Since we moved to the smallholdings in Mid Wales our life has been far from ordinary. For 5 years, Andy and I have learnt incredible things about self-sufficiency, renovating an old cottage and the pleasures of gardening. Along the way we’ve found ourselves part of the most wonderful village community imaginable.

Since opening the shop and café in the middle of the village last year, our lives have steadily moved away from the smallholding and the garden, and our focus has shifted towards the day-to- day running of the shop.

As the shop steadily became busier, the animals, polytunnel and garden received less and less attention. So at the start of the year we decided to embark on our next adventure. In the last couple of months we’ve sold the smallholding and moved in above the shop – a gorgeous building but with no real garden!

From the minute we moved in we’ve been seeking out small spaces and areas to grow plants. Gardening has become a massive part of our lives over the last couple of years and there’s no way we can live without it anymore. When all our hard work is in bloom and looking beautiful it’s one of the best feelings in the world. Working the garden is also a massive stress reliever when it’s time to get away from work.

So with no garden to speak of, we need to find some other places to bring to life with plants (as you can see there’s a long way to go!).


The first obvious place is the yard (above)- we want a beautiful place to entertain with a little privacy.


The second is outside the basement window. The desk in the office faces this so we need an inspirational view.


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The side wall is just crying out for a colourful climber to brighten up the approach to the house.

There’s an odd little glass room on the first floor so we’re going to use this as a greenhouse for a more exotic style of growing.

The other wall is covered in windows that are perfect for window boxes.

With all these different areas to work on the question is how to proceed with each one? We’re going to spend the next few weeks observing each area carefully, looking at the movement of the sun throughout the day and what happens when it rains. We’re also going to be researching style and techniques online. After recent trips to Amsterdam and Berlin we’ve been massively inspired by all the urban growing we’ve seen.

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Check out our Pinterest boards (Search and9839 and select ‘pinners’) to see the kinds of things we’ve been thinking.
So we’ve gone from nearly an acre of land to no real garden to speak of at all – but that doesn’t mean our gardening has to stop. With a bit of research and some European inspiration we’re really excited for the future!


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About the author: Adam Willcox
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