Hello, I am Tony O’Neill. I’m a full-time firefighter and I love my job. But this is not my passion. Since I was a young boy I loved being in the garden with my grandfather where I would help him planting seeds.
I remember stabbing my fingers with gooseberry thorns while I tried to scoff my face with those sweet-tasting fruits during the height of summer.
I have fond memories of times when he would just sit in the potting shed barking orders, and I would be in my oils out on the garden sowing seeds and harvesting carrots or whatever else needed to be pulled at that time.
Throughout my early years, I spent most of my time in the garden. After my grandfather died, I continued to garden with my father, while he was able to.
As I matured it became time for me to go to college and learn some new gardening techniques. I put the skills I had learned while working with my grandfather and father in the garden to good practise.
Although I had long since caught the gardening bug, after my time in college I joined the fire service and later set up home and started a family with Tina.
Tina and I met in 2008 and I mainly spent my spare time tending to my little garden at home and recording what I was doing. This came from my time in the fire service of evaluating what grew well, what didn’t and so on.
I continued to record my successes and failures I filmed my daily work in the garden. I started to run out of memory cards and looked for cheap alternatives. That is when I found Youtube.
This was 2007. This fledgeling site had only been around for 2 years at the time, I started to upload videos but removed these later.
It had search features that were very difficult to get surfaced in as a gardening channel. These were very basic. I am glad it was bought by Google and made into what it is today.
I was one of the first to upload a gardening video in the UK. How times have changed now. Youtube was a different animal back then.
A few months later our first daughter we had together was born. I decided I wanted to be sure of the quality of food she was eating and turned back to vegetable gardening.
In June of 2011, I decided to set up a proper gardening channel. That’s right! 9 years ago.
I set up an allotment, for those of you who don’t know what that is. It is just a community garden where you rent space to grow. These are broken down into plots that one can rent.
Our children have grown up in the garden. They would be in their pram and later help by passing daddy the tools and helping to plant strawberries. It is hard to believe they are 10 years old now.
The video above was from September 2012 it is amazing how not only the quality of the video but the presentation, editing and information skills have improved over the past 8 years.
I originally named my channel Tony’s Allotment, and I don’t mind telling you the videos from back then were so awesomely terrible. How anyone ever subscribed to me I will never know.
However, over time it started to grow and I was in a position where I could help other people get the best from their gardens.
I decided to start making instructional videos to help other people. On August 29th 2015 Tony’s Allotment became UK Here We Grow to set my plans for the future into motion.
I set out on the path to producing a YouTube channel to answer your burning gardening questions.
I am now 45 years old and have been gardening since I was 7. It is amazing the tips and tricks you pick up along the way. Afterall 38 years gardening is a long time, and more than most people’s careers.
During March of 2020 while the world was in the midst of the Coronavirus Covid-19. I decided that I was going to rebrand my entire network. To better explain my vision and mission, which is to simplify gardening for all people.
That was when I came up with the new rebranded name for this website and YouTube channel along with many social groups. Simplify Gardening was launched on March 27th 2020.
This will allow me to continue to help new and experienced gardeners alike, to simplify and help you understand how to get the best productivity from your gardens.
The whole idea behind my YouTube channel, this website, or one of the many social media platforms that I run. Is to inspire you to try and grow your own nutrient-dense foods or get that garden of your dreams, while simplifying the gardening processes.
So why not join me by subscribing to my YouTube channel? or this blog by completing the blog sign up in the right-hand sidebar.
Follow my journey while all along, learning new techniques, skills and tips to make your own journey that much simpler. Simplify Gardening is here to help you with any gardening challenge you face.
Hopefully, I will speak to you soon. Remember folks You Reap What You Sow