I’ve always been fascinated by gardening, and at a certain point in my life I realised that I would never enjoy any job that wasn’t outside in the sun and the rain, looking at the green things of the world. I retrained as a professional horticulturist, and so it has been my privilege to make my living doing the the thing I enjoy most in the world.
As well as designing and managing other people’s gardens, I have a garden allotment where I grow all kinds of fruit and vegetables alongside my favourite flowers. It’s where I can just be, and it’s also where I can experiment with all sorts of ways of growing things.
Like all things that evolve slowly over time, gardening has become something I do instinctively without thinking. Lately I’ve taken the time to think about how I garden, how other folk garden, how we are taught to garden, and what we expect from gardens and gardeners.
It is a fact that until recently, cultivating the soil and growing plants was an essential life skill for most of us. It was a very poor person who did not have a small piece of land where they could grow what they needed or pleased them. But it seems that somewhere along the way many people have lost that skill. Many now have no connection with the land and just don’t know how to garden.
I thought that I’d collect together all the strange and lovely things that I’ve discovered about plants, creatures and gardens in one place. I hope you find something that makes you smile or wonder here.
“Consult the genius of the place in all;
That tells the waters or to rise, or fall;
Or helps th’ ambitious hill the heav’ns to scale,
Or scoops in circling theatres the vale;
Calls in the country, catches opening glades,
Joins willing woods, and varies shades from shades,
Now breaks, or now directs, th’ intending lines;
Paints as you plant, and, as you work, designs.”