The Frustrated Gardener Celebrates 10 Happy Years

Reading time 7 minutes

It’s a sorry state of affairs when you overlook your own birthday but that’s precisely what I’ve gone and done! The Frustrated Gardener reached its tenth anniversary yesterday, June 6th, while I was busy ploughing through a pile of work that accumulated over the Jubilee weekend.

When I composed my first short post, duplicated in full below, little did I think that I would still be blogging ten years later: indeed, I barely understood what blogging was. And yet I read the two paragraphs and note that very little has changed. I still have a garden that’s smaller than my ambitions, I am still collecting plants with abandon and I never have enough time to spend outside. Happily, the pleasure I get from gardening has only increased, helped by having The Beau and our dogs Max and Millie in my life.

So often I find myself in the garden, mulling over new ideas and plans for future seasons. So, when rain stopped play this afternoon, I decided to finally take the plunge and set up a blog to share the real love of my life – my garden and all the wonderful plants in it.

So, why “frustrated”? Well, that would be down to a number of things. To begin with, my heart says it wants to garden acres, rather than the few small but perfectly formed square metres I actually have. A home for all those dream plants, for trees that will outlive me, and for vast prairie-like swathes of lush vegetation. Meanwhile, my head knows that those few metres already keep me incredibly busy, having created a space that’s the converse of low maintenance – an idea I have never had a lot of time for! So, I continue to give in to my plant kleptomania, buying plants and sowing seeds, just for the sheer joy of it and hoping, one day, that dream of a big garden (and time to tend to it) comes true. Until then, I hope you enjoy my reflections on the many pleasures and challenges of creating a small garden.

Although so much is familiar, life has moved gently on. In 2012 The Watch House was a weekend home – now it’s where I live full time. Another cottage was bolted on between 2015 and 2016, giving us the library, garden room, two further bedrooms and a second garden, dubbed the Gin & Tonic Garden. In January 2020, just before the pandemic took hold, we took on an allotment, not realising how fortunate we would soon feel to have a refuge and focus during the lockdowns. And then, last year, I went through the biggest change of my adult life, leaving employment to start my own business. That story is only a few months old and who knows how it might end. Change is good, necessary and welcome. I am thankful that much has changed for the better.

As for the next ten years, I hope that my now shared dream of a bigger garden, ideally in Cornwall, may be realised in that time. I’d love for Dan Cooper Garden to be a thriving and much-loved entity providing garden lovers everywhere with the best products and advice. I remain realistic about the prospect of success in the current climate but can do no more than put my heart, soul and every ounce of energy and ingenuity into my new enterprise.

What I feel more sure of now is that The Frustrated Gardener will still be going strong – perhaps in a different format if blogs have been superseded by something else by then! Either that or our attention spans will have grown so short that no one reads by 2032!

Tulipa ‘Attila’ and Narcissus ‘Decoy’

I feel incredibly lucky to have followers that have been steadfast since June 6th 2012, as well as thousands of readers who have joined the gang more recently. Without you, there would be no blog and almost certainly no new career. It’s only because of your support and encouragement that I’ve persevered and, dare I say, flourished. So, while it’s perhaps typical to toast the birthday boy, my toast is to you and the next ten years of The Frustrated Gardener.

With very special thanks to photographer Sarah Cuttle for the glorious images that illustrate this special anniversary post.

The Frustrated Gardener and Millie in the Jungle Garden in May 2022.

Categories: blogging, Bulbs, Container gardening, Flowers, Our Coastal Garden, Photography, Small Gardens, Uncategorized

Posted by The Frustrated Gardener

Greetings Garden Lover! Welcome to my blog. Plants are my passion and this is my way of sharing that joyful emotion with the world. You'll find over 1000 posts here featuring everything from abutilons to zinnias. If you've enjoyed what you've read, please leave a comment and consider subscribing using the yellow 'Follow' button in the bottom, right-hand corner of your screen. You will receive an email every time I post something new.

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37 comments On "The Frustrated Gardener Celebrates 10 Happy Years"

  1. Congratulations Dan from me, one of this year’s recruits. I joined after your appearance on‘Talking Dirty’ with Thordis and Alan. One of my best gardening acquisitions is your gardener’s aprons. Very much enjoy your newsletter.
    Best wishes,
    Hunstanton. Norfolk 🌻😎

    1. Wonderful David. I really enjoy making the ‘Talking Dirty’ podcasts because Alan and Thordis are so easy to chat to. I think that’s the beauty of it – it’s like a meeting of minds. Hopefully we’ll do a chrysanthemum episode later this year …. Or perhaps more dahlias?

      I am so pleased that you’re happy with the apron – I hope it serves you well. Very best wishes. Dan

    May all your dreams come true and thanks for the great blog, something to look forward to arriving in my inbox. Love and blessings from Austria 🇦🇹 formerly Truro, Cornwall, Elisabeth

    1. That’s quite a contrast Elisabeth! However, both locations must offer a good quality of life. Truro seems to be growing beyond all recognition. I hate to think what my granny would have had to say about it. She’d be appalled by how busy St Agnes has become.

      Thank you very much for the good wishes. I’m so happy that my posts brighten your day, as the comments do mine. Dan

  3. Happy Birthday. I love your blog and had the pleasure of visiting your beautiful gardens last year for the NGS open day and was very inspired, also being a Broadstairs resident. Keep up the excellent work and good luck with the DCG venture!

  4. Happy Birthday and Congratulations! I’ve only recently discovered your blog from south-west France but enjoy your take on gardening life very much. Here’s to the next ten years, I’ll be following you all the way.

    1. Thank you Carol. It’s lovely to hear that the blog resonates with you in South West France where I imagine it’s a lot warmer and perhaps drier than here? Then again, don’t we just love to get an insight into how things are elsewhere? The very suggestion of South West France has me imagining wonderful wooded landscapes and river valleys, vineyards, great wine and fabulous cheese. Please don’t disillusion me 🤣

  5. Just love your blogs….and I agree with your dream of Cornwall !!
    What is the beautiful pink plant in the foreground of the picture?
    Cheers, Rosie.

  6. Congrats. I wish you success in your endeavours. It all starts with a dream, followed by a lot of hard work, and you are not afraid of either.

  7. It always gives me great pleasure to read your blog and see your beautiful garden. I wish you every success in the future and congratulate you on your 10th blogiversary 🎉

  8. Congratulations and Happy “B” Birthday Dan, for such a wonderful blog – you have bought so much joy and information to us novice gardeners over the years. Its not easy to consistently post like you do and esecially when you are working full time. My darling mum loved receiving her blog ‘newsletter’ on the email and especially enjoyed the beautiful photos you included. I can’t believe its been 10 years! Thank you again for sharing. Look forward to another 10 years of wonderful garden info and pics. xx from Oz.

  9. Sincere congratulations Dan! I’m always delighted when one of your blogs appears in my inbox!
    Thank you , Chris

  10. Congratulations Dan and wishing you many more years of gardening happiness for yourself and for the joy you bring to others.

  11. Ah! Congratulations! It must be so gratifying to have maintained it for so long, even if a bit frustrating in regard to garden space. Goodness though, like I tell my colleague down south (who lives on an urban parcel within the Los Angeles region), you likely have more in your garden than I have in many acres.

  12. Congratulations on keeping your blog going for ten years. I always enjoy reading it even though I don’t always comment. It has often given me gardening ideas, and has certainly created ‘plant envy’ and been responsible for some of the paintings in my own garden! I would love to visit your garden one day, but as I get older that seems less likely. I’ll surely continue to admire it from afar.

  13. Many congratulations. I so enjoy your blog – it’s more like having a chat with a friend. Also loving the shop and spent a happy hour using my Twool to tie in my roses and so pleased that it’s not only British but from Dartmoor sheep’s wool, well, floats my boat. Can thoroughly recommend a move to Cornwall, obviously!

  14. Thank you Dan for your always interesting blogs and beautiful photographs. Have been with you for several years and whilst I’ll never have your kind of immaculate garden, I can look on and admire in the coming years…

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