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@rage.love.

The earlier blogposts were written about my garden and allotment (lottie) in Oxford. However we moved to Sheffield in March 2013. Then, for ‘reasons’, in 2022 we moved to Penarth, in South Wales – hopefully our last move! I blog about designing and maintaining a garden around a chronic illness (I have Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, known as ME) and occasionally I blog about living with ME, see the category MECFS. I started memes using the hashtags: #GardeningWithME and #SpoonieVeg.

Sheffield garden

I am a member of: South Wales Hardy Plant Society (and national HPS), the Alpine Garden Society, and the Heritage Seed Libary. I have a Certificate in Permaculture Design.

My other interests include pre-1660 British History; post 1660 being boring since they stopped chopping heads off by then. My degree focused on gender in Early Modern England, and my thesis was on the diary of Lady Grace Mildmay (Embodiment of Culture: A Virtuous Woman). Since then I have also gone backward in time first looking at the Plantagenets, and more recently, early medieval England (not ‘the dark ages’ – don’t get me started). I’ve also dipped into early medieval Welsh and Scottish history. If I had my way, Harold II 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 Britain in 1989. I fell utterly in love with the land 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 legal 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