about me

I’m Andrew, owner of Kent-based gardening business grow, and this is my blog.

I’m delighted you’ve found your way here, and hope you’ll stay a while. If there’s a common theme running through these pages, it’s something to do with my belief that gardens – and gardening – have the power to provide us with the stimulation and solace all too easy overlooked in the relentless routine of modern living. All the time I spent behind a desk in comfortable air-conditioned offices, many with fabulous facilities, I’d find my mind wandering to the garden. Comfort, I was beginning to understand, is not all it’s cracked up to be.

For me, spending time outside is tremendously energising. To rest a hand against the bark of a tree, to feel the whispering touch of wet grass or the crunch of fallen leaves beneath my boots; to suck in great lungfulls of air, and deal at first hand with the capriciousness of the British weather – this is where I want to spend my days. To be among plants, too; watching how they grow, form communities and interact with each other, with us and with the wildlife with which we share a space. You’d expect me to be in my element in the countryside, wandering through the Kentish fields and the surrounding woodland, but, walking back into town, through first the farms and then the outlying housing estates, it seems that these relationships become more apparent as the density of housing increases. In no small way this gives me hope; and while many people feel despair and anger at the eroding of planning regulations, and the talk of growing urbanisation, I see positive signs. The relationship between people and plants has been taken for granted for too long now, but – just in time – there is evidence that we are beginning to remember what was had been common knowledge for centuries. Throw in an understanding of the soil, and there might just be hope for us all, though admittedly we’re cutting it pretty fine.

Working in gardens has allowed me to expand the boundaries of my office – no walls, a ridiculously high ceiling, and the most intricately woven carpet imaginable. Writing about gardens seems to follow naturally – I can’t garden without thinking, and I can’t think clearly without writing. As something occurs to me, I’ll scribble it into the notebook extracted from the depths of some mud and twig-filled pocket, returning to my computer at the end of the day to input these collected ideas and half thoughts, maybe to arrange them into a blog post, an article, or a short twig for into-gardens. Only now I find it almost unbearable to sit for long at my comfortable desk in my nice warm study. My comfort waits for me beyond the back door, whatever the weather, and the garden is calling.

With Bill the border terrier, under gardener, charmer, and insatiable plant muncher

Gardening advice and writing Do get in contact if you have any gardening queries by clicking here, and I’ll do my best to answer them. If you’d like me to provide gardening related copy for your publication or website, or are interested in having your product reviewed on the blog, please send me an email at info@andrewobrien.com.