Rachel The Gardener

is creating Garden advice, encouragement and How To: plus Botany and Tree ID

About Rachel The Gardener

Here's my situation. Just after the turn of the century, I rebelled against working in sales, doing a job which I finally admitted (to myself) that I hated: a job with a ton of responsibility but no authority, where I was under huge pressure to get it right, every time, but I couldn't do anything about being let down by all the other elements in the chain.

Familiar story, huh?

Prior to this mind-numbing sales job, I worked for Nissan, the car company, organising vehicles for their fleet events. I loved it! I only left because there was a hateful bully-girl there, Fat Laura, who - frankly - bullied me out of the job. Never again: I now stand up to bullies wherever I find them, so there!

Realising that I loved the events far more than I loved the paperwork, I decided to go and work as an Estate Manager at one of the venues I used to work with. In order to do this, I needed to learn about various aspects of that job, so I went on as many courses as I could: chainsaw training, woodland management, coppicing, working with willows - anything I thought would be useful. I'd be in charge of the gardeners, so I decided to work for a year as a self-employed gardener, so that I would know where they cut the corners, and would understand their limits and frustrations.

Well, that was 17 years ago and I'm still gardening: instead of going on to manage an estate, I've stayed firmly in the dirty-finger-nails department, and I love it!

Being me, I had to go a bit above and beyond being “just” a gardener: I was head-hunted into a role as Consultant Forensic Horticulturalist (impressed, huh?!), and gained a Diploma in Botany.

I started publishing Field Guides for Botanists, which led to an approach from the Field Studies Council, and I now run Tree ID courses for them at their centres in Bushy Park, London, and in Amersham. Bucks. I also published some gardening books (just look up Rachel the Gardener in Amazon, you'll find all my eBooks there), including the truly astounding How To Be A Self-Employed Gardener, which lead on to being asked by the Women's Farming and Gardening Association (also open to men), to run one-day seminars on the subject, for their members. I've been doing that for five years now, and I love helping new gardeners into running their own business.

Two mornings a week, I work with my Trainee Gardener Programme, where I take one lucky soul and train them for a year, in all the practical aspects of being a gardener.

Busy, busy, huh? *grins*

In between all this lovely working and teaching, I write my website, which you obviously know about, otherwise you wouldn't be here. Most of my articles are How To ones: I love to teach, in case you hadn't already noticed!

But running a blog is annoyingly expensive, not just in hosting, and maintenance, but in the sheer time it takes to keep creating helpful new articles.

I tried Adsense, and for a while made some very welcome pennies from that, but most of my readers don't like adverts on the site, and who can blame them?

Some bloggers raise funds by marketing things: you know, you've seen them, “buy this book/product/whatever, follow the link and I'll get a slice of what you pay.”

I'm not keen on that.

Then I discovered Patreon. At first I felt faintly ill at the thought of asking readers to pay to read it - not least because I hate it when doing research (which is how most people find my blog), and you find just what you're looking for, but then a banner pops up saying “Oh no you don't! Cough up the cash or we won't let you read it!”

But Patreon is different - you can choose to pay, or you can choose to read it for free.

Your choice!

In which case, why would anyone pay, I wondered?

Well, I don't know for sure why, but I'm humbled and grateful that a small proportion of you lovely people out there, are prepared to push a couple of quid my way now and again.

I don't do official "rewards" for patrons yet, other than answering their questions very, very promptly *grins*, but I'm planning to create How To videos, which will be exclusive for my patrons.

I'd also like to say that those who decide to support me. should never feel weird about ending their support at some later point. We know how tight a life budget can be, and being a supporter for any amount of time is a great help.

Anyway, thanks for reading, please consider joining the ranks of my patrons, and thank you to everyone that has, is, or will be a Patron!

Rachel the Gardener

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