Posted by: lialeendertz | January 7, 2010

A handful of plums

Last summer a friend told me about two plots taken over by a local community group on her allotment site. An ambitious and well-meaning lot, they put up signs for their fellow plot holders. ‘We are growing food organically and with care for the environment,’ read one. ‘We are re-localising food production and placing power back into the hands of the local community,’ went another. Impressive stuff, but behind the signs the plots were chest high in a sea of brambles. Bindweed twined mockingly around these good intentions.

And so I have called this blog ‘Midnight brambling’ partly just to keep me on my toes: a constant reminder that – grand plans aside – this will all come to nowt if i dont keep at it. If I were of a technical bent I would create a forest of brambles that would slowly grow up from the base of this page, only to be beaten back by posting. But I’m really not. The name will have to do.

On a more poetic note, it is also partly inspired by a passage from one of my favourite books, the magical Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury. The book is about a 12-year old boy, Douglas Spaulding, and the passage reads as follows: ‘A whole summer lay ahead to cross of the calendar, day by day. Like the goddess Siva in the travel books, he saw his hands jump everywhere, pluck sour apples, peaches, and midnight plums.’

I love that idea of walking out and plucking something from my garden at any time of the day or night; it’s the sort of garden I want to create. But calling it ‘Midnight plums’ would attract entirely the wrong kind of traffic. ‘Midnight brambling’ it is.

You might – if you’ve really got nothing better to do – question why I have a need to have a blog of my own. It’s not like I am short on places to express myself: The Guardian Gardening Blog will have me anytime I like, and I do love the passion of the thing and the ferocity of the arguments that rage on it when we get it right, Guardian readers being what they are. But the truth is I have fallen head over heels for personal blogs. I love the intimacy of them, and the ability the best bloggers have to create their own little worlds. I dont know yet if I’m up to the task, but this is it, my first step into a world I have admired and hung around the skirts of for the past year. Have a look around. Come back again soon.



  1. Welcome to blog world. Looking forward to reading more posts. Great name for the blog by the way

  2. Oh look, I am the first to comment (just watch me get pipped to the post now). I was just going out the door to buy some discounted bulbs and had to whip in here first. Welcome to the blog world. I love personal blogs too. Like the title.

  3. It’s nice to have a personal blog too, isn’t? On it you can write whatever you want, no deadline and no editors breathing down your neck.

    Enjoy your very own blog Lia, I know I do.



  4. I thought it was based on the Rolling Stones ‘Midnight Rambler” but the briefest trawl through the lyrics* made me realise that was probably a mistake and it was perhaps not the image you were after.
    Whatever, it is lovely to have you- with or without plums.

    * “And if you catch the Midnight Brambler
    I’ll steal your mistress from under your nose
    Well,go easy on your cold fandango
    I’ll stick my knife right down your throat”

  5. Hurray – a new bloggywog I love your picture and Midnight Brambling is a very evocative name full of excitement and promise.

  6. Very nice. Look forward to returning frequently. Especially when you’ve got your shed up and running.

  7. I do like your header picture
    And I am looking forward to reading more in your own little world.

  8. Welcome to blogland Lia – good to see you 🙂

    I love your last paragraph – worth you starting up for that alone.

    Us mere blogging mortals had better watch out.

  9. Aw, you guys! Thank you so much for leaving all these lovely and encouraging comments. I am glad the name has gone down well. It is the thing that has taken me most time, but in the end i just decided I had to go for something and hope you’d all get used to it in the end, what Mark D calls the ‘Echo & the Bunnymen’ school of naming.
    Cant believe I didnt think of ‘Midnight Rambler’ James, but I dont mind the connection, gives me a bit of a dangerous edge, I reckon, which can never be a bad thing.
    The picture is by my mum! It is, she says, roughly based on my garden, if I lived next to a field, and had much smarter topiary…

  10. You have turned to the dark side I see.

    That’s it now – you do realise that don’t you?

    You blog, you are a blogger…. and there’s no turning back.

    PS Does your mum do commissions?


    • How remiss of me. My mum does indeed do commissions, but she is terribly good and terribly expensive. You may gaze upon her wonderful work though, here
      I must work out how to do the clicky on the picture thing and send people straight there, especially as she did this one for free…

      • You need to use the Image widget for clicky pics – dont know if it works with blog headers in WP, but worth putting 1 in your sidebar if not.

      • Ahh, but I see you know that already 🙂

        Must pay more attention 😉

  11. Oooh need to improve my poor blog,brilliant.

  12. Hi Lia,

    Congratulations on your new blog!

    Brilliant first post. I also really like the picture by your mum.

    Look forward to following.


  13. I’m not normally one to go with the popular majority as I always striving to be a bit different. But I have to say it’s lovely to have you joining the blogging fraternity and I look forward to learning lots from your words of wisdom.

    (p.s. sorry for all this lyrical waxing. think I’m having what’s known as a ‘designer’ moment!)

  14. not a bad response for a first post, I didnt have any comments for weeks when I started blogging. Thanks for the follow

  15. Looking forward to reading more of your personal ramblings and bramblings

  16. Oh at last! Love the header too. Enjoy your own corner of the web.

  17. Yay! – at last you have your own blog…Love the title…very inspiring….look forward to coming back often.

  18. How exciting! Your header is totally marvellous…is that of your garden? V.excited about reading more of your posts!

  19. About time! I’ve always wondered why you didn’t have a blog of your own. Looking forward to more.

  20. I always knew that you were a welcoming and generous bunch (and particularly good looking and beautifully dressed too, if you dont mind me saying), but i am quite blown away by all these lovely comments. In fact, I am slightly concerned that I may not be able to beat this. This may well turn out to be the highlight of my blogging career. Ah well, it’s been fun…

  21. Such a beautiful picture and a new blog, how exciting! I’m really looking forward to following you.

    RO 😀

  22. Ha ha, at last. Lia and the Bunnymen in digital print at last. Makes me want to rive te tractor, topper in tow, over all the trees, bushes and shrubs and start again just so i can start a new blog. How great to have a blank tinterweb to post into….lovely design, lovely picture, the blogging had better not be shit or it’ll really show x

  23. Great title-the mark of a true journalist.

    May your blog develop as exponentially as brambles do.I am sure the fruit will be more pleasant and the barbs less painfull!
    Look forward to following you.

    Best Wishes
    Robert Webber
    The Hegarty Webber Partnership

  24. Impressed.

  25. I can’t say much that’s not been said — lovely to see you in the garden blogging world. I can’t think of a single other gardening blog out there that has custom, atmospheric, original artwork for the header. Definitely distinguishes you from the get-go.

    – Sheila Averbuch

  26. […] Lia Leendertz has started a marvellous new gardening blog. […]

  27. Hmmm, I have only just found this & now I am feeling grumpy. I started blogging only a relatively short while ago & although I don’t do it to get lots of people reading it, it’s NOT FAIR!

    Seriously, I really enjoyed your first blog & look forward to more.

  28. A bit of a late response, but I haven’t felt like blogging or commenting of late. Good luck with it all – I hope your brambling is fruitful.

  29. […] without ripping everything out and bringing in allotment-style raised beds. I want, as I have said before, a garden I can just wander out into and pluck food from, forage from when I want something to eat. […]

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