Green over gravel 

Guest blog from Caley member John Gordon  With approaching forty years  in the horticultural industry I now give myself more time to appreciate and enjoy plants; the training I got at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh must have rubbed off. I always remember the advice of my lecturer and now honorary Caley president George Anderson  “Work hard, play hard”.  The primary focus in my garden is composing attractive ornamental plant combinations which if successful I often copy to clients’ gardens.

With a view to recording my gardening efforts, achievements and more than the occasional mistake I was drawn to writing a blog.  Finding blogging fun I applied for membership of the Garden Media Guild.  Being a probationary member I have access to a full member who mentors me.  My mentor complimented me on my gardening knowledge but concluded that my blog lacked focus. “What people want are short bits of news that are easy to read and understand, News they can use”. I had become increasingly aware of how many people are covering their garden with labour saving gravel, a useful product but all too often overused. I decided to focus my blog on encouraging people to choose green over gravel and invest in their plant heritage, to create personalised, enjoyable and satisfying low maintenance gardens with year round colour and interest. The blog is called The Temperate Gardener, and my aim is to regularly post bite sized, liberally illustrated articles useful to the amateur gardener. Recent examples have included easy ground cover, architectural plants, patio pots, a water feature from a barrel, succession planting and transplanting at the wrong time of year.   Plants are a wonderful investment, among the few things that go up in value as they mature. They will not only reward you with their beauty but help you in keeping weeds down, maintaining the garden for you.

John Gordon

You can follow John’s blog at  He is happy to offer advice anyone thinking of starting their own blog.

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