The next PlantGrow Champion we’d like to introduce you to is Diana from @good_life_garden. Diana has been gardening in one way or another since she was a child, but it’s now a true passion of hers. We’re looking forward to supporting her as she works to inspire others to take up gardening as a hobby that can be as easy, muddy or tricky as you want it to be.
Diana has been into gardening for as long as she remembers. Both her grandparents had some land – one had an allotment, and the other owned a farm. This meant she was always helping out and being given jobs to do, even if they weren’t the most exciting ones.
“I was doing all the fun jobs – picking fruit (mostly eating), spending time outside with the grandparents and feeding all the animals. I used to be given a bucket and told to fill it up with fruit and berries. I also used to get assigned the weeding jobs and my grandparents would ‘inspect’ my work later. I didn’t enjoy weeding as much as berry picking, but always wanted to do a good job.”
When Diana started living on her own, she started growing her own vegetables. Her grandmother sent her all the seeds to get started, and she still sends some every year! She mostly grew standard salad vegetables, like tomatoes, cucumbers, spring onions and herbs, along with some flowers. These types of plants are perfect to grow in a small space when you’re renting and saving for a house.
“When I bought my first house, I was committed to getting a greenhouse and growing my own strawberries, which I did, but with a busy work-life, I ended up moving locations and someone else now gets to enjoy my first vegetable patch in the garden.”
Diana works as a technical manager in a fast-paced major food manufacturing company. It was important for her to find a work-life balance, and it was her dream to move to the countryside and have a bit of land to potter around and wind down in.
“I spend a lot of time at work and I was committed to finding a hobby that would take my mind off work whilst keeping me active and allowing me to spend more time outside. Gardening just ticked all the boxes – starting with spending more time outdoors, eating healthier by growing your own fruit and vegetables, being more sustainable, reducing my carbon print and all being budget-friendly, the list goes on!
“Organic fruit and vegetables are expensive to buy and growing it from a packet of seeds whilst enjoying the process is time well spent in my eyes. You also know exactly where your produce came from and what went into growing it. Not to mention the convenience of having produce at your doorstep!”
Diana has begun to discover varieties of vegetables that she never knew existed and aren’t available in the supermarkets. The more she discovers, the more it fascinates her – the process of growing a few seeds that turn into unique vegetables like rainbow carrots, blue squash and black tomatoes is astonishing. The experience of growing her own produce blew her away, and it was all delicious and nutritious.
Diana started her Instagram account, @good_life_garden, to capture her gardening journey in January 2020.
“Everyone seemed to be on the platform posting photos and I felt like I was missing out. As I got into it, I started to realise I have a new journey as part of my personal one. The journey is to engage and inspire others to grow their own, whether that’s vegetables, flowers or microgreens on your windowsill.
“Organic growing is part of my personal goal of working towards making healthier choices. I guess, working in food industry and studying BSc (Hons) Food Science and Technology makes me a bit of a foodie!”
Diana is on a mission to show that gardening is fun and doesn’t need to be hard work – it’s a lot easier than many people might think.
“Of course, you can make it as difficult or easy as you want it to be – you are the boss in your garden or allotment! I want to show people that you don’t need to be a qualified gardener with a lot of knowledge to grow your own. There will be garden fails, but it is all part of the personal journey and learning experience. Start small, understand what you want to grow – it’s a good idea to start with food that you like to eat – and take it from there. As long as you start somewhere!”
Why we’re supporting Diana
We’re excited that Diana has joined us as a PlantGrow Champion because she is a complete homegrown queen! Diana has made growing her own food a lifestyle and we know how important it is for people to have access to healthy and nutritious foods. She wants to show people that you can be happier and healthier through organic gardening at home, and we want to support her as she inspires people to try gardening for themselves – whether they set themselves small challenges or big ones.