A Year Like No Other

With Christmas in the air, and the winter solstice almost upon us, it’s time for me to look back at my gardening year.

This is my second year as a full-time gardener, and I’ve never been so busy. Whether I’ve been  working on a large estate or a small terraced back garden, designing new flower beds or building garden paths, I’ve felt my skills as a gardener have only improved. I’m so grateful, as I know what a struggle this year has been, workwise, for a lot of people.

The kitchen garden has been an absolute blessing this year. We’ve grown so much, and in a few days I’ll be harvesting veg for our Christmas Day dinner. But, never one to rest on my laurels, new ideas are forming and new varieties of vegetables will be sown next year. So keep watching this space!

If you follow our kitchen garden journey then you might know that nearly all of my beds are filled with peat-free Dalefoot Composts. The cry for a peat-free gardening nation has been steadily growing, and in recent weeks, there’s been a real clamour from the gardening media world, from both sides of the argument. So, allow me to add my penny’s worth. I’ve been growing all our crops for two years in peat-free compost, mostly with a no-dig approach, and the results have been amazing. Of course, I use a lot of raised beds which helps to raise the temperature of the soil more quickly, and I’m in the kitchen garden everyday to keep on top of things. Nevertheless, if a plant isn’t happy in it’s growing material, it quickly lets me know, and my crops seem pretty happy. So, to me, it’s only common sense that we move away from peat. We can’t keep taking a precious resource that takes thousands of years to form. My kitchen garden stands as proof that we can say goodbye to peat and move forward to a healthier way of producing crops and blooms.

On a lighter note, and for those who didn’t catch it, Agents of Field were recently featured in Hello! Magazine. Check out the article to read my gardening tips for winter, and take a look at the video of our kitchen garden.

In other news, Soph bought me this beautiful Green Man for my birthday this week – isn’t he splendid? I’d been on the look-out for a Green Man for a while now. He’s a legendary figure who symbolises rebirth and the cycle of new life that occurs every spring and his image can be found carved on buildings throughout the British Isles. He’s a reassuring presence and I’m I’m always pleased to see him. We’ll make sure he’s on display just in time for the winter solstice!

So, that was 2020 and what a year! I hope 2021 is a year of celebration, moving forward and not forgetting those precious people we left behind in 2020. I would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas, thank you so much for continuing to follow our ‘good life’ journey, and here’s to a fantastic 2021!










2 thoughts on “A Year Like No Other

  1. Thank you Sophie and Ade for your always interesting reports over this past year – I loved reading your final one for the year and seeing your garden grow. Wishing you a wonderful 2021.


  2. Congratulations Sophie and Ade. You are an inspiration to us all. You have achieved so much in your new home and garden. Wishing you a joyous Christmas, and happy New Year in 2021, without the surprises of 2020.


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