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About Us

Lila the cairn terrierAnglian Gardener is run by Paul Ward.

Cambs Gardener / Anglian Gardener - This website started life as CambsGardener (Cambridgeshire Gardener) intended for the county of Cambridgeshire only, this being where I live. It was first published on the net in November 2000.

By April 2001 I realized that many of the site visitors were from outside of Cambridgeshire, so I took the step of making the site regional rather than county. This makes more sense in that it now addresses an area of the country with a fairly even climate (and loses a pretty naff name). So I'm not trying to give advice to people who live up mountains in Wales or Scotland or by the coast in Cornwall all of whom have very different climatic conditions, but I'm also not tying myself to the artificial boundaries of a man-made county.

About me - Paul Ward

Some time in the late 1960's my granddad decided that I should earn my sweetie money (living in Nottingham these were called "tuffees") by watering his tomato plants for him.

This was an introduction to the nitty gritty of gardening as he swore by the practice of steeping horse manure in the water that was used for aforementioned tomato plants.

Thus, the seed for CambsGardener / Anglian Gardener was sown. As well as my lack of fear of germs from the earth ("Aren't you going to wash your hands before you eat those sandwiches?" - "No I don't need to, I've already wiped them on my trousers"). Still I get less stomach upsets than anyone I know. Over the next 10 years I took over ever greater areas of my parents garden until I left for university.

Ten years later by the early 1990's I stopped wandering around, and stayed in one place long enough to begin to garden again. Working as teacher of "Environmental Science" I started a nursery in the school I worked in, run by pupils growing and selling hanging baskets / bedding of all kinds / bulbs / trees etc. all profits went partly to charity and partly to develop resources.

I then spent a year sweating in Mombasa, Kenya which being at sea-level on the equator allowed me to grow wonderful plants with 4 foot + long leaves from seedling to 6ft high in a few months. I trained a  Bougainvillea up to the top floor of the house until my neighbour told me how a poisonous snake had taken up residence in the Bougainvillea that grew over his balcony and dropped on his head one day when he opened the curtains. My Bougainvillea promptly came down. Mimosa pudica, the sensitive plant provided entertainment as it grew in great quantity outside the front door until I became bored with throwing soil on it and watching it "wilt".

Back again to UK and forwards to the late 90's, (much voluntary gardening and raising of plants in the meantime) when I began to arrange "garden make-overs" professionally. This was when I made contacts and built up my muscles in an attempt to look like a Kenyan gardener (imagine what you'd look like if you had to cut 1/4 acre of grass without a lawn-mower).

And so eventually CambsGardener / AnglianGardener bloomed after about 30 years. I now teach again and spend much of the time not doing so involved in staring at my computer screen or travelling the county photographing anything vaguely to do with gardening.

Webfundi - Fundi is a Swahili word meaning "craftsman", or "expert" I thought it would make a change from "webmaster". Anglian Gardener was nearly called "Ojwangas Garden" after some-one with the splendid moniker of Alfie Ojwanga who I came across while living in Kenya.

Feedback Received

Football has no hold over me so while my husband put himself in front of the television, I put myself in front of the computer to search for advice on decking - which I found in abundance - but having lived in Africa for 5 years, I recognized the word Fundi and quickly left the decking quest and discovered your fantastic site. I will have square eyes if I look at it for much longer! I do so want to be a better gardener and this can only come with knowledge. I will most definitely return.

Hello Paul, Just a quick word of appreciation .I have recently discovered the Anglian gardener pages. Its great, useful and informative to use  - well done I also like the folk lore section. Best wishes, and many thanks.

Brilliant Site! Just browsing through, but definitely warrants regular visits. My garden is a disgrace, so your site should hopefully provide all I need - advice and humour!

I love your site - practical, informative and humorous, without being prissy, patronising or pedantic. Marvelous stuff - keep up the good work! I will definitely be recommending you to the Web section of Gardener's World magazine.

I discovered you by accident a few months ago and have enjoyed every visit since then, I wish you a long and successful web presence.

Thanks v much Paul - for brilliant advice I couldn't find anywhere.

Dear Paul , Just wanted to say how appropriate the 'editorial' was this month. We garden to save our sanity in a world gone mad over the past few months ! For me its about healing and a great restorative for the soul , Ms Greer's quote is so very true . Take care - seasonal good wishes. Michael

This is a really excellent site. Incredibly easy to navigate around and fantastically informative.

A good and informative website
, something I feel will be an asset to present and future gardeners.

I am very impressed with your gardening site - have just spent several hours looking and was determined not to miss anything. Have taken copious notes as I am planning the planting of my front garden. Thank you.

Very good site for interest and information.
Congratulations on providing a source of gardening info.


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