Gardeningetc.com is the new website for anyone looking to create the perfect outdoor living experience. Packed with 1,000s of design ideas and guides to make your garden a brilliant outdoor living area, it also offers expert advice on how to make your time outdoors the best it can be – from rounding up the best BBQs and hot tubs to kids’ toys that are guaranteed to keep them entertained.
There will also be practical guides on everything from how to build a brilliant decked area to how to achieve an outdoor pool experience on a budget, plus must-read advice on how you can transfer the style principles you use in your home to your garden. For anyone looking for inspiring ideas, our easy-to-follow guides will help you create your first planting scheme, design your perfect patio or successfully grow your own fruit and veg.
Meet the team
Beth Murton, Editor
My first job in magazines was working for Real Homes magazine more than 17 years ago. It cemented my love of all things homes- and garden-related and I’ve never looked back since.
My garden is a really important part of my family's home (especially in recent months), and we were lucky enough to inherit a space with lots of lovely mature planting when we bought our 1930s home. Since then, we've built several raised beds for a veg patch, increased the size of the flowerbeds to find room for yet more of my favourite David Austin roses and my husband's collection of hostas, created an outdoor living room complete with comfy sofas and festoon lights, and not forgetting the biggest challenge of all – trying to fit in the ever changing assortment of trampolines, climbing frames and outdoor toys that are inevitable when you have two young kids! We've got further plans for our garden over the next year, so watch this space...
Jason Orme, Managing Director of Homes
A homes expert, Jason is an experienced self builder and renovator, and advises individuals on how to create their own dream homes. He is currently planning a landscaping scheme to accompany his recently remodelled 1960s home in Staffordshire.
Laura Crombie, Brand Development Editor
Laura has been writing about homes and gardens for 13 years. She started out as a newspaper reporter, then was editor of a regional magazine, and editorial manager for a travel company (who doesn’t love a free holiday?). She started at Real Homes magazine in 2015 as Deputy Editor and then become Editor before taking on her current position, which focuses on video and events (you may have seen her presenting Real Homes TV. She loves spending time in the garden with her toddler and has a bizarre passion for mowing lawns!
I was part of a team which launched Easy Gardens magazine two years ago and I continue to edit it today. I am also the Gardens Editor on Homes & Gardens, Country Homes & Interiors, Ideal Home and Style At Home so I am lucky enough to see and write about gardening across all sizes, budgets and abilities. What I am most passionate about when it comes to gardening are the positive effects it has on our mental health to grow and care for plants. Keeping our patches alive with greenery is great for the environment too and help provide food and shelter for wildlife. Finally, I find it to be such a wonderful opportunity to tap into my creative side and I love the feeling that I am crafting a space which has a life of its own. Audrey Hepburn summed gardening up perfectly when she said - 'To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow'.
As Deals Editor on Realhomes.com, I spend a lot of my time testing products but mostly I'm talking to industry experts, PRs and company marketing departments to try to ensure that we're always featuring the very best deals on all the products our readers would expect to see. When I’m not shopping online for new homeware I’m usually snapping photos of my house for Instagram, or just *casually* moving furniture around.
I’m an experienced freelance journalist, editor and columnist writing for national magazines and websites. I now specialise in gardens, and I enjoy finding and writing about all kinds, from the tiniest town plots to impressively designed ones in grand country houses. I’m a firm believer that gardening is for everyone, and it doesn’t matter if you have a single window ledge or an acre, there’s always peace and joy to be found outside. The small town garden of my Edwardian terraced house is currently a work in progress as we renovate the property, but my goal is always to fill it with flowers, climbers, colour, fragrance – and as many of my treasured vintage finds as I can possibly fit in.
Sarah is a freelance journalist and editor writing for websites, national newspapers, and magazines. She’s spent most of her journalistic career specialising in homes and gardens – long enough to see interiors that blur the indoor/outdoor link become a must-have. She loves investigating the benefits, costs and practicalities of home improvement, both indoors and out, and it's no big surprise that she likes to put what she writes about into practice, and is a serial house revamper.
I'm a freelance journalist and I'm lucky to be able to write about my two main passions: gardening and food. Ten years ago I moved from a house with a tiny town garden to a much bigger space in the country and since then I've slowly been putting into practice all the garden design ideas I've been mulling over for years. Trouble is, as soon as I've got the garden looking how I think I want it, I decide to start on a new project so it's a constant 'work in progress'. I took on an allotment last year too, and I'm really loving growing all my own fruit and veg then bringing it home to try out in new recipes for my food and gardening blog, A Cook's Plot.
I put my love of plants and all things garden related, down to the hours spent pottering around with my Nan and Grandad when I was little. There was never a moment at their house when we weren’t weeding, pruning, planting or harvesting cucumbers or dahlias from the lean-to greenhouse. My Grandad’s shed was a place of wonder, and I can still recall the musky smell. Today I am lucky enough to have a garden of my own in Surrey and spend much of my time writing about them too. A typical long-thin town garden it features favourite flowers along with the odd veg plant and the usual assortment of toys, bikes and… oh a couple of guinea pigs too.
I'm an organic food grower and writer based in East Sussex. I've grown edible plants in a variety of roles from growing organic vegetables for the Ottolenghi restaurant, Rovi to delivering growing workshops throughout London to audiences including primary schools, community centres and corporate clients. I've also been invited to share my growing journey and experiences in talks and workshops for organisations including The Garden Museum, the Royal College of Art and West Dean College as well as having presented features for Radio 4’s Gardeners’ Question Time. My writing has been featured in The New Statesmen, Bloom Magazine and The Modern House Journal and my first book, How To Grow Your Dinner Without Leaving The House, is out now.
I've been an interior stylist and journalist for over 20 years and have worked for many of the main interior magazines during that time, both in-house and as a freelancer. On the side, as well as being the News Editor for indie magazine, 91, I trained to be a florist last year and recently launched The Prettiest Posy where I curate beautiful flowers for weddings and events.
Melanie Griffiths, Editor of Period Living magazine
As editor of Period Living, Britain's best-selling period homes magazine, I'm passionate about homes and gardens. My garden is my favourite 'room' of the house, and I love discovering new plants to add and making grand plans for how to evolve the scheme. In recent years, I've become passionate about growing my own fruits and vegetables. I've still got much to learn, but take enormous pride in the process of nurturing them from plot to plate.
While I'm yet to have my own private garden, I'm a first-time allotmenter and very (some would say overly) keen houseplant parent with upward of 30 plants in my care. My dream is to have a messy garden overflowing with wildflowers and climbers, with a beautifully ornate French-style bistro set for alfresco dining. For now, though, I'm making do with mentally plotting my outdoor escapades using all the inspiration you'll find on Gardeningetc – and growing my houseplant collection, of course.
I am gardener of necessity as I inherited a large, well-stocked terraced garden when I bought the Victorian house I am renovating. I cherish the rose, camellia and rhododendron bushes, peonies, clematis and the large cherry tree that I was left, but have taken a lump hammer to some of the raised brick beds and old-fashioned crazy paving. I have just created a fruit and veg bed, hoping to repeat the success I've had with planters of strawberries, and plan to grow corn as high as an elephant's eye.
I'm the homes editor of Period Living magazine and an experienced writer on gardens and interiors. I've edited a string of garden books, including Success with Citrus Fruit, Growing Fruits in Containers, and Feng Shui for your Garden. In fact, while researching the Feng Shui book, I discovered that my wheelie bin was in the money corner and there was a weedy looking tree in my relationship corner. A costly divorce soon followed. Now happily remarried, I have (just about) all my garden plants in the right places and enjoy tending them and my compost heap and wormery, thwarted recently, however, by my teenage son’s attempts to build a mountain bike course through the bottom of the garden. My garden plans include sowing sweet pea seeds earlier, planting more of my favourite snowdrops, growing artichokes, and persuading cornflowers and poppies to grow side by side on the mountain bike track.
I've spent four years working in interiors journalism, but as a flower enthusiast at heart, I'm happy to be taking my home styling knowledge outside into the garden. Whilst my own rented garden is small, my treasured multi-coloured festoon lights, outdoor rug and happy perennials have made it the retreat and social space I'd hoped for.
I've been writing for Ideal Home magazine for over 12 years where I started out on the interiors team, looking after the magazine’s real homes and makeovers features.
After going freelance following the birth of my twins, I set up my own interiors blog, Growing Spaces, to chart my own home renovation projects and makeovers, and I still love creating content for the blog in my spare time.
I rejoined the Ideal Home family in 2018 and I'm currently Executive Editor across Ideal Home and Style at Home.
Garden design and horticulture have been a passion of mine for most of my (adult) life! I am very proud to have an RHS Practical Horticulture L2 certificate in my name, and enjoy nothing more than getting my hands a little dirty and transforming a garden space! I love working in all types of outdoor settings – wild, modern, cottage gardens and I could go on – and with all types of plants. Herbs, trees and house plants have to be my favourite challenge, shall we say, and I think what is so important to remember is that you can make any type of outdoor space you have both beautiful and functional, when you give it the attention it deserves.
Living in a flat in London I don't have my own garden (sob), but my communal front garden is very much my project. I think my neighbors are sick of me constantly asking if I can add more plants. But I love having a plot to kind of call my own and we grow veggies too, which is literally the most satisfying thing in the world. A homegrown slightly sour raspberry or orange tomato still tastes good to me. Of course I have my window boxes too which are my pride and joy – filled with gorgeous red geraniums, mint and lavender they make the whole flat smell delicious.
I’m a flower fanatic and, as my small patch of patio didn't satisfy passion for petals, a couple of years ago I became the proud tenant of an allotment – Pippa’s Plot. Unlike the traditional veg-growers around me, I have transformed my patch into a cutting garden by adding plenty of manageable raised beds, oh, and a rose garden, because, why not? I’m a nostalgic soul and in my spare time you’ll find me wandering the Cotswolds, my home turf, visiting historic houses and open gardens in search of planting inspiration. Abundant cottage gardens billowing with blooms are a particular favourite.
Having just moved into a new house, I’m excited to put my stamp on the garden. Renting your home presents a challenge when it comes to the garden, as you can't structurally change anything, so raised beds and introducing borders are out of the question. A lot of pots, as well as living walls and standing beds, are the way forwards. My fig tree, strawberry plant and tomatoes are already loving their new home and I’m hoping to add to my potted collection with more fruit trees, vegetables and flowers soon. I’m also planning to get a wormery, having heard great things about them, as a compact way to recycle kitchen waste and produce potting soil.
I'm the web editor of our sister site homebuilding.co.uk and have spent more than a decade working in the world of homes and building-related magazines and websites. I've recently completed a project to take her garden back to its bare bones, and now plan to create a dog-friendly, low-maintenance space that is filled with colour and quirky finds.
I'm a keen urban gardener, with David Austin roses and Japanese acers among my favourite plants. I moved into the world of interiors from academic research in the field of literature and urban space a couple of years ago. I've always been interested in how people make houses into homes, and how our concepts of what's stylish change over time.
Having inherited a garden mainly given over to thorny fruit bushes when we bought our renovation project, we only now, seven years on, are beginning to be able to see the results of all the digging, planning, ripping out and replanting that has gone on over the years. The flowerbeds are finally flourishing and we are just starting to be able to harvest some of the veg we planted back in March. The next project? I'm dreaming of building a log cabin style home office/summer house at the bottom of the garden... watch this space.
My garden style and philosophy is very similar to my interior one – add colour, texture and always layer. I took inspiration from the wall colour of my living room and used on the fencing to really blend and connect the two spaces. When it comes to planting, I can't claim to be the most green fingered, but I absolutely love grasses, rosemary and lavender and manage to keep those and succulents thriving, mostly as they look after themselves! My current project is designing an outdoor living area for a new decking space we've created, so I'm currently on the hunt for hanging planters, lighting, rugs and dining furniture, which means Gardeningetc is my absolute treasure trove.
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