Two years ago today, allotment No.27 with it’s waist high weeds became mine and Life at No.27 was born.
What an incredible and life changing two years it’s been…both on and off the plot. It has been a journey of continuous learning, successes, challenges and most of all…fun!
At the end of Year One I did a blog encapsulating the year, which you can read here, so I have decided it’s a tradition I will continue.
I will never forget the day I became the very proud owner of No.27, so excited for what lay ahead but also conscious that I didn’t have a clue what I was doing. The comments of ‘do you know what you are doing’, ‘you won’t stick with it’, ‘ you don’t have time’ and ‘ you must be mad’ also remain in my head. I will let them have 2 out of 4 being correct, I didn’t know what I was doing and I am probably mad! Who else decides juggling a full-time career, studying for a degree in the evening and weekends and then getting an allotment when you have no clue about gardening is a great idea?! Only me! Not forgetting then deciding to set up this blog and social media channels to share my journey. But I can honestly say, it was the best decision I ever made!
I have thought over and over again how to write this blog, worrying how it might sound, but I can only do it one way…my way. So sorry if I sound over the top or like I’m blowing my own trumpet at times, I assure you I am not. Actually I’m not sorry, I’m incredibly proud of myself and Life at No.27.
So this is for everyone who has joined me on my journey, supported me and given me incredible opportunities, but most importantly…for me.
If you know me, you will know that the blog, the brand and the plot itself isn’t just a blog and a piece of land to me….it’s everything! No.27 has seen sweat, tears, screams, tantrums but most of all smiles, laughter and happiness. It has been my sanctuary when I was trying to juggle building a work career alongside doing a degree. It has kept me sane many a time, but it has also kept me away from facing the reality of some situations. A true place to escape.
The plot and the blog have also been my backbone through hell the last few months and will continue to be. I have had it threatened to all be destroyed, I have hidden away from the world and gone quiet at times, not sure if I can take everything all at once anymore. So, thank you to those who have noticed my silence and messaged me! Sometimes I will go up to the allotment and I won’t film, I won’t blog about it after, it is ‘me’ time. Time for me to do what I got the allotment for in the first place.
Before I start blubbing away at you, Life at No.27 has also made many dreams come true and built my confidence from zero, wouldn’t talk to anyone to average. Not quite hero yet!
You know why I started the blog so I won’t go in that in detail, if you don’t then read my ‘About’ page. In summary, it was to share my journey, create an online diary for myself, change the stereotype and hopefully inspire others to give GYO a go.
Have I achieved that? You can make your own mind up but personally I think I’m doing ok. The industry and the mind-set have changed massively in the last year, all for the positive too. Now, I don’t think that is purely thanks to me but I would like to think I have hopefully played my part.
As I said, I had a goal when I started but in the two years, my goals and dreams have just got bigger and bigger for Life at No.27. I have a habit of always pushing for bigger things and forgetting to look back at what I have achieved instead of what I haven’t.
So this my time to look back, not boasting or blowing my own trumpet but to show you what passion can achieve.
First and foremost, I have learned how to grow my own produce, I have learned the magic of watching a tiny inconspicuous seed transform into true beauty. All thanks to a bit of love, compost and water.
Not forgetting learning patience, something I am no good at, but with GYO, you need patience. Self belief and confidence I have gained too, showing myself that with hard work and passion you can achieve anything.
Now to Life at No.27, what a journey! I have been fortunate to meet some amazing people who have believed in me and given me incredible opportunities.
The blog has grown into a monthly radio show, a YouTube channel and a ‘brand’ that covers every social media platform. It has been featured on gardening websites and in fantastic well-known publications including Grow Your Own magazine and The i Paper. I have been lucky to work in collaboration with many amazing brands who believe in what I am trying to achieve.
Life at No.27 has also enabled me to meet and interview people who I class as icons and true inspirations in the gardening world. Monty Don, Adam Frost, Frances Tophill, Skinny Jean Gardener, Matthew Oliver, Gold award show winners, the list goes on.
Lastly, it has enabled me to realise my dream…for 15 minutes at least…on stage at Gardeners World Live, sharing my journey and inspiring others. It was the happiest and best 15 minutes of my life.
I have probably missed out a few things too, but in short Life at No.27 or should say I, I forget to do that, have achieved some incredible things. Is it where I want it to be now I have my big wild dreams? No! I cant lie, but damn I am proud of what it has become! All whilst getting a promotion at work, completing a degree and not totally losing my marbles.
So now is my time to say thank you, most importantly to every single one of my followers; on here, YouTube, Drystone Radio, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. You decided to join me on my journey, but you have also changed my life and kept me motivated at times I didn’t think possible.
Thank you to every single person who has messaged me publicly or privately to say I have inspired you, wether that’s in terms of gardening or in general life!
Thank you to Dave Watkiss at Drystone Radio, Grow Your Own magazine (my first feature), Groseeds (the first brand to believe in me), the Gardeners World Live event team, the Garden Media Guild, Andy McIndoe, Zoe at Zoe’s Garden, Affari Media and numerous fantastic journalists.
Thank you to Monty Don, Adam Frost, Frances Tophill, Skinny Jean Gardener, Matthew Oliver and Michael Perry.
Lastly, to all the brands who believe in me and what I am trying to achieve in the industry, including the RHS, Suttons, Burgon & Ball, PlantGrow, Soil Fixer, DK Publishers, Waltons, Lubera, Unwins, Seedball and Kent & Stowe.
Please don’t take offence if I have missed you out, I’m sorry!
With or without knowing it, you have made my dreams come true and also grow bigger. You have picked me up off the floor and made me jump in the air. You have helped me inspire others to dream big and shown me what an incredibly close and supportive industry the gardening world can be.
I am now off to celebrate the last two years in the only way possible, at No.27 with a hot cup of tea from the stove and a birthday cupcake.
Year 3….big dreams…I’m coming for you!