About … An Gàrradh Mòr / The Big GardenAn Garradh Mor, Isle of South Uist

An Gàrradh Mòr is home to The Hebridean Woolshed (found just within the walled garden, close to the South Gate – facing the sea). The shop is open Monday to Sunday, 10am to 5pm, April to September. As there’s just the two of us, and as turnarounds for our two holiday lets can be any day of the week, we may be closed for a few hours during the day … or, very occasionally, to take some time off! If you’re planning a special visit, contact us the day before to check whether we’ll be open.

First and foremost, though, An Gàrradh Mòr [The Big Garden] is our own private home. The garden is not open for ‘exploring’. If the sign at the South Gate says we’re closed, then please respect our privacy – we are closed !

Within these high walls we grow much of the food we need, fresh or stored, for the entire year : all the vegetables, herbs and soft fruit and most years we will even get some apples. We keep hens for their eggs.  We cook, bake, store, dehydrate, freeze, and make herbal tissanes and fruit wines. We do all this, above all, so that we can have the best possible diet : of plentiful natural food.  Feeding ourselves this way minimizes our global footprint.  The gardening work itself keeps us physically and mentally fit, maintain our independence. You can learn more about our self-reliant lives by following our blog.

About … Jonathan

I was born in Somersetshire, England in the late 1950s. I worked mainly as a Chartered Civil Engineer, first with local highway authorities around the UK, but also with major consultants in UK and Europe, and then increasingly on a self-employed basis – working mostly from home. I’ve now finally retired from civil engineering and construction to spend more time on our own home-based micro-enterprises, in which I specialize in building maintenance, collecting seaweed from the shore, or clearing blocked drains. Anything in which I get filthy dirty or injured – or both. Oh, and websites and blogs too – as Editor-in-Chief and Contributor. When I’m not doing any of those, I’ll be spinning wool!

About … Denise

I was born in Sheffield, England, just a few months after ‘him above’. I’ve done all sorts of things to contribute to family and household, financially or culturally or whatever: Home-maker, gardener, care assistant in old folks home, domestic cleaner, factory worker, self-employed in traditional crafts of various kinds. Did I say gardener?

These days my time is spent spinning and weaving, making preserves, and selling what we grow and make, keeping accounts. And gardening, of course. Oh, and doing some of the same things for our two holiday lets. I contribute to our websites and blogs with ideas, stories, photos and information.

About Us

Jonathan and Denise 2010We met in the mid 1970s when under-graduates at Portsmouth, and between then and 2002 we lived in 11 homes in England, Scotland and Germany. We’ve always shared a deep interest in living sustainably, supporting ourselves as far as practicable by growing and making food, keeping livestock, making our own clothes, and also interested in literature and music, industrial and social history, and everything about the natural world and outdoors.

These days we pay those pesky bills with what we earn from our two holiday lets – Eight Askernish, South Uist and Carrick – The Blue House, Eriskay, and from our spinning, dyeing and weaving at the Hebridean Woolshed, and of course the produce of the walled garden and croft.

Also at An Gàrradh Mòr :

Visiting us, you may be fortunate to meet the other members of our family –