I’m Diana Noonan. I’m a writer and gardener. If you Google my name, you’ll find loads about my books and articles but, actually, gardening came first!



This is me, foraging for wild plums!

I live beside the Pacific Ocean in the most southern part of mainland New Zealand. We have cool summers and cold winters! In fact, it’s penguin country here in The Catlins! I always say the next stop south is Antarctica and, one day, I wouldn’t be surprised to see an iceberg float past on the horizon!

2 keith

This is my husband, writer and artist, Keith Olsen.

I’ve gardened for as long as I can remember and although I think flowers are beautiful, and wouldn’t want a garden without them, I’ve always veered more towards food gardening. That’s probably because I value the basics of life – the sorts of things that everyone has a right to: food, shelter, love, and care. Right up there with those basics is land security and the peace in which to grow and harvest your own food. Unfortunately, that’s not quite the way things are for a lot of people.


It wouldn’t be a garden without some flowers …



Abundance from the raised beds.

… but my real love is food gardening!

Around our house, we have 21 vegetable and fruit gardens and, even in winter, there’s always something to harvest.



Winter staples: daikon radish, carrots and celery.


Beside the house, our beautiful  chooks (hens) live a peaceful free-range life, secure in the knowledge that only their eggs will be harvested (I’m a dairy-free vegetarian and Keith’s a vegan).


A Christmas present from the girls

How’s this for a Christmas present!


Rosie and Margot enjoy hanging out in the garden.

Rosie and Margot enjoy hanging out with me in the garden.

Right beside our house is a field where our two donkey-boys, Ambrose (26 years old) and Angus (eight) eat, sleep, graze, roll, dream, stargaze, and play. And beside the donkey-boys live the bees!

Two beautiful boys.

Our two gorgeous donkeys live right beside our house.


Donkey friend 2

That’s sand you can see on Angus’s nose! He’s been rolling in it!

Just outside our gate, on public land, is my free-to-harvest roadside garden. I hope you enjoy following what goes on there throughout the different seasons.


Peace in which to grow a garden - it's not a lot to ask for.

A garden with no rules, no regulations  …

Early summer in the roadside garden.

… just good food that you can harvest, free, whenever you want to.

On my blog site, you’ll find the Let’s go Gardening and Kids’ Gardening pages which offer tips for growing and enjoying your own food. The  Recipe page features ideas for how to use what you grow (many of the recipes are from fellow gardeners I’ve met on my travels to unusual countries). If you want to know what I write, and who publishes my books and articles, check out the Books page.

Thanks for calling by!

Yours, from the bottom of the world,



2 responses to “Hi!

  1. Brendon

    I’ve just stumbled across your website. I remember passing your little roadside garden and thinking that it was a wonderful way to share and support your community. Good on you, the world is a lot better off because of people like you.

    Many thanks,


    • How kind of you to drop a note. The roadside garden is looking pretty spartan just now but still has loads of rocket and kale and a little winter spinach. Those wretched possums have (can you believe it!) been eating the leaves off the rhubarb! I’m looking forward to cranking up the garden again next month. Best regards, Diana

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