I am a professional garden designer, having switched careers some years ago, and loving every minute of it. I am also a plantaholic and sometimes a lazy gardener at home – although once I’m out I stay out; until ‘they’ drag me in. I often have do things on a shoestring in my own smallish garden. This makes me pragmatic in my approach, and imaginative in overcoming hurdles put in the way by finances.
I did my formal garden training at Pershore, achieving a distinction. I have designed a couple of show gardens at Shrewsbury Flower Show with the ‘Plant Heritage’ (NCCPG). We won Gold both years but also won Best In Show the second year. One day (I think) I would like to do an RHS show but we’ll see…
My approach is organic and wildlife friendly and I love ponds and water in the garden. I like to use native species but perhaps more important is to get the right plant in the right place ~ the gardeners’ mantra ~ if the plant is happy, it WILL perform (just like people really). It could be said my tastes are eclectic so I enjoy designing in many different styles, Cottage, Mediterranean, Japanese, Contemporar, Prairie… and one day I would love to do a Persian garden.
My favourite plants include (but not limited to) Hosta, Hemerocallis, Galanthus, Hamamelis, Aquilegia, Anemone, Echinacea, Geranium (hardy), Cyclamen, Miscanthus, Acer ….. It is impossible to pick just one, so much depends on the season, the position, the association etc.
I am a Mum and Border Collie owner so am also aware of the needs of family & pets – I haven’t yet managed to educate my dog to keep off the ‘flower’ beds! I encourage the birds (the dog discourages the cats) and ‘live’ with other local wildlife visitors.
Trivia: My OH is also a designer – of mechanical ‘things’. My 2 boys are chalk and cheese but both into science subjects, one is heavily into downhill mountain biking and MotorX. My previous career was in brand marketing and we moved to beautiful Shropshire about 10 years ago from South Gloucestershire (where I had an acre of garden but little time to do much to it).
Apart from collecting plants, I also collect elephants and I’m an Ancestry Anorak. I enjoy the challenge of being self-employed (most of the time) and am pretty self sufficient with all the marketing, IT, admin etc.
Oh, and did I mention I LOVE what I do!