About Bramble Garden

Join me in my almost out-of-control garden where I try to grow as much food, fruit and flowers as I can – whilst tiptoeing around wildlife. This summer we’ve had five hedgehogs born in a nest in the corner of the orchard, under an old duck hut. Our mini-wood has been home to a pair of tawny owl fledglings, and a very vocal baby buzzard. They are probably here because of a thriving colony of short-tailed voles. We garden lightly, with many bramble-filled corners, always aware that we share this special place. Although it is my garden- it is their home too.

Here’s one of the fledgling tawny owls amongst our wild cherry, beech and ash trees.

We planted the trees as saplings 28 years ago when we bought a tumbledown house from a farmer.

Wild roses have scrambled to the top of the trees. Their bright red hips provide food for birds in the winter.

Cow parsley and wild flowers grow under the trees in spring. This is our view from the summerhouse.

Stitchwort and violets grow in abundance in the semi-shade.

Honeysuckle scents the air in summer. Much loved by bees, butterflies and moths.

Scented climbing roses scramble along the boundary fences and mingle with froths of cow parsley. A heart-sing combination.

Seed heads are left standing. They provide a habitat for the smallest of creatures. There’s a tiny spider under this one.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this tour of my garden. If you come to visit, don’t expect perfection. There’s probably something living in that messy log pile and untidy bramble patch.

We are a mile from the nearest village, on the top of a windswept ridge, in the middle of farming country.

A favourite poem:

It faces west,  and round the back and sides

High beeches, bending, hang a veil of boughs,

And sweep against the roof. Wild honeysucks

Climb on the walls, and seem to sprout a wish

(If we may fancy wish of trees and plants)

To overtop the apple-trees hard by.

Red roses, lilacs, variegated box

Are there in plenty, and such hardy flowers

As flourish best untrained. Adjoining these

Are herbs and esculents; and farther still

A field; then cottages with trees, and last

The distant hills and sky.

Thomas Hardy

63 thoughts on “About Bramble Garden

  1. Karen I’m sorry I haven’t written in so long, but my depression is really bad and I can’t even get on the computer. But let’s put the penalties aside. Karen your garden is a haven for wildlife. It is magnificent that five hedgehogs and two tawny owls have been born, as well as having many residents: I love it. Karen you did a wonderful job 28 years ago planting so many trees of different species and now it is a magical place with the wild roses that climb to the top of the trees so tall and wonderful: I love it. In spring, from the beautiful Summer House you can enjoy all the divine wild flowers that grow and the wonderful honeysuckle: I love it. I love all the scented climbing roses you have and that cow parsley looks adorable. Karen how you take care of animals, even the smallest spider: you have a heart of gold. Perfection is your garden: wildlife and divine cultivated flowers. I love the Thomas Hardy poem. Karen I hope you are all in good health. Health, strength, encouragement, hope, positive thinking and a lot of love for your whole family, Mr B and for you. Loving caresses for Grace, Meg, Monty, Merlin and the Hens. Karen take good care of you all. I send you all my love and best wishes. Very affectionate greetings from Margarita xxx 😘🙏🌼🍀🌸

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Margarita,
      I’m so sorry to hear about your depression. Life has been very difficult for you for so long. I’m really hoping things will improve for you very soon. It’s won’t be easy, and things will be very slow to start with. I’m so glad my blog and all the photos make a difference to you. I’m very happy to share my garden -and all the pets and creatures that live here- with you and your mother. Thank you for your very kind words of support and encouragement. I’m sending lots of hope, strength and encouragement back to you. Take care and keep in touch. I’ll think of you and send positive thoughts your way. Affectionate greetings and love from us all at Bramble Garden. From Karen, Mr B, Meg, Grace, Monty and the hens. Xxx 💚🙂🌸🌞🌟💚🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Karen, thank you very much for your words of support and encouragement. Karen once again proves to be a great friend and the friendship that unites us. I appreciate your concern for me very much. Thank you so much for being loved by the whole of Bramble Garden: it means a lot to me and it touches the depths of my heart. Your garden gives me great joy to see it and to know what happens with your “furry and feathery family” I love it because I love them all very much. Karen the same encouragement, positive thoughts and love that you send me, I send them to Mr B and to you. Take good care of each other. Hugs from my Mother and mine. Very affectionate greetings from Margarita xxx 😘🙏💚🤗🌸💚🌼

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Karen, dont know if you remember us from wysall lane remsstone number 29 to be exact.we moved out to south lincs 8 years ago,we mostly passed on the lane, overwieght guy always with milly my english setter or christine & paige or alan & ben..Anyway i hav just been going through my garden news mags and your name and photo came up .Just wondered is everybody ie: the girls k and your husband are well and covid free and all other ailments are banned from rempstone. We are fine out here and we lost Milly couple of years ago back end went and she could not stand. Anyway keep doing what your good at and keep well and tending your super garden. Kind Regards Tim & Diane ,Next to mick if that helps to remember us Bye

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh hello there Tim and Diane! Yes we remember you! Yes, we are all well thank you. Youngest daughter qualified as a nurse two months before covid lockdown. Poor girl then had to work on the intensive care wards looking after covid patients.she had to leave home immediately. Do you remember how we used to joke about them not leaving the nest. They didn’t want to go. We made them too soft. Well, covid put a stop to that, they both had to move out in a hurry. Luckily youngest managed to buy a house in loughborough. How she did it in the middle of a pandemic I don’t know. She was determined and pestered the solicitors and estate agents into moving quickly for her. Eldest, as you know worked at the children’s hospice. Very sad time all around, and terrifying for us as we were so afraid they would catch it. Luckily, none of us did. But I also made Clive stay out of harms way. We just stayed home. We lost quite a few relatives and friends though, and Clive’s father died a few months ago. Anyway, it’s lovely to hear from you. Send an e mail to k.gimson@btinternet.com and I’ll update you on village news. All the best. Karen x


  3. Hi Karen,

    How are you?

    My name is Chloe and I work on behalf of Coco & Coir (https://cocoandcoir.com/), and I’m looking to send out a free eco-friendly product in exchange for a review!

    Coco & Coir sell eco-friendly peat-free products, including compost and doormats. All our products are proudly natural, sustainable and are packaged with less plastic, healthy for you as well as the planet. With this in mind, we are striving to march towards a world filled with products made from sustainable materials!

    After reading through your blog, I think you have some fantastic content, which I think our coir products would feature perfectly!

    To find out more about our brand:
    > https://cocoandcoir.com/about/
    > https://www.instagram.com/cocoandcoir/

    If you’re interested, I would love to know your thoughts! My email is: chloe@crescatdigital.com

    I look forward to hearing from you! 😊

    Kind Regards,

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hello from me. I am originally from Sri Lanka now settled down in Aussie Brisbane. Well well nice to know you and I am also someone to do with, Talking to herself or the plants, the birds and what ever is around me. So good to have come across your site and to see all this wild life 😀
    The thing is luckily we do not have snow here as Queensland is called Sunshine State.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Ed. That’s really kind of you. I’m just writing the next one now, and was having a ‘what the heck can I write about’ moment. Then just decided, I don’t need to be clever or different. Just me. And if I’m interested in growing something, or trying a new technique, then maybe someone else will be too. Let hope. Thanks again for reading and getting in touch. All the best. Karen


  5. Hello Karen. Thank you so much for the 5* review you gave for The Organic Gardening Podcast. I’m so glad you enjoy it, and find it inspiring as well as useful. Chris and I certainly have fun making it, and we’ve found some interesting guests to share their organic gardening passions. We were shortlisted for Best Gardening Podcast in 2019, but to receive your glowing review meant just as much to us. Thank you! Warm wishes Sarah Brown, Garden Organic.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Sarah. I’m finding the podcast a really cheerful listen for the horrible cold days of winter. If I can’t be out there gardening, I feel I can at least be listening to gardening. I love your chats with Chris and feel like I’m sitting in the same room, nodding my head and joining in. I’ve been an organic gardener for the past few years. Before that I used growmore, like everyone used to. Without thinking of the consequences. Now I am concerned about the creatures living in my soil, as well as all the spiders, woodlice, worms, slugs, snails. We are learning to treat other creatures with respect and realise they have a place in the web if life. Slugs are food for hedgehogs and birds, for example. You have tapped into this renewed interest in organic gardening, and I feel as if I learn something new every time I listen. Good luck with everything. All the best. Karen x


  6. Hi Karen
    Many thanks for your presentation on Thursday – very informative – and great to be supporting Rainbows.
    You were going to send me the list of plants mentioned so I can forward to Members.
    Kind regards

    Liked by 1 person

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  11. Thank you for the gloves review, I’m forever trying to find the perfect pair and these sound like it! Thank you for sharing your wildlife friendly garden…..always the best kind.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. It’s all absolutely wonderful. And having just moved from Dorset to West Yorkshire, wonderfully familiar. They link me to home. (Even though I feel perfectly at home in my urban home too.)

    Liked by 1 person

  13. How wonderful to have a family of hedgehogs! I do like the sound of your garden! We don’t have quite that much space here in our garden in South Staffordshire, but do like to ‘garden lightly’ as well, & keep space for the wildlife.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Sue. They are still in the garden tonight. I hope they stay with us for the winter. Plenty of protection from the weather here. And many many mice! Thanks for reading and for getting in touch. Sorry for the delay replying. I’ve only just spotted your comment.


    • Ah, thank you Susan. That’s so kind of you to say so. I just use a camera phone to be honest. I’ve always got it in my pocket in case the children ring and need me- so I’ve always got it to hand when I see something of interest in the gardening world. If I had a fancy camera, I am sure it would always be at home when I needed it. All the best- Karen 🙂


  14. I’m delighted to have discovered your blog through your having visited a page of mine – wonderful photos. I may have missed something, but is it possible to be notified of new posts via email? I can’t see to find that option, and I’m hopeless at keeping up via the WP reader

    Liked by 2 people

      • Gosh! I think I can help! Go into the dashboard, then ‘appearance’. You will then get several options, of which one is ‘widgets’. Open this, and there you will find lots of things you may or may not wish to include on your site, including ‘follow by email’. Drag this to the right hand side – and it will appear on the side bar of your blog. I’ve never been a techie before! This may be the first and last time.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Karen,
        You should be able to find a email follow widget through you dashboard. I think it’s in settings. I found you through a like you gave my garden page. Love your garden pictures. Let me know if you get the email follow set up. I’d love to add you.


      • Karen lovely blog and buitifull garden. I listen to you on radio Leicester. I followed your advise with my dalia tubers and wrapped them in moss in the shed but instead of going to sleep for winter they have all new shoots growing. Where have I gone wrong or is this what they ment to be doing?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hello and thank you for listening, and reading. It’s been a very mild winter and dahlias have started to sprout if they have been kept too warm and damp-ish. What I’d do now is pot them up into multi purpose compost. Move them to a frost free greenhouse, or spare room window. When the shoots are 4” long, slice them off taking a sliver of the tuber with them. Pot them into 3” pots and grow them on. Plant them out at the end of May. You will have lots of new plants that will flower this year. The mother tubers will produce new shoots and you can plant them out as normal when there’s no more frosts. This year when you dig up your dahlias, turn them upside down to drain the stems, leave to dry in the greenhouse for a week or two. Brush off all the soil. Put them, right way up, in the shed covered in dry compost, or perlite. Keep frost free and dry. The moss might have absorbed moisture from the atmosphere and caused them to come back into growth. All is not lost though. Get back to me if you need any further info. And please keep listening as management are trying to do away with gardening on the radio. We have to have a lot more music now, and hardly any talking! Not sure how that is going to work. There will probably be an outcry. Just remembered… don’t forget to wait until the dahlias are frosted once and the foliage has turned black. This sends instructions to the tubers to go into dormancy. If you cut them back while still green, they will shoot.


  15. Karen —
    My thanks to you for visiting my blog and for giving me the opportunity to see yours. I have walked around in it a bit and found myself the better for it. The photographs are wonderful, and those lines from Thomas Hardy are exactly what I needed this morning.

    Liked by 2 people

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