Hi, I’m Andrea Bellamy.
Heavy Petal is my home online: a place I share my deep belief in the importance of gardens: ecologically and emotionally, individually and communally. Here, I tell stories about my garden, about gardens I’ve visited, and gardens I’d love to visit. I show how gardeners are making efforts, large and small, in the fight against climate change. I share how growing your own food can be an act of empowerment. And that flowers are not just a luxury, but a reminder to seek and embrace beauty amidst the fear and chaos of our modern lives.
I spent most of my childhood outdoors, climbing Douglas Firs and spotting fairies on our heavily-treed half-acre. I forest bathed every damn day, relishing both the adventure and the deep calm provided by the natural world just outside my door.
My first garden was a half wine barrel. I remember planting carrots, marigolds, and snapdragons. I feel like there were potatoes in there, too, but that just sounds like a disaster, and I don’t remember it being terrible. I do remember that my mom—who encouraged my interest in growing things—tended toward peonies and roses, along with high-performing shrubs (“for structure”) while I favoured the raspberry bushes, the rhubarb.
I started Heavy Petal in 2005 (approximately 105 years ago in Internet years) as a place I could merge my two loves—writing, and gardening—and put my English degree to better use than the advertising copywriting I was then doing. I went on to earn a certificate in garden design from the University of British Columbia, author two books on creating small-space edible gardens (the latest: Small-Space Vegetable Gardens: Growing Great Edibles in Containers, Raised Beds, and Small Plots), speak across the United States and Canada, and contribute to a variety of magazines and publications. I was the garden columnist for Edible Vancouver for several years, winning a Silver Award of Achievement from the Garden Writers Association.
I live in Vancouver, Canada with my husband and children, where I grow a wide range of organic edibles, along with blooms for Small Patch Flowers, a social enterprise planted in 2019.