My garden is an ordinary town garden in Edinburgh, Scotland.  I’ve been gardening for over twenty-five 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 took on a share in an allotment in 2018 and this will bring new excitement to my vegetable growing.  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 and I’ve been blogging since 2014.  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

In my earlier posts I refer to my 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 appear here. But they’ve gone and grown up and, mainly, moved on to new interests. I still keep them supplied with jam and cake and vegetables from time to time. They still inspire me every day.  My 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.  He helps out with grass cutting, general inspiration and the consumption of endless green soup, unusual looking vegetable stews and cake.  They have all been promised anonymity and freedom from embarrassing andecdotes.

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.


16 thoughts on “About

  1. How sad about the holly trees!

    Sounds a good endeavour Of yours anyway. I wish I could tear up the Tarmac at the front of my house – even though I do need somewhere to park my car, it could be a more mature friendly surface 🙂

  2. Hi Jackie, thanks for popping over to visit and for following! I’m now doing the same – seems we share many of the same interests. I love your ‘reclaiming paradise’ story – I’m currently helping my son and his wife do much the same with their new small front and back gardens. First stop making a herb and salad bed in the front garden!
    Will enjoy catching up with your blog later in the weekend!

  3. I love the name ‘ reclaiming paradise’. Now and then sharing embarrassing incidents is fun. For your readers anyway. So far I have resisted, but it is only a matter of time.

  4. I love your blog’s title and the story you share here. Missing a tree (or two) is something I can relate to deeply. Well done for reclaiming Paradise – I don’t think it is a metaphor, but something real. Gardening makes heaven happen.

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