- How did you get started in horticulture?
It's in the genes. My mother was a keen gardener and when I was at home with my children, I developed an interest in gardening and growing vegetables. I also read garden books and visited gardens obsessively. This extended into an interest in design and I later enrolled at Inchbald School of Design for a full-time diploma in garden design.
- What does your typical day involve?
Each day is different, which is what I love about my work. It could be design consultations, site surveys for new commissions or visiting clients to present plans or report on progress. I also have meetings with specialists to detail timberworks, ironwork, sculptures and water features and visit contractors, nurseries and landscape companies to source plants and materials. Visiting garden shows, public gardens and conferences is important too, to stay inspired. Back in the office, there is the usual admin associated with running a busy practice - drawing up plans, specifications and plant schedules and reading garden and trade publications to keep up to date.
- What is the best part of your job?
Creating something out of nothing, connecting with nature and improving the environment. Also, working with plants, which I believe appeals to our senses at the deepest level. I also enjoy planting for future generations and working with interesting, open-minded clients and skilled craftsmen.
- And the worst?
- What piece of kit can you not do without?
Camera, pencil and paper.
- How do you wind down after a hard day?
- What is your greatest achievement?
Creating unique gardens across a range of sizes, styles and budgets in the 20 years of my career. Spaces that make people feel different when they enter them. Creating gardens that respect the genus loci (sense of place) and reflect the owners' taste, personality and requirements.
- What does the future hold?
Extending my consultancy work and writing and giving talks on garden design - I would like to think I can pass some of it on to the next generation.