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Hi, thanks for visiting the blog. I’m a writer, blogger, gardener and garden designer, community garden volunteer, gluten free cook and mum to two budding growers. I’m based in the east of England.

I love growing fruit, vegetable and herbs (especially more unusual crops like oca, honeyberries, fat baby achocha, tree chillies and lots of interestingly coloured vegetables and fruit) and generally pack more into my fairly small garden than is perhaps entirely sensible. If only my recurring dream where I find an extra section of allotment-like space at the bottom of the garden were true! In the past I’ve grown crops in a friend’s garden to help her manage an area she couldn’t cope with alone, but a house move ended this mutually beneficial arrangement. So I went on the hunt for more land to cultivate and in 2016 took on my first allotment.

I love cooking with food from the garden, allotment and hedgerows. I’ve been foraging for ingredients since I was a child and have wonderful memories of scouring the Welsh lanes and mountains for hazelnuts, blackberries and bilberries. I was diagnosed with coeliac disease five years ago and now run a gluten free kitchen. I enjoy creating savoury dishes like soups and pies and have spent many hours practising baking gluten free cakes, biscuits and puddings for the family.

In my work, I enjoy creating multi-functional garden spaces – where beauty and utility combine. Gardens have to fulfil so many roles these days: children’s play areas (in today’s world most unsupervised outside play happens in the garden), beautiful planting, relaxation areas, space to grow fruit, vegetables and herbs for the kitchen, wildlife haven… the list continues. So I love exploring ways in which gardens, of all sizes, combine these factors.

At the moment in my own garden I’m experimenting with a green roof, apple espaliers underplanted with herbsa pollinator garden and an ornamental front garden which also provides food – a sort of hidden allotment. There is a Chilean guava front hedge (a edible box hedge alternative), a gravel path lined with creeping herbs and fuchsias with edible berries. Last year I started a riotous allotment cutting patch and perennial vegetable beds, and this year I intend to redesign the flower border in the back garden and look into keeping bantam chickens. Some plans are more successful than others, but I reckon the best way to learn is to try it yourself and see…

I enjoy guest blogging – if you’d like to read one of my guest posts on My Secret Garden – it can be found on Emma Cooper’s fascinating blog at The Unconventional Gardener. I’m also writing a book about how we engage with the wild in our everyday landscapes.

One of my favourite plants to use in the garden is the dogwood (like Cornus sanguinea ‘Midwinter Fire’, Cornus sericea ‘Flaviramea’, Cornus alba ‘Kesselringii’ and Cornus alba ‘Sibirica’) for their beauty and colour – especially at time when many other plants are sleeping. Hence the name of my blog  🙂

Do stop by and say hello on the contact page, by email at dogwooddays@yahoo.com,  on Instagram at www.instagram.com/dogwooddaysgardener, Facebook at www.facebook.com/mydogwooddays and Twitter at www.twitter.com/dogwooddays_nic.

Happy Gardening 🙂

Nic Wilson

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