The Magpie Anthology

She Grows Veg & Mike Keen Cooks…

To have a gardening book endorsed by Alan Titchmarsh as ‘Clear modern and inspiring’ is praise indeed. Lucy Hutchings describes how she fell into the world of Horticulture at a time when she needed distraction from her very exciting but emotionally taxing career as a designer and maker of jewellery and stage costumes.

As she describes in the book: “I always grew food. One way or another I always had something edible on the go. From herbs on the windowsill to lemon trees in my living room, from vertical herb gardens, to a window box vegetable patch on a fifteenth floor balcony, growing food made me deeply and uncomplicatedly happy.” Now, since we first published this review last year, Lucy and her partner Mike Keen have been developing and building a homestead and smallholding plot in Suffolk (@cedarwoodhomestead). You can follow their progress over on Instagram @shegrowsveg and @mikekeencooks and see just how much effort, talent and sheer grit have gone into the house they’ve built, the vegetable garden (which is awesome) that they’ve planted and the animals that are becoming part of the family (think Dalmatian puppy and pygmy goats…).

After a stressful life event in 2018, Lucy realized that her passion for growing edible plants might be the answer to her angst and she retrained in horticulture and garden design with a view to becoming an edible garden designer. She started @shegrowsveg Instagram account to engage with a younger global gardening community. By the time Lucy finished her course her Instagram account was taking up more and more time and it become a full time job!

However Lucy still loves growing vegetables and has found a niche in the market with a unique design–led approach, Get Up and Grow showcases how anyone can grow pretty much anything no matter what amount of space you have, be it a back garden, balcony, or even just a desk. There are projects for herbs, fruits and vegetables including a salad trolley and indoor spice garden and an edible living wall. The book even covers Hydroponics, a method of growing plants without any soil.

With step-by-step illustrations and stunning photography, Get up and Grow is bursting with practical ideas to make your home and garden every bit as stylish as it is practical.

Get Up & Grow by Lucy Hutchings – Buy HERE

Reviewed by Juliet Bawden from www.creativecolour.org

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