Gardening – Enables Lifes Balance

There’s no doubt about it!

Gardening is incredibly rewarding.

A chore for some, it’s actually about balancing a few hours mowing, weeding and hedge cutting each week, often to keep up with the Jones’s, although for other’s gardening is a life’s work.


Yet largely mis-understood, gardening for many is actually a life’s work, an artist paints, a farmer tends to crops and livestock, a gardener grows!

Gardening quickly becomes embedded in your lifestyle, it’s  the first thing on your mind when you wake, it’s the last thing you think about before falling asleep and if like me then you will probably end up dreaming about gardens in your sleep.

It’s a passion that never waiver’s, an interest that never dies! Gardens grow they transform neighbourhoods they excite, inform and stimulate the senses, best of all they keep us active, mind fully healthy and full of beans.

Energy creates energy or so my Mother reminds me on a regular basis however, there’s so much more to gardening then just the physical stimulation. Gardening invites enthusiasm, it welcomes motivation, inspiration and desires, there’s a passion to grow! I don’t mean just growing plants, it’s about growing as a person, developing your own interest’s, teaching yourself better disciplines and daily routines.

I look at Gardening as caring about your immediate surroundings and the effect it has on those around you, about passion for your environment and an appreciation for nature, the countryside and ecological issues.

I recently read an article that questioned the value of arts, crafts and gardening, all lumped together in an attempt to almost de-value each and every industry purely because they do not necessarily generate large sums of money, apparently essential for quality of life these days!

Well I beg to differ! Value is not about money or cost (although that said have you noticed how in the last 5-10 years prices of plants and gardening supplies have rocketed, soaring ticket prices for plants and tools are marketing gardening as a luxury that many cannot or will not be able to afford) I digress that’s another article but truly with robot’s mowing lawns and vacuuming the lounge carpet on demand, what will you be doing with all the spare time on your manicured hands?

I’m proud of my calloused hands, scrubbing the dirt from under my fingers nails after a day spent in the garden, reminds me of a job well done!


If technology was to replace practical skills like gardening then we are all going to get some rather expensive therapy bills from our psychiatrist! Gardening for me is my chance to connect with nature, to become totally absorbed in my surroundings, wether listening to bird song or the buzz of bees as I’m knee-deep in vegetation or from the enjoyment I get from a friendly male blackbird that thinks I’m digging simply to provide him with worms.


I feel incredibly fortunate to call myself a gardener and will continue to do so with pride!

Over 30 years in this a rewarding lifelong career of love, life and learning and even though I am between jobs at this time (having just left a prestigious country Estate in Cheshire to pack up all my belongings and join my husband in the USA) my routine may  have changed my habits and disciplines have not, I’m still up at 5am everyday, I’m still gardening, when I’m not packing or sharing with my fellow gardeners.

I’m finding my voice, the last few years my confidence has grown, my desire to teach gets stronger and the feedback from my team, colleagues and associates is encouraging. I’ve always wanted to be the driving force that takes my gardening career to new levels!

I’m not interested in celebrity status, I’m not a lover of garden TV shows for the masses full of mis-information and frankly presenters who should know better!

I believe in encouraging non dictatorship role that encourages and informs rather than instructs, after all gardening has survived generations and will continue to flourish long after our desire to be famous!

It will adapt to climate change, it will modify and survive the storms, flooding and globally warming that seems so common place in our troubled World.

We live, we die, we regenerate, we flourish, we grow to inform, educate and with any luck leave a legacy for others to enjoy!

Find me in a garden where I will be at peace! Nature all around me, my body active my mind at rest.

“A lifetime Gardening in Gardens, I for one won’t be needing a therapist, I’m almost 50! I feel fitter, stronger, focused and healthier than ever!” 

In 2017 I gave up my my gym membership and worked out at home, saving me over £600 a year, I became vegetarian and grew my own organic vegetables an average saving of £30 a week, another £500 a year saved. I don’t use my car unless I have to choosing to walk to the store for groceries.

I balance my life and influence those around me in an attempt to instill a love of gardens and gardening, after all it’s much cheaper than any therapist!

Grow with me on


Stephen Pryce-Lea

Head Gardener and International Horticultural Consultant




“It’s a beautiful thing when a career and a passion grow together, when you find it in a Garden it’s like finding Paradise“

iGrowHort – A Head Gardener’s Horticultural Journey of love, life and learning.




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About Head Gardener 291 Articles
Award winning, 40 something year old professional plantsman and horticulturalist with National Trust, private parks and estate management background. My vast plant knowledge and hands on techinical experience, afforded me the opportunity to work in various horticultural landscapes, in the UK, USA & Eastern Europe. Having worked in both garden retail & the design service industry gave me the practical diversity and managerial skill set, required for running a large prestigious gardens and stately homes. I strongly believe knowledge is to be shared and have worked closely with people and staff of all ages and abilities keen to develop their passion for gardening, including groups of children, special needs and adults. I have hosted guided walks, talks and tours for those keen to learn about cultivated and wild plants, garden development, history and design. As an member of the NNCPG and National Trust, I am actively involved in the preservation of several important plant collections both in public and private gardens throughout the UK. “It’s a beautiful thing when a career and a passion grow together, in a garden it’s paradise” Follow @IGrowHort on GardenTags. Stephen is passionate about gardening as Head Gardener with a team of ten staff he manages a prestigious Cheshire country estate of 55 acres, inc wild flower meadows, woodland, organic kitchen and formal gardens. Follow Stephen today”


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