“What the heck is this plant?” – Me, repeatedly

This is where I’ll be blogging my progress (or non-progress) as I attempt to turn a big and very overgrown back garden in the South Wales valleys into something awesome!

…Awesome by my standards, anyway. Meaning lots of ‘intentional weeds’ and, hopefully, wildlife!

I grew up playing on bits of waste ground full of wildflowers, along river banks, and in the nearly impenetrable jungle of an un-maintained back garden. Places full of insects and slow worms and other creatures. I was that one weird bug kid who failed to grow out of it and became a weird bug adult. Unfortunately those wild little places didn’t survive nearly as well, or became inaccessible; replaced by new houses or fenced off for safety. The back garden fell to my father’s car hobby and vanished under concrete and garage.

A couple of decades and various nonsense later, the opportunity came up for the family to purchase and move into my grandmother’s old house. With it we inherited a large garden, big enough to fit dad’s (apparently absolutely essential) garage and still have 2/3 left over. While parents work mostly on the house interior and said garage, I’ve made that 2/3 my responsibility and pet project. I have childhood memories of this garden being a wonderfully alive place to explore and want to bring at least some of that back; although it was more of a vegetable plot then and I’m aiming for a wildlife garden.

Problem 1: by this point the house had been empty for a year or so, and the garden was a mass of tangled grass and bushes, a lot of it dead, all of it overgrown, and most of it of unknown origins- along with various rubbish people had thrown over the fence.

Problem 2: My previous ‘gardening’ experience up to this point had been limited to one raised bed about the size and depth of a single mattress.

Problem 3: I’m your basic struggling artist, so It all needs to be done on a pretty tight budget!

Here’s what we started with.



Now let’s see what I can (hopefully!) do with it!

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