A Welsh gardener from the Amman Valley, Carmarthenshire with over 15 years’ experience
My interest in gardening started when I was 3 years old exploring my Tad-cu’s (Grandfather in Welsh) vegetable garden, growing vegetables and flowers of all kinds in a small garden in Glanaman. My grandfather was the very best horticultural mentor as I started to develop my knowledge and gardening skills alongside him in the garden. My grandfather’s generation were a true inspriation; a community of knowledgable and experienced gardeners all sharing growing techniques and advice with each other. Being part of their close-knit community was the best grounding that I could ever have hoped for as a young gardener.
I went to Glanaman Primary School which at the time was pioneering to become one of the first eco-schools in Wales. Here I learned the importance of protecting our environment and gardening harmoniously with nature and this is at the heart of the way I garden today.
Since a very young age, I have developed the urge and drive to learn and grow more vegetables, fruits and flowers each year and I now have a wide knowledge of growing vegetables and fruits of all kinds as well as seasonal flowers, perennial plants and native plants. This has helped me develop my skills and knowledge in plant identifaction, growing methods for various plants and problem solving for gardeners. This has allowed me to be able to advise and guide others in planning and establishing their ideal garden.
Five years ago, my wife Sara and I bought our first home and since then we have set up our new vegetable garden as you can see on my Instagram account. I use the no-dig method of gardening where I don’t dig the garden at all but instead add new layers of compost each year. It is our personal aim to try to live as self-sufficiently as possible whilst respecting and protecting nature.
When did Adam yn yr ardd begin?
I started my Instagram account @adamynyrardd back in August 2018 with the aim of sharing my life in the garden and our journey in living a self-sufficient life. The account is full of photos of our garden, gardening tips and advice, as well as sharing the pleasures of living a simple life off the land with our ducks, chickens and quails.
The account grew rapidly within the first year reaching 1,000 followers by May 2019. It now has over 25,000 followers and I absolutely love being part of an online gardening community. It is a Welsh account, promoting the use of the Welsh language as well as sharing Wales’ unique gardening culture and traditions with the rest of the world.
Experiences to date
The Welsh language media
Through my Instagram account @adamynyrardd, I have had many opportunities to contribute to Welsh language radio and television stations discussing anything and everything about gardening. I contribute regularly to BBC Radio Cymru programmes including a monthly slot on the Welsh Breakfast Show on BBC Radio Cymru 2.
I was also invited to be on the sofa of S4C’s Prynhawn Da to discuss all things gardening and my 2021 Gardening Calendar. I also regularly contribute gardening items to Prynhawn Da from my garden where I discuss seasonal gardening tasks, tips and advice.
Working with the National Botanic Garden of Wales and Growing the Future Project
In March 2020, I started working with the Growing the Future Project (National Botanic Garden of Wales) to create a series of 20 gardening videos in Welsh and English discussing topics such as garden planning, gardening knowhow and the benefits of gardening for our mental health among a number of other topics. Following the success of the first series of videos, I was commissioned to produce another series and I continue to work with the project on a regular basis.
I have a wide range of experiences of public speaking at events and giving presentations. I have held group discussions and ‘Question & Answer’ sessions for various societies and organisations both in person and virtually via Zoom. I have also held motivational conversations sharing my gardening experiences and trying to encourage others to live a more self-sufficient life as well as holding virtual tours of our garden.
In July 2021, I was offered a brilliant opportunity to hold a series of public talks in the no-dig demonstration garden at RHS Hampton Court Garden Festival. The garden was designed by no dig gardening gurus Stephanie Hafferty and Charles Dowding. I also invited a Welsh camera crew to the show where I presented an item about the garden that aired on S4C’s Heno programme. My presentations included sharing how no-dig gardening transformed the way I garden. Visit my blog page to read more about our amazing experience at RHS Hampton court.