My garden is an ordinary town garden in Edinburgh, Scotland. I’ve been gardening for over twenty years and in this one since 2009. I mainly grow vegetables and fruit but I also like flowers to cheer me up and welcome the bees. I try to garden organically and sustainably. I like to recycle and reuse stuff in the garden. I like to experiment with cooking garden produce. I also write and draw. I use this blog to bring these interests together and to share them. I’ve kept garden diaries in old note books for years but this is my first gardening blog. Occasionally I veer away from gardening onto other topics but usually find a link back. I welcome your comments and suggestions.
Why Reclaiming Paradise?
Many years ago I worked in a small office next to a large council department. The office had a car park, with room for three cars. There were two mature holly trees near the entrance. One Monday morning, a digger arrived and cut down the holly trees. They made space for two extra cars.
I’ve always mourned those holly trees. Some years later I moved to a house with a front garden which had been turned over to gravel to create two parking spaces and a back garden which had also been filled with gravel. Over several years I dug up the gravel and planted flowers and bushes so that the house had a front garden again. By the time I left, it was full of flowers and buzzed with insects and bees. I turned the back garden into vegetable plot with a tiny lawn. I moved to another house, this time with a paved car park in the front garden and a bare lawn in the back. That car park now has roses, daffodils, vegetables, herbs and a tiny holly tree. It is buzzing with life. The lawn is slowly being turned into a mini allotment.
The ‘paradise’ in the title comes from Joni Mitchell’s song ‘Big Yellow Taxi’ which always reminds me of the holly trees and the car park.
I will go on reclaiming car parks for plants and flowers until I have avenged the holly trees.
A small note on Assistant Gardeners
I share this small part of the planet with one senior assistant gardener and two assistant gardeners. The assistant gardeners were very enthusiastic when they were small and have added immeasurably to my stock of gardening experiences and stories, some of which will appear here. That early enthusiasm has faded somewhat and now they have more important things to think about. The senior assistant has shared my life and gardens for many years but from the start we agreed that the garden was my responsibility and not his. From time to time all three assistants supply physical labour, help with tedious tasks and provide inspiration and coffee. They have been promised anonymity and freedom from embarrassing anecdotes.
And a wee note on my avatar
This is Roxy, a much loved, much missed, wild and assertive rescue cat. She had many interests, including gardening, wildlife and writing on any unattended laptops. She was blogging before blogging was invented. We’ve had two more rescue cats since Roxy. They appear from time to time in the blog but I channel her spirit in my writing.