Janie Harris

Janie Harris

West Country Gardener - “I upcycle and repurpose everything.”

What are the things you love most about being a gardener?

Being outside & doing something physical.

How would you sum up your philosophy to gardening in a couple of sentences?

Enthusiasm for whatever task, whether its, handweeding, mulching, pruning rambler roses, endless bulb planting on heavy wet clay!

There is always something new to learn, it could be a new plant, or new way of tackling something.Its important to embrace challenges, whatever they may be.

For the keen gardeners amongst our readers what would be your tips this winter to sow the seeds for even more beautiful gardens next spring?

Take note of what plants grew well, and plant more of the same.

However small or big your plot, try to have plants that flower all year round, for the bees.

Plant a fruit tree, they don’t need much space.

Bare root Roses, plant now. 

Think of winter evergreen shrubs that are scented.

 Leave the plot to naturally decay, rather than tidying up.

What matters most to you when choosing your clothes?

These days their fit and comfort. But when I was younger it was al about the latest fashion. I up-cyle and repurpose everything – my Original Fibres smock being a perfect example, which I shortened and re hemmed to make it more practical to garden in and after a lot of outdoor use redyed as well. 

Give us a sense of what your dream garden would look like?

Well actually my tiny front garden, after 24 years is my dream. But I would love a small orchard of mixed fruits trees. Space for 3 compost bins. An area of prairie planting. A rose garden with herbs. A wild area including a pond. Many different specimens of trees. Grass & brick paths. Lots of seats in different shapes and forms. All this would be divided with hedging & wooden structures. The list is endless, but its all in my head!


  • Favourite Restaurant: The Kings Arms, Stockland Devon
  • Favourite Holiday destination: Exmoor
  • Favourite Musician: Don Henley
  • Prize Possession: Secateurs  
  • Biggest Indulgence: A gorgeous pair of boots that I haven’t even worn yet!