A Garden Cure – Writers Block

Fall is typically associated with the end of the growing season and time to repair the garden for Winter. It’s Autumn when I often find myself with a little free time to spend on my garden blog, a few new articles and a long overdue website revamp.

I struggle to find my voice and often end up with several articles in draft that may or may not be revisited but worse still I end up starting an article and going completely off track. Yet with so many great Garden bloggers out there its easy to get lost in the mix and all the advice strongly points to applying a personal informative approach to your writing style. So here goes…

My sporadic writers block although partially to blame on the weather and seasonal workload, is also due to the fact that I feel like I’m still searching for my focus. I find my best ideas for articles come to me while my mind is calmed by working in the Garden. So I ordered some winter salad leaves to sow in our cold frame as micro greens. My new garden and first home garden for many years now, is small and sad. It lacks character, colour or structure in-fact it’s a blank canvas. My first project to clear back all the debris, hard prune the grape vive, reduce the height of the sour Polish cherry.

Herb’s and aromatic will be the first to be planted in the fall with less hardy varieties planted in the Spring, I’m told Philly winters can be harsh so no point planting anything that cannot withstand the snow and ice until the first signs of Spring.


Having made a huge lifestyle change over the last few weeks has meant I have had to register as a permanent US resident and get my social security number, bank account etc all in order.

Next I need to re take my driving license and purchase a car for road trips to farmland and coastal regions of the Garden State and to the much awaited North Pennsylvania.

Mountains Blue Ridge Virginia Shenandoah Valley

Closer to home I’m keeping an eye on the horticultural movers and shakers in and around Philadelphia, The City of Brotherly Love. It’s Love of a good man who brought me stateside, our re-union long-awaited took several years in its preparation but a few short months after our visa application, I had an interview date for a month later when we were approved.

I believe strongly in destiny and that it’s something we have the ability to mold, strength of character and determination plus the desire to grow is offered us all at different stages in our lives! How we respond is determined by our immediate influences often tipping the scales.

So wordy wise and all that it’s now that I find myself at a crossroads, my focus has for as long as I can remember all about my immigration and it’s only now that I have my ID card (never had one of these before) my social security number (I guess that’s like a National Insurance Number?)  My permanent residency card (green card) plus my passport. I’m all ID out and ready to find a job!

The crossroad comes as I decide where to funnel my focus? I think having a diverse career in the international horticultural industry affords me the opportunity to focus my skill set in a new direction? I’ve always enjoyed teaching, I’m a good communicator and have worked closely with people of all ages, abilities and cultural backgrounds.

Urban redevelopment projects, community gardens, schools and businesses are encouraged to promote a greener, environmentally conscious community of gardeners growing in Philadelphia.

The horticultural industry is quite different here than my experiences with the sectors of UK and it’s here that I hope to pursue interest and subsequent employment with the PHS, Pennsylvania Horticultural Society.

Right now my husband and I are enjoying some quality time, furnishing and decorating our home, it’s only been a month and we have managed to achieve so much in just four weeks. I’ve even had time for some baking.

rush cookies igrowhort

Focusing on our health and fitness has been a major focus of both mine and my hubby since he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s almost 8 years ago now! We attend the gym together, walk together explore the city, take in a show but best of all we like to stay home, cook some tasty vegetarian meals, watch a movie.

The next few weeks will determine my career direction, having already applied for two high-profile vacancies I anticipate interviews will be forthcoming and there’s the horticultural consultancy service to consider? It’s been an exciting few weeks, a new country, a new home, a beautiful fall. Robert has ensured I have felt incredibly welcomed from the moment I greeted him at the airport, by our neighbours, family and friends. It’s been a busy time for us both and I’ve even make a new friend.

new friends-igrowhort-cat

You can follow Rascal and his antics on our Instagram page, we’d love to hear from you and hope you enjoy my gardening journey of love, life and learning.

For those of you left wondering why figs? Besides the fact that they are a healthy nutritious largely misunderstood fruit, they are a known laxative! Enough said so I will probably have verbal diarrhea as I attempt a no holes barred approach to my writing (far from grammatically correct) style goes. Wish me luck!

Grow with me on


Stephen Pryce-Lea

Head Gardener and International Horticultural Consulatant




“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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