Hello gardeners – I’m back with the 6th in this series of interview posts. I set out to talk to gardeners who have blogs or YouTube channels.
I wanted to learn more about them, their interests, what kind of content they create, how they got started with gardening, and more.
Below, you can read our fifth interview with Ellen Mary, who runs the blog www.ellenmarygardening.co.uk.
1. What is your name and location?
My name is Ellen Mary. I am based in Norfolk, UK and Charlotte, NC – mainly UK from spring through summer and USA in fall and winter.
2. What is the name of your website, and what topics does it focus on?
My own website is mainly about my work with information on talks I have coming up for the year at www.ellenmarygardening.co.uk
More recently I have opened a nature therapy consultancy where we provide retreats, days and walks in the UK and USA and that can be found at www.peopleplantswellbeing.com
This focuses on how plants and nature can help wellbeing from gardening to forest bathing.
3. What is an interesting fact about you?
Apart from being a gardening addict, I love basketball!
4. What is an interesting fact about gardening that not many people know?
That you can garden by the moon phases. Rather than strict sowing dates, understanding how the moon cycles impact the land and water basin can greatly guide the gardener to know when to sow, plant out and harvest for overall better crops.
5. What is your favorite topic in gardening? What got you interested in that topic?
For me, everything about gardening links to wellbeing. Humans are meant to be outside, and there are countless health benefits to gardening: not just from fresh air and vitamin D, but also community, healthy food, lifting our mood, self esteem, and much more.
Every activity in the garden can be great for mental and physical health wellbeing. I became interesting in the wellbeing benefits many years ago when I realised how much I needed my garden when recovering from an operation.
Being outside and connecting with the natural world aided my recovery. From that point on, not only did I want to continue encouraging people to garden and grow their own food, but also to think about how that can help their overall wellbeing as well.
6. What is your favorite plant? Why?
Impossible to answer! I love so many plants, in fact I don’t think there is one plant that I don’t like – each has a place and grows on this planet for a reason.
I do like plants that bring back memories such as the humble French Marigold which reminds me of my childhood.
7. What is your gardening nemesis?
My view is that everything is on this planet for a reason and that each and every ‘pest’ or ‘weed’ has a place. I garden veganically which is organic and without the use of any animal products or derivatives and neither do I eradicate any pest or weed.
I am cultivating plants though so I do have to ‘manage’ that to ensure a good balance. By creating a biodiverse space, I find nature takes care of itself.
I am least keen on Bindweed because it’s roots run so fast and soon strangle the cultivated plants so I do have to continuously pull that up, so I would say at this point it’ say least favourite plant!
8. What is the biggest gardening mistake you have made? What did you learn from it?
I think we can very easily make gardening harder than it needs to be. So I would say many years ago when I first started growing my own on a plot of land with heavy clay soil, I did the classic double digging and some rotivating.
If only I had known about no dig gardening because that would have done a much better job at replenishing the soil and improving the structure without giving me back pain!!
9. What is your favorite gardening gear? Why?
It’s the humble hand trowel. I have a bucket load but still seem to loose them all over the garden! I garden ‘no-dig’ so I don’t disturb the soil meaning the hand trowel is used for just about everything.
10. How many posts do you have on your website?
I’ve lost count and some get archived – a lot over the years!
11. How many posts do you write per week/month?
On my website perhaps one per month – I am a bit sporadic and it depends on my workload. I write for People Plants Wellbeing as well along with other horticultural businesses so my blog tends to come last!
12. How long have you been interested in gardening?
I was given my first gardening tools over 40 years ago and have barely ever put them down! So I have loved plants since I was a child.
I have photos of myself sitting in the vegetable patch with a hand trowel at my parents house still in diapers. I wasn’t so outwardly spoken about my love for plants as a teenager as it wasn’t seen as ‘cool’ but as soon as I realised plants really were my passion, I haven’t stopped since.
13. How many different types of plants do you have?
Hundreds! I grow my own food, I have gardens, balcony and houseplants across two continents. There’s a lot of plants!
14. Is there anything else about gardening or your website that you would like to mention?
As my key objective is to get more people gardening for wellbeing, I also set up a nature therapy consultancy where we provide nature based retreats, wellbeing days and forest bathing walks. www.peopleplantswellbeing.com is new but flourishing quickly!
Ellen, thank you for taking the time to do this interview!
If you want to check out Ellen’s posts, you can find them here.
You can also learn more about Ellen’s nature therapy consultancy here.
Ellen also is also a co-host of the Plant-Based Podcast, which you can find here.
I hope you enjoyed this gardener interview, and I hope you learned something interesting today. Check back soon for more interviews!
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