Garden Introduction: Hobbit Life Skills

Last month I mentioned that I intend to throw myself into gardening this year. I want to create a garden worthy of the Shire. It’s no secret I’m a bit of a Hobbit – I delight in good food, good company and a good adventure. And now it is time to acquire that most Hobbity of skills, gardening.

The trouble is my garden, if I can call it that, has slowly been reclaimed by the wilderness over the last decade. Bruce and I are not natural gardeners. In fact, if my track record with houseplants is anything to go by I have rather a black thumb. In the 11 years we have lived here all our spare time has been spent on renovating the house. The garden, I’m ashamed to say, has been rather neglected. I have my work cut out, needing to learn on the job. Coaxing the land into a space that works with nature, but that also works for us as a productive space and place to relax in.

In the Garden © Bryony Whistlecraft |

I would like to build on last years modest success in the greenhouse with tomatoes and cucumbers and grow considerably more food. Eventually, I’d love a firepit and somewhere to sit and enjoy the hazy summer evenings. Raised beds to grow food, and even an apple tree. …Eventually!

In the Garden: Buckleberry © Bryony Whistlecraft |

Firstly, there is landscaping work to be done. Collapsed terraces to repair and a drystone wall to build. There is a seemingly impenetrable thicket of raspberry and brambles that need cutting back. What was once a lawn that needs uncovering. If there was a way to properly fence them in I’d be tempted to get pigs to help clear the land. Alas, due to the awkward terrain and layout it looks like I’ll be doing most of it by hand. I daren’t share photos of the true extent of the mess it is in currently, other than these little glimpses. However, I do hope to post here occasionally on my progress, if only to stay accountable.

Wish me luck!


  1. I will be following your progress! We’ve been here nearly 8 years, the garden wasn’t particularly beautiful but after two years of free ranging chickens it’s pretty much destroyed! Hoping to tackle a few areas this year!

    1. Yes I quite fancied chickens but heard they are very destructive. A little flock of silkies will have to wait until I have space for a veg patch and room for chickens to roam.

  2. Oh do try to get ‘before’ photos! Think of the sense of accomplishment, they will show, when you mate them with the ‘after’ photos!

    Good luck to you. Nature is a selfish entity, in that what she claims, she does not want to part with, easily. -smile-

      1. “Oh I’ve got ‘before’ photos, I’m just ashamed to share them!”

        A whole topic, in itself!

        Why is IG and blogging filled with only Purrrrrrrrfect Photos?

        Is this Real Life?


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