So why should you let me loose in your garden? To answer that, I’ve been a keen gardener nearly all my life. Horticulture is a huge topic, and you never stop learning, but as a result of many years’ experience, I have developed a deep knowledge and understanding of plants and gardens. To be honest, I could hardly escape the gardening gene, as my family were keen gardeners as far back as I can remember!
Starting with formal qualifications, I have a BA (Hons) Degree in Typography & Graphic Communication from The University of Reading, achieved the RHS Level 2 General Certificate in Horticulture with Distinction, qualified in garden and Permaculture Design, and have lots more certificates in various subjects, including Introductory and Advanced Counselling.
I’ve taught Organic Horticulture, Wildlife Gardening, Garden Design, Amenity Horticulture and other related topics at Easton College, and while there, was asked to redesign the national BTEC Level 3 Organic Horticulture unit syllabus. I’ve also run my own short courses in Organic Gardening at various other locations.
Diversity is at the heart of creating a sustainable and beautiful garden which works all year round. It applies to our life experiences too, and before making gardening my life, I worked as a graphic designer, a bookseller, as a promotions manager in book publishing, a market stall holder, a gardener, and delivered produce for an organic grower – not all at the same time. After becoming a mum, I kept on gardening, and worked for a Norwich charity giving help and support to young people, and later as a school counsellor.
As a popular speaker for gardening groups, WIs, the National Trust, Norfolk Wildlife Trust and other organisations, I’ve had many years’ experience of giving illustrated talks on garden related topics ranging from medieval gardens to herbs and traditional home remedies. I’ve also been a tutor for the WEA and Adult Education, designing and running courses on Organic Gardening, Gardening for Wildlife, Sustainable Living and the Social History of the English Kitchen Garden.
In 2003, after entering my first ever garden design in a BBC/RHS competition, I was awarded the regional finalist prize, and was invited to become a member of BBC Radio Norfolk’s regular midweek gardening panel, which I did for four years. I also took part in various other broadcasts, as well as producing a series of my own gardening features. I’ve been designing gardens ever since receiving my award.
As an aside, I love writing, and for fifteen years was the Gardening Correspondent for Archant’s ‘Let’s Talk’ magazine, producing monthly features on garden related topics. Sadly, and unexpectedly, the magazine was closed in December 2022.
All that aside, I enjoy creative work, and am never happier than when I’m outdoors walking my lurcher dog in the woods or by the sea, spending time in my VW camper van or wandering around my garden.