Kyle Leonard is an urban gardener from Salford. He loves experimenting with succulents, cacti and anything else he can find the room to grow. You may also recognise Kyle as the founder of the infamous 2016 GardenTags seed swap. Read on for more of Kyles Urban Gardening Adventures…
Urban Gardening Adventures Vol. 6
Hello! When you’re in an urban environment, the thought of gardening can be a little daunting. And we’ve all had those ‘can I really do this’ moments. Today I thought I’d share some of my top gardening inspiration, to help you through those times, and to create something wonderful.
“inspiration (n): The process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative”
In my opinion, inspiration plays the biggest role in how we garden. In today’s world, where most television gardeners have numerous social media accounts, it’s hard not to be influenced. but famous gardeners aren’t the only place we take our inspiration from.
A Brief History
I have an aching regret about my Grandad. He was a head-gardener of a well known Salford park in the 1970s. But I never actually spoke to him about gardening, and then he died in 2009. I did inherit his books, which I believe will influence me to strive to do my best when it comes to gardening, as he must have aimed for in his gardens.
However, I don’t believe my Grandad is my biggest influence garnering me to gardening. It might sound cliché, but it was when I first watched Gardeners’ World, hosted by Monty Don, that I found my gardening inspiration. Although I don’t watch the programme anymore, I still follow Monty Don on Twitter and believe some of his posts indirectly influence me in the garden.
@Kylel988 weather, soil and season.
— Monty Don (@TheMontyDon) January 6, 2017
In recent years, I believe The Rich Brothers’ style of gardening best suits my own. And I find that I am able to be easily influenced by their work. I like the stylish, sleek look of what they achieve with very little. By taking gardening from being about growing vegetables traditionally to turning your garden into an actual room in your home.
Community Gardening Inspiration
Some of my most recent influences have come from our very own Garden Tags. As you know from my previous blog, I lived in a second-storey apartment with no garden for 2 years and ended up with a lot of #cacti. Fast forward to 2016, add in GardenTags, and I found some amazing garden inspiration, from a real gardener…
I first saw a cacti garden in summer 2016, created by Stephen Thorp (GT: @stephent). He had used this beautiful terracotta pot, mature cacti and succulents with a terracotta jug to add a nice touch to proceedings. This inspired me to create my slow cooker lid cacti garden!
I love one-offs. No one else is going to be able to copy Stephen’s design. But we can all be influenced by it and try and create our own version – with our own style splashed all over it for a personal touch.
Who’s Your Gardening Inspiration?
Jill Stocklet (aka. @Jilly) is from sunny Aberdeen. She’s new to gardening and growing veg and loves it.
“My biggest influences are my parents. They always had a beautiful garden, Mum’s flowers and Dad’s fruit trees, although novices it’s amazing what you take in without realizing!”
Jill Stocklet, @Jilly
Jane Mothersdale (aka. @daisy-jane) is from the North-East coast of England. She was able to create an incredible succulent display using a rose gold fruit bowl from Wilkinson’s which cost £4. Plus, with stones from her garden. She created something that would cost 10 times that if bought in a shop!
“I got the idea from Garden Tags, as other people were posting great succulent pictures. So when I was out seed shopping I spotted the pot and just thought it would look great with succulents in and I have quite a lot of baby succulents so it worked”
Jane Mothersdale, @daisy-jane
I agree, Jane, it looks striking!
Real Influences as Gardening Inspiration
I’ve been intrigued by what/who influences gardeners. So I took to GardenTags and asked people to name their biggest influences:
“My Mother. We were military and moved often. Everywhere we’d go, my Mom would put in a small flower garden”
Leslie Cole, @lesliecole49
“My Grandad. I was always with him in his garden when I was little. When I was 16 I started work in a plant nursery that just fed my love of plants to addiction point!”
Carol Wonacott, @carolgs
“Carol Klein, My Parents, David Hurrion and Plants!”
Michael Palmer, @mikethegardener
“Monty Don, Carol Klein and Christine Walkden”
Jane Mothersdale, @daisy-jane
“Weather, Soil and Season”
“Australia’s Botanic Gardens, Cranbourne and Peter Cundall”
Katie Saxby, @brightcolours
We are all influenced by so many different things, which makes gardening so great. So don’t be afraid of having heroes and inspirations and taking ideas and bringing them to life in your own garden.
Check back weekly for more Urban Gardening Adventures from @KyleLeonard
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