Lia was born in Bristol and trained in horticulture at Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh. After her training she went immediately into a trainee journalist position at the Royal Horticultural Society’s magazine The Garden. Having learned her trade she worked on gardening magazines and then moved back to Bristol to write freelance.
She very soon secured her first column, in the Guardian’s weekend magazine sharing a page with legendary garden writer Christopher Lloyd and later with Carol Klein, and went on to write this column for ten years. She has since written columns for the Telegraph’s gardening section and for The Garden magazine as well as several gardening books.
On moving to Bristol she and her husband took on an allotment and Lia’s interest in growing and cooking her own produce took off. She has run successful pop up food events in Bristol and wrote a cookery book based on the delicacies that can only be grown yourself, called ‘Petal, Leaf, Seed’.
In 2017 Lia had the idea to revisit the ancient publishing tradition of the almanac and to revitalise it for a new audience. She crowdfunded the first edition – ‘The Almanac: A Seasonal Guide to 2018’ – and filled it with sunrise and sunset times, moon phases, tides, recipes, gardening and nature notes. It went on to become hugely popular, gaining widespread praise and attracting the attention and support of celebrities including Jamie Oliver, Nigel Slater, Cerys Matthews and India Knight.
The 2018 and 2019 editions have now sold well over 50,000 copies between them, and for many have become a tradition and an essential handbook to the year ahead. Lia has tapped into a desire that many people feel, to be more connected to the seasons and the months, and to find simple routes back to the natural world and its rhythms. Her work provides people with the keys: a recipe that has been eaten to celebrate harvest for centuries, the calculation of the exact moment to glance out of the windows to spot Mars in conjunction with the moon and much more.
The Almanac: A Seasonal Guide to 2021 was released September 2020 and instantly became a #1 seller.
Posts featuring Lia Leendertz
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"This book is your bible"
The Independent about The Almanac
"The perfect companion to the seasons. It already feels like an annual necessity"
India Knight about The Almanac