Meet the Gardener: Kirsty Harrison @plants_plots_and_painting

Kirsty is certainly keeping herself busy- she has taken on a new build garden and recently has started an allotment too! I love that Kirsty enjoys a nice glass of wine in her favourite garden- I think wine and gardening should go hand in hand! If you don't follow Kirsty already then head to Instagram and follow her @plants_pots_and_painting. Find out a little more about Kirsty and her plans this year...


Tell us a bit about you and when did you started gardening, and why?

 I come from a very 'garden-loving' family. My Mum, Auntie, Grandad (and my late Grandma) all garden, so I have always been surrounded by inspiration, but I only really began taking an interest once I moved in with my now husband. He had a plain new build garden without a lot going on and I decided to try and make it nice for us... and that was it! During 2020 I applied for an allotment plot because our garden is quite small and I wanted space to grow veg and a cut flower garden, and luckily I managed to snag a quarter plot!

 I never knew I could get so much happiness from watching something grow, I love how much time I now spend outside in the fresh air and I still do a little dance every time I manage to grow something from seed.


Which gardeners inspire you and why?

 My Grandad really inspires me because he has so many skills in the garden, he can grow things, build things and his garden design changes all the time! Whenever I go round there is always a new pond or flower bed that has popped up!


What’s the most ambitious gardening project you’ve completed or have planned?

 The most ambitious thing for me is getting my allotment planned and building my beds. It will be my first year on the plot this year, and it was a completely blank canvas when I got it, so I will be laying out all of my raised beds for my veg and building a cut flower section ready for lots of beautiful summer bouquets hopefully.


What is your favourite thing to grow?

 My favourite thing to grow at the moment is sweet peas, I love everything about them. I love how they climb, I love how they smell, I love all of the different colours and varieties. I’d fill an entire garden with them if I could!


Anything new you want to try in the next growing season?

 Everything on my allotment this year will be the first time for me. I’m looking forward to growing potatoes and broccoli and I’m very excited about my cut flower bed. I’ve never grown dahlias before and I’m super excited to see glorious bed flowers! Fingers crossed!


Where is your favourite garden in the world, and why?

 I love my in-laws garden it has a perfect ‘cottage garden’ feel, their lawn is always impeccably trimmed, there are beautiful roses arches and dancing cosmos and my mother-in-law has a beautiful eye for design so it’s full of little hidden benches and candy coloured tables where you can sit and have a delicious, cold glass of wine.


What do you wish you’d known earlier about gardening?

I wish had known how therapeutic it is and how good it would be for my mental health. I also wish I had known how much joy I would get from growing things from seed.


What advice would you give someone new to gardening?

 Give anything a go! The thing that I love most about gardening is that everything when you first start is an experiment, if something fails, you learn from it, no harm done and you try again next year. Don’t put any pressure on yourself just enjoy the process and learn as you go.


When not gardening, what do you like doing?

When not gardening I can be found reading and baking cakes mostly! They are my two main hobbies alongside gardening. Also, in a pre-Covid world I loved going to the theatre and out for nice dinners – I’m very much looking forward to being able to those things again soon.

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