No one is interested in my garden !

2017 is my 20th year as a self- employed gardener and with an established customer base I do not need to rely too heavily on advertising.  Most of my enquiries are word of mouth and I have become increasingly aware of how many enquirers are looking to cover their garden space with labour saving gravel or similar functioning hard material. A stroll around most housing estates confirms the significant number of characterless often tasteless gravel or hard landscaped gardens where useful space  for attractive planting has been converted to dead space.

Before  I upset  any readers don’t get me wrong gravel is a useful attractive product which I often use myself to compliment and highlight  garden features, paths etc. but  prefering plants I think it is all too often overused as a simple quick fix solution to simply and cheaply reduce the chore of garden maintenance. During one of my moaning sessions to my wife about this she kindly pointed out that had I been in any other occupation than a gardener perhaps we too would have a gravel garden: Point taken.

I enjoy reading and writing and blog mainly to have an online record of what I do in my garden. A few months ago I applied for and was accepted as a probationary member of the Garden Media Guild.  To become a full member I must be able to earn a living from garden media so I have three years to achieve this. No pressure.  Being a probationary member I have access to a full member who mentors me in the process to make a living from garden writing. After looking at my blog, my mentor complemented me on my horticultural back ground and obvious gardening knowledge  but concluded that my blog lacked a strong focus and that no one was  really interested in my garden. I needed to find a niche and provide readers with “news they can use” using my garden as a backdrop.

Had I been younger I may have been a little hurt but I gratefully accepted her critic and over the past couple of months have been looking to focus on a specialisation useful to prospective readers, using my garden as a backdrop.

With my wife Carol’s and my mentor’s welcome observations I have decided to focus my blog on encouraging people with garden space to choose low maintenance green over  low maintenance gravel with useful tips and practical planting ideas. I hope to guide people to invest early in our plant heritage, to create a more personalised, enjoyable and satisfying low maintenance gardens which will grow, mature and blossom with them.

Thinking over my conversations with my gravelly customers I do not think they are gardening shy, more overwhelmed with where and how to start their green paradise and make it easy to look after. I hope to point them in the right direction, support and encourage them enough so they too can guide their family to the contentment and other benefits a green garden can bring to family life.

5 thoughts on “No one is interested in my garden !

  1. I love your bloggs John and welcome any ideas to make my garden more green and less gravelly, with the main focus for me being low maintenance. Keep the bloggs coming I look forward to them 👍

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  2. Hello, well done on your acceptance to The Garden Media Guild, will your newly focussed blog be doing requests? I want a ‘no mow’ lawn and growing some chamomile is on my list of things to try. I’d love some ideas on others plants that I could try too.

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    • Thank you Helen for reading my latest blog. Requests certainly will guide me to what readers want to read about so if I can I will. I have never attempted a chamomile area myself but I have a path which used to be gravel, now bark which I have to keep replenishing because the wind blows it away. I was considering grassing it but a selection of” no mow” lawn plants is tempting . I will look into it and see how and if it could work. I will let you know how I get on. John

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  3. Hi John,
    Don’t forget that gravel, block paving, etc. also need maintenance – it doesn’t take long for the weeds to creep in. The bad news is of course that when they do, removing them manually is labour intensive, which encourages people to reach for the weed killer!
    I don’t entirely agree with your mentor – I for one am interested in your garden!
    Good luck working towards building up earnings from your writing though.
    Graham

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