’m married
and have two children, and the whole family enjoy and contribute
to the garden.
and raised in London, my earliest garden memory is making rose petal
soup with my younger sister. No one in my family was particularly
keen on gardening. My Grandmother loved yellow roses, and I have
memories of picking wild blackberries, making daisy chains long
enough to wrap around a semi-detached house, and climbing over rockeries.
a writer who has had some success with poetry and short fiction.
In 1996 I received an Eric Gregory award from the Society of Authors
(UK) for poetry. My poems and short fiction have been published
in a variety of journals and anthologies. I’ve had a pamphlet
published ‘Orbital Angel’ by Flarestack press. I am
working on new poems and stories, as well as a book coming from
my garden/journal experiences that may have a day book format.
interests are eclectic and include: women’s literature, needlework,
medieval history, religions and spirituality, children’s art,
nature issues, and collecting folk art and ceramics.