So why should you let me loose in your garden? Starting with formal qualifications, I have a BA (Hons) Degree in Typography & Graphic Communication from The University of Reading, achieved the RHS Level 3 General Certificate in Horticulture with Distinction, have studied and qualified in 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 other locations.
Before deciding to make gardening my life, I worked as a graphic designer, a bookseller, as a promotions manager in book publishing, a market stall holder, delivering organic produce for a grower on the edge of Dartmoor, in a wholefood café, for a Norwich charity giving help and support to young people, and 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 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 as a result, was invited to become one 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 features.
I love writing, and for the last fifteen years, have been (and still am) the Gardening Correspondent for Archant’s ‘Let’s Talk’ magazine, producing monthly features on garden related topics.
All that aside, I love 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.