Grow the Love

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One of the things I love about running GrowEatGift is that there’s a lovely community of gardeners and sustainable living fans to connect with online. There is so much to learn about nature and gardening, and I’ve found social media and blogs a really useful source of information. Gardening Limited is one of these blogs. They kindly nominated GrowEatGift for a Liebster Award, and wrote a lovely review of the site.

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Gardening Limited is written by ‘small space and small budget’ gardener, Ann, and is designed for gardeners who have limited space and budget: write what you know! As a gardener without a garden (aside from the community allotment) it’s a great blog for me.

Ann’s posts are long and information-rich, broken up with photographs to make it easily digestible.  If you like lovely flower photos, you’ll love browsing through the flower guides. I’ve long loved living walls so this post particularly appealed to me.

Gardening fans will find lots to enjoy on Gardening Limited – and it’s written in an accessible way so it’s ideal for new gardeners too.

Growing Garden Blog Love

img_20170622_004417_640The Liebster Award is a fun idea, designed to help people find new blogs to read – and help new bloggers find an audience. Find out more here. It encourages people to review their favourite blog – which has to be Young Fermanagh Naturalist, run by the absurdly talented Dara McAnulty.

Despite his tender years, Dara writes with the wisdom of someone many years his senior, and uses his obvious passion for nature to attract people’s attention to wildlife campaigns. He also engages in regular citizen science projects and reports back on his findings.

His blog is inspirational, uplifting and beautifully written. It’s also illustrated with incredible photographs. There are occasional posts from other his brother, sister and parents – which have included videos and (wonderful) music too. Reading the blog, I can’t help but imagining the McAnulty’s as the new Durrells.

I’m eagerly awaiting the time when Dara feels ready to write a book. At 13, he’s been on Radio 4 and Springwatch, so he’s already a rising media star. I urge everyone to read his blog – and pay attention to what he says.

Liebster Love

The Liebster Award also encourages people to share random facts about themselves. I prefer to focus on nature than myself – there’s so much to be inspired by. However, in the spirit of the award, here are a few things you may not know:

  1. I helped arrange Brighton Science Festival for several years and have ambitions to evolve STEM education into STAMEN education by adding art and nature.
  2. I have a degree in Social Psychology and English. The only other person I’ve encountered with this combination is fictional: Sharon Stones’s character in Basic Instinct.
  3. I love aromatherapy oils, and also love researching the science behind herbal remedies to satisfy my inner-sceptic.
  4. I am researching May Morris, daughter of William Morris, for a novel I am working on. She is utterly fascinating and I’m beginning to wish I could have met her.
  5. My grandfather was a member of the Alpine Society and taught me about gardening, getting me to collect seed pods and help with dead-heading as a child.
  6. Grandad was also a keen Co-op Member, and first got me thinking about sustainable living as a child. He was an excellent craftsman across many fields, and inspired my love of the Arts and Crafts movement (as did my mum, who’s a talented artist.)
  7. I know a fair bit about damp proofing after writing a lot of copy for a damp proofing company.
  8. I also know a fair bit about mass catering, having worked in a lot of kitchens in my student years.
  9. I created a free festival in 1996 that is still going to this day.
  10. I once did a stand up comedy course that culminated with a performance on stage. I got offered a paid gig afterwards but declined so I could ‘go out on a high’.

Sharing the Joy

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The Liebster Award also asks people to share some new blogs they think others will enjoy. Check out these sites (I’ve used their own words to describe their sites):

Al Fresco Family – “Our family’s green outdoor adventures ↟ Small changes make big differences.” – Al Fresco Family

Craig Freeman – “2 kids, a wife, a cat & a vegetable patch fill my non-working hours. Digital marketing & innovation takes up the rest. #30dayswild blogger” – Rambling Dad

Dirty, Naked and Happy – “Yup, a twitter username that promises so much more than it delivers. Read this please:” – Dirty, Naked and Happy

Farm Up On the Hill – “Blog about wildlife and living on our Welsh dairy farm.” – Farm Up On the Hill

Living Life Our Way – “An outdoor lifestyle #blogger about family life and #homeeducation. Inspiring a love of #nature and empathy for our natural environment.” – Living Life Our Way

L-Jay Nature – “Love history wildlife & photography. Gardener & leathersmith. Dysgu’r Gymraeg. Lancashire lass living in Cheshire.” – L Jay Nature

Maxine Greer – “Escape-tour-draw. Birds, flocks and pit stop exhibitions @kombisketchtour #kombisketchtour #noticenature #DRAW” – Kombi Sketch Tour

Naomi – “Wildlife lover, nature enthusiast, interested amateur naturalist, love exploring the British countryside.” What Naomi Did Next

Sunshine on Leaf – “Pics of nature-type stuff in the Edinburgh Meadows. Not an expert. Not even in Leith 🙂 – Trees of the Edinburgh Meadows and Bruntsfield

Tim Burkinshaw – “Ecology/Biodiversity @ScarboroCouncil Aspiring nature geek, with a thing for wetlands. Composting guru, birder, rockhound, Daddy #ConnectingforNature” – A Little Bit Wild

Terri Windling – “Writer, fiction editor, painter, folklorist. Former New Yorker, now living on Dartmoor surrounded by artists & sheep. Dedicated to #BeautifulResistance.” – Terri Windling

West Country Wilding – “Cornish pixie with a camera. Passionate about nature, conservation, and re-wilding. My non-nature related account is @ZinziGraham. #KeepTheBan” – West Country Wilding

If you’re looking for sustainable living, gardening and nature inspiration, you can easily lose an afternoon in the above blogs. Happy reading!




  1. Ah, thank you for such a lovely review of my blog! And I’m glad you enjoy the Liebster Award! I didn’t know about it myself until I was nominated. Thank you for sharing all these new blogs. I’ll have to check them all out when I get a chance!

  2. Hi Emily! Thank you so much for your kind words, very thoughtful of you. Thank you for mentioning my family because I wouldn’t know fraction of what I’ve learned without the bottomless resources and patience we share with each other.
    I love your blog too, I could never match your stamina for ideas!!

    Dara 🐦

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