April Meeting . . .

The unwelcome arrival of Covid19 meant that Alexandra Campbell could not deliver her talk on “The Middle-sized garden”, but the good news is that we have managed to re-book her for next year.  She has very kindly produced a “potted” introduction to whet our appetites.

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“I’m Alexandra Campbell and I’m originally a journalist and author. My most recent novels :The Empty Nesters, Lovers & Liars and more are published by Little Brown, who suggested I start blogging in around 2012. But nobody seemed to know much about what blogs were, or how to blog, so I did quite a lot of research.  One thing that emerged strongly was that you have to blog about something you’re really interested in, which for me was gardening.

We moved into a house with a garden in 2003.  It’s a walled garden in the historic town of Faversham in Kent. It had already been well-designed and beautifully gardened, and was L shaped, around 100ft long and 80ft wide at its  widest.  But I always felt that I was somehow gardening in my predecessor’s garden. I needed to make it my own, which led to a re-design on a shoestring and learning as much as I could about how to save time and effort in the garden as I was working full-time and bringing up  family.

So I started the Middlesized Garden blog in December 2014.  It has been ranked as one of the top 10 garden blogs every year from 2015-2019.  I talk to experts – often head gardeners – and I interview amateur gardeners who have lovely gardens.  I pass on their tips and ideas through the Middlesized Garden blog. I call it the Middle-sized garden because size is such a funny thing when it comes to gardens.  Some people say they have a big garden if its 100ft long (and if you’re weeding it, that does feel big). Others refer to their garden as “small” because its only four acres! To me, “middle sized” is roughly under an acre, but it could be just 20ft x 25ft. Larger gardens can find a space for a greenhouse, a tool shed, a potting shed, several compost heaps and a ride-on mower.  Space is an issue in middle-sized gardens even if other people think your garden is “big”.

Its so inspiring to hear what head gardeners have to say but sometimes the things that work best for them don’t work in exactly the same way in much smaller spaces.  One beautiful specimen plant would get lost in four acres, but it could look stunning in a border in a narrow urban garden.  So, we middle-sizers don’t always have to plant things in 3s and 5s.  And we also have to make choices.  Can we fit in a greenhouse and if so, what do we have to give up to squeeze it in? If there is one really sunny border, do we use it to grow vegetables or create a dramatic herbaceous border?

There is now a Middle-sized Garden Youtube channel because you can see so much more of a garden in video.  And I’m just publishing The Middlesized Garden’s Complete Guide to Garden Privacy – which is available on Amazon. It looks at how you can combine a tree, fences or walls and screening and even garden structures to create a private part of your garden.

I look forward to talking to you in May 2021”

The link is: https://www.themiddlesizedgarden.co.uk