Hi I’m Melanie and I set up my business selling seeds and happiness in 2020.
I have loved gardening since I was a very small child, helping my dad in his vegetable patch or following behind my grandmother as she selected tomatoes from her warm greenhouse or picked armfuls of fragrant sweet peas for her house.
As I grew up gardening became ever more important to me. It’s been a sanctuary when times were tough, a place to enjoy and play in when my own children were small. A space to grow vegetables to feed my family and to grow flowers to feed the soul!
And of course, a place to encourage wildlife in to live alongside us.
Gardening has always been essential to my well-being and never more so throughout many years of debilitating joint pain that I suffered.
At this point in my life, I was very limited in what I could do in the garden, but I needed it more than ever. I needed it for peace and tranquillity, to watch the insects busy at work, I needed it for colour and for hope.
Nothing brings as much positivity and hope as sowing a few seeds and then the excitement of watching them germinate, grow and bloom…..it makes you dream of new possibilities and hope for the future.
6 years ago, after many, many appointments I was eventually diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis and was finally able to get the help I needed to start to recover. With the correct medication the pain has subsided, and movement has returned.
With this relief came a dream and a desire to bring gardening to others. To inspire people to pick up their trowel and to reap the huge physical and mental benefits that gardening brings.
I wanted to get everyone (whether they had an enormous garden or just a small balcony) to get outside, sowing some seeds and beginning their gardening journey towards positivity, joy and happiness.
The dream was to sell beautiful, healthy flower, veg, herb and chilli seeds. And so, in November 2020, during the second lockdown, I made my dream a reality.
I named my business Bishy Barnabees Cottage Garden because I live in the gorgeous Norfolk countryside and here in Norfolk ladybirds are known as Bishy Barnabees!
And ladybirds are truly a gardeners best friend. Gobbling up hundreds of pesky aphids in their lifetime and so helping enormously with organic pest control.
8 months after setting up I decided to take a leap of faith and left my teaching job to concentrate full time on Bishy Barnabees Cottage Garden…..to let my creative side take over and to make the business a place of inspiration, motivation and positivity.
The business has grown (organically of course!) and I now sell fabulous boxes of carefully curated seeds as special gifts for gardeners.
Sustainability is at the heart of everything I do and produce.
I garden organically, I make my own comfrey fertiliser, I encourage into the garden as many pollinators and wildlife as I can, and all my packaging is either recyclable or compostable.
In my experience gardening and well-being go hand in hand and so I am on a mission to get everyone out into the garden. To find out what makes them tick and what will bring them joy and satisfaction.
Is it growing vegetables to feed their family? Or creating a cut flower garden so they can pick bunches of flowers to gift to loved ones?
Is it wanting a place to rest and recuperate or a place to work through the frustrations of the day?
Whatever it is you can be sure you’ll find it in the garden!
To discover more about me and my business you can visit my website
Or follow me on Instagram