Despite leaving school with no formal education I was determined to turn my love of nature into a career, and despite having two toddlers secured my first gardening work as head gardener at The Deanery Garden in Sonning. This only served to feed my hunger for nature, and for developing truly inspirational gardens. The gardens I co-create with the owners are heavily influenced by one of my heroines – Gertrude Jekyll, who came to national prominence for her outstanding designs in the early 20th century.
I studied landscape architect at Kingston University (whilst still working – and with two young children!) where I specialized in sustainability and land management which I quickly introduced into my management of large gardens and estates, whilst at the same time managing contracts and grounds maintenance staff.
My career has taken me on a journey – through gardening and horticulture, heading up countryside management for a college, managing a care home, to running horticulture based community projects my passion for horticulture has never dwindled.
To get away from it all – well, you may have already guessed it will be nature based – I relax by tending to our organic allotment that brings me a lot of joy.
One of my main ambitions is to pass on the therapeutic benefits of horticulture and nature to all – especially those at a disadvantage. That’s why I’m really excited to be commissioned by Green Health Reading to co-design Reading’s emerging green health project based on developing a City Farm.
I am a strong believer in the power of horticulture to unite and transform both people and places – to provide spaces where friends come together – where communities unite and where nature weaves it magic.