A smiling Janis against the backdrop of a green hedge in our English Country Garden

Hi, I’m Janis, the bumbling gardener behind Our Garden for You.

First things first, thanks for stopping by; grab yourself a cup of coffee, put your feet up, and browse through our tales from our successes to our failures. I admit up front that I’m not a natural, green-fingered gardener and always welcome advice from others.

A smiling Janis against the backdrop of a green hedge in our English Country Garden
In the garden

Our inspiration for creating this gardening blog was encouraging others to give gardening a go. Not only can you sit back at the end of each day and enjoy the fruits of your labours, but this gardening malarkey keeps you fit and does absolute wonders for your personal well-being.

We adopted our garden over twenty years ago; when I look back at the photos we have taken since the winter of 1999, it has gone through many highs and lows. You reflect on what you could have done differently and congratulate yourself on your achievements.

I must say that my vegetable growing period was a reasonable success, and in fact, I always grew way too much; there are only so many ways you can cook a courgette.

Now fast forward to more recent times, and unfortunately, we have neglected our little oasis in Kent. At the end of 2021, early 2022, we felt like our garden was going through quite a low patch, and we’ve decided it needs a nurturing hand and plenty of TLC.

Here’s just a little about me…..

My early childhood was around Southeast London and Kent in the UK. We then moved to the picturesque and tranquil Isle of Wight, off the southern coast, for the latter part of my schooling years and all my teenage years.

One day I ventured from these peaceful clutches to the ‘The Smoke’, or London as some may know it, to see a gig in Wembley stadium. This is where I met Gary (the other half of Our Garden for You).

That innocent chance meeting changed the path of my life, I moved back up to Kent, and this was when my commuting days to London started.

When I say days, I actually mean years, 27 to be exact….over the last few years of London life, I found that the daily adrenaline-charged 3-hour commute was no longer living up to my early expectations.

Something had to change...

My drive for getting through the robotic procession was planning for the next holiday adventure. I’m certainly not complaining as our jobs have subsidised some truly stunning luxury trips.

However, it became clear that it wasn’t fulfilling enough, I know it is a cliché, but life really is too short. So, from my desk job at a Japanese Investment house in the City of London, I decided a change was needed.

St Paul's Cathedral
I finally built up enough courage to take the plunge, and Gary and I set up a travel blogging website, ‘Our World for You’. Yes, you’re right; there is a website theme here.

Then our sister site sprung to life ‘Our Garden for You’

So, in parallel with Our World for You, we thought we would document and share our closer to home horticultural adventures and hopefully inspire others that gardening can be for everyone.

My grandfather, who we called ‘Pop’, was an incredible gardener; unfortunately, his green-fingered genes haven’t rubbed off onto me. His perfect seasonal manicured beds, topiary hedgerows and towering delphiniums were to die for. He would regularly be seen at a Q&A stall at the annual Chelsea Flower Show.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed and channelling some of my gardening knowledge.

A little more about me….

I’m the organiser, planner, and worrier

Travel is my first passion, and if there was one overriding trip of a lifetime that I’ve embarked upon, then it is unequivocally a safari in Zimbabwe. The experience of an African safari will remain with me forever.

Janis beside Lake Kariba in Zimbabwe

I love art, particularly street art and, if time allows, visiting galleries. A gallery is not to be rushed, so it’s never a quick experience, but it is always a pleasurable one.

My other loves are stand-up comedy, summer BBQs, eating chocolate profiteroles, reading about travel, and embarking on it. I also enjoy watching sports, particularly rugby, motorsport, cycling & tennis.

I’m young at heart and mind, as Mark Twain once wrote.

'Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been'