If You Love Plants This Site Is For You & People That Grow Plants On A Windowsill, Balcony or Patio, In Conservatories, Tunnels or Greenhouses, in Raised Beds, Pots, Containers or Hydroponically.
It’s a site for absolute beginners and those that were beginners and now have a lot of experience. Primarily it’s about gardening.
None of us know everything about plants and we can all learn from one another. This site, and the associated Facebook groups, were designed as places to share successes and failures, to share ideas and ask questions. I hope you enjoy the site and associated groups.
I’m Stefan Drew and I want to welcome you to my website.
I’ve being growing plants most of my life. After a few years in agriculture and agricultural college, where I studied dairy technology, I ran a large processing dairy. We bottled milk; made clotted cream, butter and a few other things. It was fascinating work but after a few years I wanted to go back to growing plants. So I went back into farming and started to save for my own place.
In my garden I grew flowers for local florists and eventually made enough to rent a 5 acre market garden with half an acre of greenhouses. Within a few years I erected a further half an acre of tunnels. With outdoor cropping we were growing 10,000 tomato plants a year, 100,000 lettuce, 50,000 celery plus plenty of cues, peppers chillis and more.
As time went on we changed our cropping and were growing over half a million lettuce a year plus a range of, what were then, unusual crops such as coriander, fenugreek and various gourds and Asian cucumbers. At this time I also became a visiting lecturer in horticulture at a number of colleges.
After more than a decade I decided to sell the market garden and became the farms manager for an agricultural college where the farms spanned a range of soil types, from chalk and loams to peat and heavy clays. As part of my duties I also taught agricultural business management to aspiring tenant farmers, bankers, solicitors and other advising the agricultural community.
Teaching was something I enjoyed and after a while I was asked to teach marketing …. the only problem was I knew nothing about marketing.
When I explained this this to the principal he told me that before he was principal he had no experience of managing a college and what I needed was experience. So he gave me the job of marketing the college.
In those days colleges didn’t have marketing departments and I became the first full time marketing manager appointed in a further education college.
Within a few months I teaching marketing to others being recruited into marketing roles …. I was only one page ahead of the students I was teaching, but in the land of the blind the one eyed marketer is king.
The reason I’m explaining this is that there is a connection between marketing and growing crops. All the lettuce, tomatoes, apples and other fruit and veg we grow is marketed by someone. And my life ever since has been a mix of growing plants and marketing. I love both.
But now I’m retired I can focus on my garden. I can grow plants, and enjoy seeing them go from seed to table, knowing how fresh and nutritious it is.
And I can enjoy the flowers, shrubs and trees in my garden as they produce fruit, nectar and pollen for the bees and other pollinators. I can even enjoy the wildflowers and weeds that also flower in the hidden corners of my garden and local countryside.
More importantly I can help you with your garden. Just ask your questions and I’ll do my best to help you.