My gardens lie 700ft above sea level in the wild West of Wales and, prior to the adaptions I have made, they were very prone to flooding. I think it’s fair to say that my gardening efforts have been front-line to the impact of climate change since my move from a protected, south-facing garden in Brighton, almost nine years ago.
As such, I have written about a more resilient form of gardening for some time now, covering a range of related topics for a variety of publications, including via my columns in Grow Your Own and Country Smallholding magazines, in particular. Through my regular work for the Guardian, I have also gardened for free, made videos on seed saving, and generally communicated my passion, experiments and knowledge around all things organic, resilient and wildlife-friendly gardening. As editor of Garden Organic’s The Organic Way membership magazine, I also write the extreme gardener pages, explaining how to deal with climate change-related extremes of weather.
My background as a social entrepreneur, working with charities and companies with an ethical and environmental focus, has more recently come full-circle as I’ve opened up my gardens to the public via www.greenrocketcourses.com, running courses on polytunnel, and climate change grow-your-own, from which 20% of all profits go into my social enterprise, providing therapeutic gardening opportunities for a range of marginalised groups. In the same ethical vein, 10% of net profits from the sale of this book will go to Garden Organic helping to give back in an even wider way through the publishing of this book.
My training gardens themselves are truly alive with wildlife as a result of the many attractive habitats I create within. They all have their place and help make the gardens such a productive, biodiverse, weather-hardier, but also very attractive and special place in which to be.