This blog is in part a diary of the development of my garden using permaculture principles, and a record of gardens I have visited. It occasionally discusses other activities, such as campaigning with Global Justice Now and other random musings that occur. You can also follow me on Mastodon @GwenfarsGarden@kith.kitchen (gardening & food) or @GwenfarsGarden@rage.love (politics and general musings)

The earlier blogposts were written about my garden and allotment (lottie) in Oxford. However we moved to Sheffield in March 2013. From 2013-2016 I blogged about developing my garden and growing vegetables, fruit and hardy perennials within a smaller urban space. We moved to rented accommodation in 2017 and I focused on blogging about growing ornamentals and food in containers, as well as gardens/places I visited. Since Spring 2018 we have moved into our hopefully long-term home and garden, and I'll be blogging about designing and maintaining a garden around a chronic illness (I have Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, known as ME.)

I sometimes blog about Gardening with ME and Spoonie Veg, chatting about the challenges and successes of gardening when you have a chronic illness. I  started the memes using the hashtags: #GardeningWithME and #SpoonieVeg.

I am a member of: Friends of the Botanic Gardens SheffieldSouth Pennine Hardy Plant Society (and national HPS), Permaculture Association (and I have a Certificate in Permaculture Design), and the Heritage Seed Libary.

My other interests include pre-1660 British History; post 1660 being boring since they stopped chopping heads off by then. My degree focused on Early Modern England and since then I have also gone backward in time first looking at the Plantagenets and more recently Anglo-Saxon and Norman history. I've also dipped into Welsh and Scottish history. If I had my way, Harold would have beaten William, and the Llewellyn's wouldn't have had to deal with Edward I et al.

When I'm not gardening, you'll find me colouring, knitting, being an arm-chair activist/anti-capitalist/anarchist (arm-chair coz chronic illness) or reading about British history, murder mysteries, science fiction (including feminist, space opera, solarpunk and dystopian genres), fantasy and literature.
Why Gwenfar's Garden?
Gwenfar is my nickname, my middle name being Gwenhwyfar. I was very into the Arthurian Legend when I was younger and it in fact prompted my first holiday to the UK in 1989. I fell utterly in love with this country and its history, and I subsequently moved here permanently, from Melbourne, in 1998.

I would like Gwenhwyfar to be my first name, but given most people (particularly in the UK...) can barely spell Julieanne, my actual name, well imagine the problems with Gwenhwyfar! The blog used to be Gwenfar's Lottie, but we moved and I no longer have a lottie so it felt appropriate to change the name of the blog.

My wonderful partner is Kevin, prior to 2014 there were references to our adorable Merlyn.

Merlyn sadly died in June 2014, but I'm keeping him here as he was a big and wonderful part of our lives for 14 years and I feel it is fitting that his memory lives on.

After fostering for Cats Protection for a year, well fell in love with a new kitty, and adopted our Freya, who you can follow on Mastodon @FreyaKitteh@sunbeam.city


  1. What an interesting ' about' page, Gwenhwyfar, thank you for reinstating it. So you live in Sheffield, my home town. Although I haven' t lived there since I went away to University at 18, I still miss the moors.

    1. Thank you Chloris. It's a bit rambling, but oh well. We love Sheffield and are so happy we chose to move here. When my ME is really bad my Kevin take me for a drive up onto the moors and it totally lifts my spirits.

  2. Gwenhwyfar is an awesome name. And I do so agree about Harold - if Harald Hardrada hadn't invaded just before, it might have been a very different story for England. I don't know many people whose interests include gardening, Permaculture, British history and speculative fiction, so it's lovely to find another one of us! Thanks for such an interesting and informative About page.

    1. Yes, if Hardrada hadn't invaded at that moment, Harold probably would have defeated William and we would have had a very different history in England.

      Glad you found my About page interesting Lyn. And now I know that there are at least two of us with these diverse interests!

      I'm also originally from Oz, so when I read your posts, I can really imagine the conditions you garden in quite well.

  3. Hello Julieanne, I've come here via your comment on rusty duck's blog and just wanted to say I'm pleased I did. Interesting and informative. I avoid politics on my blog only because it wouldn't sit well with the rest but I often wonder about writing another where I vent my spleen about various issues! Your garden is looking fab. I hope you're not too fed up about pacing yourself. I had glandular fever about 9 years ago and it still bites me occasionally if I do too much, so I do have a small understanding of your situation. Best wishes, Sam

    1. Thanks for visiting Sam. Maybe you should add another page to your blog, or just have another blog about politics? Quite a few garden bloggers do, as of course we are more than just about gardening. It's worth a go. Thanks for your kind words about my garden. Sometimes I do get fed up with pacing myself, but have learnt the hard way that this is what I must do if I want to garden at all. I think there are some similarities with glandular fever and ME with payback if you exert yourself too much. It's a bummer, but it won't stop us gardening!


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