Hi, I’m Ciar, a writer, gardener and mum of three.
I believe in gardening with a free spirit. It is easy to get disheartened by the gardens we see on television or in magazines, thinking we can never achieve such perfection. But for most of us gardening is something we fit into busy lives and do imperfectly. I don’t think that matters. When I see an colourful arrangement of flowers in pots on my steps that makes me happy. It may not be on a par with the amazing pot displays at Great Dixter, but it is something I have created and that is enough to set my heart beating.
With three children under 10 (aka the Little Weeds) our garden is never going to look manicured. The lawn has been ruined by our ten foot trampoline and guinea pig run (although I am hoping their poo will act as a top dressing). Our terrace looks like a beach thanks to all the escaped sand from the sandpit. And I never seem to have enough time to keep on top of the weeds.
But it is still our sanctuary, a place to work, rest, play and set our imaginations free. One day it is going to be a garden of delights with tumbling flower beds, a plentiful kitchen garden and a studio for my husband and me to work from home. For now I will make do with my funny veg patch which has already given us broad beans and rainbow chard this year, with potatoes, courgettes, squash and runner beans to come; a dilapidated but romantic shed and an overgrown space at the back where the children can have adventures.
This blog is about making a garden for our family, and visiting and reading about other creative gardens and gardeners. Most of all it is about learning the rules and then breaking them. I am still very much at the learning stage: I recently completed an RHS Level 2 certificate in the Principles of Horticulture and I am now volunteering once a week in the garden at Charleston farmhouse in East Sussex, close to where we live.
I am also a firm believer in the healing power of gardens for individuals and communities and the benefits of teaching children and young people about gardening. These are both areas I hope to explore more.
I would be delighted if you would like to join me on that journey.
You can also find me on Instagram and Twitter as @wildecarrot
Middle Weed and me at Great Dixter