New Beginnings

Well, I have some news. I’m moving to America. Quite soon actually. In truth, next Tuesday.

We’ve been thinking about it for about a year. My husband is American and so we had begun discussing the possibility of moving to America ever since we got married eight years ago. We thought that we might move quite quickly but then life just got in the way. We had two amazing little boys and started to settle down in Bath. Everything was lovely for a time and then my husband started a company that was based in Florida and things started to get complicated.

Not only that but our oldest boy was scheduled to start school this September and with the idea that we might go before that happened we started to plan our move. Everyone in our family has an American passport, except me, and so I needed a visa – a long and tedious process that I won’t bore you with here. But… last week I finally got the nod from the embassy and the rusty cogs began to move.

Now, international removals are booked, cupboards are sorted, suitcases half packed and animals distributed. It’s really happening.

Where are we going? Can you guess? Think about the greenest, lushest, most creative, environmentally friendly, historic, forward thinking city in America. All those things you buy off Etsy – where do many of them come from? Think cakes, food carts, brew pubs, and family-friendly neighbourhoods. It’s Portland, Oregon of course! And anyway who can say no to a city that has the most amount of cycle paths in the United States and is home to the US rose test garden. Yes, Portland is for us.

I’ll be sad to say goodbye to my tiny garden here. Especially, the permanent residents like the Peach tree that I’ve nurtured from a meer whip to a fully trained fan. And of course the Grape vine and Pears and my brick coldframe and my forced Rhubarb. Hmmm… yes I’ll miss all of that.

But…my new garden is bigger. Big enough for a greenhouse at least (hallelujah!) and maybe there’ll be room in the conservatory for a citrus tree or two? I’m very excited about learning to do new things and experiencing new plants that I’ve never grown before.

The climate isn’t that different to the UK. It still rains a lot in Portland but the summers are slightly warmer which means I can grow more Mediterranean type vegetables like Water Melon, Chilli Peppers and Beefsteak Tomatoes. Hopefully I won’t have such a problem with blight!

So it’s goodbye to Blighty. What will I miss – oh just everything! The people, the weather, the media, Haws watering cans, Nutscene twine, Chelsea Flower Show, Monty Don, the BBC, decent porridge, subtly, my cat, the National Trust, London, CBeebies, The Guardian, Jeremy Paxman, you know the usual.

But I’m going on an adventure. And you can’t go on an adventure without taking yourself out of your comfort zone. So here I go.

I’ll be posting here about my new garden. What I plan to change, what I plan to keep. What I grow and where I plan to put me’ new greenhouse. Oh yes, there’ll be plenty to read about on My Tiny Plot over the coming months. So stay right where you are.

61 Comments on “New Beginnings

  1. I’ve been reading your blog for about 3 years and thank you for the both entertaining and informative writing you have done. Wishing you a safe and pleasant emigration!

    I almost feel like England is losing a treasure, but hey! you will carry on blogging there, woohoo!!

    Good luck :)


  2. hope your adventure is as amazing as mine has been from canada to here!! (it was because of a man too!! ;) i’m SURE it will be!! xx
    ps: you will LOVE portland–promise!

  3. Ooh what an adventure! I look forward to reading about your stateside garden. Best of luck x

  4. Ooooooo exciting! Been reading your blog for a while and love it. Look forward to see what you can grow in Portland!

  5. good luck with your move – look forward to seeing and reading about your new garden once you are settled. Wow what a change ! mc :)

  6. Hello,

    I’ve been reading for about 6 months now and LOVE your blog.

    Just wanted to wish you all the very best for the big move. I’m really looking forward to reading all about the new garden and lifestyle – I’m a tad jealous too!

    Good luck x

  7. Wow! Momentous news indeed.
    Such an amazing adventure and it will be great for us all to read along as you discover your new garden and your new country! I’m looking forward to this new perspective, but can’t help feeling sad that we won’t see your beautiful Bath garden any more. Thank you for all the inspiration so far and good luck with your move :-)

  8. Adios mtp. Exciting news indeed. Hallelujah to the new greenhouse and all the wonderful crops you’ll/we’ll discover. All the best with the move and to a smooth transition. Good luck x

  9. Portland is probably the one place here in the U.S. that is most similiar (at least climate-wise) to the U.K. And if you’re moving from Bath, you’ll love the artsy / culture vibe there. It’s a very cool city. Have fun!

  10. That IS taking us by surprise!

    Once you’ve settled, I”ll contact very special Portland (and – style) friends – Eric and Juliet Miller. They are very active in the Portland community.
    If you can give me your mail adress seperately I’ll send you their contact details.

    Wishing you all the best!

  11. All the best in the US. Remember you can still read the Guardian on-line at – unlike Rupert Murdoch, the Grauniad hasn’t yet put up a paywall!

    There is something about west coast cities (I live in Perth, Western Australia). I’ll follow your progress with interest.

  12. My husband and I just spent a wonderful 5 days in Portland and fell in love with it. What a great adventure for you – and a perfect choice. Looking forward to your blog entries on your new garden and life on the West Coast. Welcome.

  13. How exciting! Looking forward to lots of exciting news of your new garden. Bon voyage! John

  14. Blimey! How exciting. Look forward to hearing how your new garden develops. I lived for a year in Vancouver (Canada) when younger, and I do remember the rain as well as warmer summer months along the west coast. All those lovely veg you’ll be able to grow! Very best wishes for a smooth move.

  15. Wow! How exciting, what an adventure. Look forward to hearing about your new ‘less tiny’ plot :)

  16. Hi there,

    I have been reading your blog for many years when I embarked on a (not so big) adventure of my own: leaving London for the beautiful South Coast – and an allotment!

    Alas, the allotment had to go (not enough time with two little ones) but we now have a beautiful garden with a little veg patch and have moved deeper into the country.

    I have always enjoyed your tips, advice and general thoughts and look forward to hearing all the news from Oregon!

    All the best x

  17. It’s happening at last!

    Have a wonderful adventure – having visited Oregon last year, I know you’re going to love it there :)

    I see you won’t have quite such a Tiny Plot in future – how exciting!

    Looking forward to seeing how you get on – will you be taking your lovely signature cloche with you? I can’t imagine your plot without it.

  18. Hey, Dear Founder! How exciting. Good luck to you and yours. I’m already looking forward to My Much Bigger Plot. Steve, Liverpool

  19. All the very best for your great adventure – I’m sure you will all settle very quickly. Trust the boys will really enjoy their new life in America and we all await your news once you have moved in and unpacked. Good Luck!

  20. No way! My family live in Oregon, (Grants Pass 5 hours south, but some in Portland). No one ever seems to know where it even is on the map and you’re moving there! Well, you will love Portland and I can’t wait to see what you do with your new garden. Brace yourself for Dutch Brothers Coffee (might only be encountered in southern Oregon, but you’ll find it) and when you feel like a breath of really fresh air, go to the Smith River in the redwoods for an amazing camping trip. Bandon on the coast has spectacular holey climbing rocks with neon blue anemones and pink and orange starfish. Go rafting on the Rouge River and enjoy the cheese and wine festivals where you can get smoked blue cheese truffles from Lillie Belle Farms Artisan Chocolates. Madrone Mountain winery have an amazing fortified wine for when you want a tipple, so take some along when you go!

    All the very best of luck and we all can’t wait to hear all about it.

    p.s. also I can totally sympathize with the visa bore. Very glad you’ve got the nod and again, best of luck with everything!

  21. Good luck. Have a wonderful time in Oregon. Can’t wait to hear all about your new garden.

  22. wow can’t wait to read all your news, so exited for you and good luck with your move. Amanda x

  23. Wow what an adventure, good luck to you and your family. Thanks for all the blogging over the years (and the tutorials) you were the inspiration for me to set up a blog for our allotment here in South Wales – will continue to follow you in the USA. Good luck and good growing!

  24. Have been reading your blog for several years and have loved it. Wishing you all the happiness in your new adventure and look forward to reading and seeing photos of your new much bigger plot.
    I hope whoever takes over your Tiny Plot gives it the same love and affection as you. Good Luck and Bon Voyage. xx

  25. An adventure – what bliss! Sounds so wonderful and exciting; I’m quite envious as lived in Key West as a child and would love to move back to the States. So glad you’re continuing with the blog so we can keep up with your news. Wish you a trouble free relocation and very best for your new life… and thanks for setting up UK Veg Gardeners!
    PS. Love that your husband is the first to comment!

  26. Wow! Wishing you & your family the very best of luck in the US. Looking forward to read many more stories from across the pond…new beginnings, new idea’s…always great to hear from you! :o)

  27. I am a bit envious. I would relish the move from my current digs in Houston, TX to Portlaand. I think you will find it a wonderful place, full of new gardening opportunities, some of the best hops for brewing are grown in the area, decent cultural activities, very bicycle friendly, beautiful mountains, beaches nearby and the list goes on. I am a homebrewer and love craft beers…..Portland is well represented in the craft brewing world. Safe travels and welcome …. I look forward to “My Tiny Plot 2”.

  28. What a shock for us all – but how wonderful for you! I look forward to reading about your gardening adventures States-side. Have a safe trip and I hope you all settle in quickly.

  29. I have followed your blog for several years and love it but know you will love Portland. My brother has lived there for many years and I’m a regular visitor. A wonderful place to bring up your children, good luck!

  30. Good luck with your adventure. I felt like that when I left UK for Saudi Arabia 17 years ago (people said we were mad). In the UAE now, I still miss lots about my home country (including many things on your list) but the internet and easy air travel make it less remote than even a decade ago. And it’s added richness to our lives in so many ways. I hope your adventure and new garden is a great success. I’ve followed MTP for several years now and will continue to do so for your hop across the pond.

  31. I initially found your blog when looking for advice about growing peaches, and can imagine it must be a bit sad to leave one’s garden behind. So good luck with your move and getting started over there, I’ll be looking forward to hearing how you get on.

  32. Hello, I’ve been following your blog for a while and enjoy it a great deal. It is a real inspiration. I just wanted to say ‘good luck’ on your adventure. It sounds so exciting. I look forward to reading about your life in the States. Best wishes.

  33. Hey, now thats a suprise! Hope your move goes smoothly, can’t wait to read about all your tales from across the pond! Good luck! X

  34. My very best wishes for your new adventure. I will look forward to hearing about all the different veg you can grow in your new climate.

  35. All the very best of luck for your US adventure and safe journey. Look forward to hearing all about it once you’ve found your feet – Portland, Oregon sounds just wonderful :) x

  36. Found your blog today. I want to say welcome to Oregon. I live in Corvallis about 70 miles south of Portland. My father went to school in England and always said the climate of Western Oregon is the most like England.
    Hope your blog continues and settling into your new home is as easy and comfortable as possible. I’ll enjoy following your posts. Portland is a fine small city with many talented gardeners.

  37. Congradulations! Been reading your blog from Portland for a while. I am really excited to see what you think. Happy move!


  38. Good luck! I’ve really enjoyed reading your excellent blog, and I’ll look forward to reading about all the different things you’ll be able to grow in a different climate. Not surprised you’re going to miss Paxman- Bill O’Reilly just ain’t no good!

  39. Thanks for all the lovely comments. We’re excited to get to Portland and to start exploring the neighbourhoods and gardens. I’ll be looking for a gardening club once we’re settled so if the people in Portland know of any then let me know.

  40. Wishing you the best of luck on your new adventure! I’ve been reading your blog for a few years now (when you still had your ‘tiny plot’ of an allotment). I look forward to reading all about your new garden. I hope whoever is moving into your house realises how lucky they are to have the beautiful garden you’ve created!!

  41. I log in to UKVG once a week and the first thing I read was your message – you did a good thing setting up the site – the best one around in my view – I have made lots of friends there – and that is what is is all about in my opinion. Good luck with your move – it will be exciting for all the family – and I look forward to reading all about it.

  42. Loved your blog and hope you will continue as My BIG Plot when you’re ready. Good luck.

  43. Wow! What fab news! Good luck in the new TP and what luck for the person who moves into your old TP!

    Looking forward to the new posts on the other side!

  44. Good luck with your move – your blog has been one of my favourite discoveries this year and I can’t wait to see where your gardening adventures take you.

  45. I have only recently discovered your blog and very much enjoy it. I am amazed you had time to write a post with so much happening. Good luck, it will be nice to ‘know’ someone in the US. I look forward to your future musings.

  46. I’ve been following your blog for about three years now. You have been a wonderful source of inspiration and we look forward to the little glimpses into your garden and world. We wish you the very best of luck on your new adventure! You are going to the home of my other favourite blogger, Posie gets Cosy. Best of luck and please, keep blogging!!! xxx

  47. I’ve been reading your blog from Chicago for about 5 or 6 years (though when I write that I find it hard to believe). At first I had a garden myself, but when I moved into a high-rise, lost my garden, and got married, I found all the more reason to keep reading–it’s fun to garden vicariously. And of course you have a superior blog–with great production values and a marvelous tone. So thank you for all the pleasure you’ve given me.

    Now that you are moving to the US, I will be curious to see whether your beetroot becomes beets, or your courgette zucchini. I have a feeling that you will continue to love gardening whether or not you become Americanized.

    Best of luck!
    Susan Barsy

  48. A good friend lives in Portland. She is always trying to figure out how to plant another fruit tree in her yard. You will love Portland. Lots of roses, good food, terrific book and fabric stores. What a great adventure.

  49. How exciting! I’ve been a silent reader for a fair few years. Thank you. Me, my husband and our 20month old are about to move from south wales to north wales which I’m a little nervous about but, wow, you’re moving to the USA, if you can do that I can do this! My cousin lives in Portland, sounds like a fab place to be.
    Good luck with everything and I’ll keep reading to keep up to date

  50. Fantastic news! What an adventure. You’ll have a great experience, and grow some more exciting things, I am sure!

    I also follow this blog, a Portland one – – with more of a focus on quilting, but also some cooking and great photography. Think you’ll have some things in common.

    Enjoy, and make the most of the warm people of Portland and great environment.

  51. Time to embrace change. We’re all a little frightened by it but what’s the worst that could happen? You don’t like it, you can come back. Unlikely I know – what with all our good weather you’ll be missing.

    I’m sure you’ll love it. My brother has just relocated to Oregon (hey I know the USA is big place ;-) but there are loads of British out there. Or is that a bad thing?

    Plus they’ll “love your accent” ;-)

  52. All the best in your life,you are a very brave lady.I look forward to your American adventure.

  53. Did the same as you a few years ago but to southern California from the south coast of england. Climate quite different to yours but its amazing what endless sun, irrigation and good soil will do for your gardening.
    Don’t fear many english gardening things can be found in the US, Haws watering cans are getting quite popular, do a search and you’ll find some, if not check out
    Also many gardening books here are based on east coast conditions so i’d recommend one of your first purchases would be the Sunset garden book, all west coast based advice.
    Also they do an edibles book as well which is good

    I also believe there is a west of the cascades gardening book that might be useful for your climate

    As you say the climate in Portland is similar but with more rain 36 vs 28 inches per year for Bath.

    Have fun, Oregon’s lovely, same size as Britain but with 3 million population so plenty of room.

  54. gardening in portland is a wonderful and rewarding experience. being originally from portland, i had a lovely garden for years in front of my house. i grew eggplants, lettuce, beans, cherry tomatoes, basil, raspberries and on and on. now living in the uk – in edinburgh – i battle to grow much at all. lucky you. i hope you will enjoy portland and all that it has to offer. living abroad is never easy, but portland, i think, you will find might make it a bit less hard being so far from home.