I am a garden writer with a special interest in garden history, and above all, in the people who make gardens. But like many people, I took little interest in gardens until I had one of my own. At that point I became an avid garden visitor, trying to discover how to turn my scruffy suburban plot into some vision of loveliness. I vividly remember my first trip to Sissinghurst, where I devoured not only exciting new plants and plant combinations, but the story of the garden’s creators, and realised that a garden could be so much more than a pleasing form of exterior decoration. A garden, I saw, could be a powerful medium for personal expression. It could tell a story of love, longing and relationship as vividly as any piece of theatre, and using far more complex elements - not only plants and architecture but water, light, time and season.
And so began my fascination with the stories behind gardens. Stories I endeavour to tell with lightness and wit, but backed by careful and thorough research.
To understand these stories better, I have studied garden history at Birkbeck College, London, and horticulture at Kingston Maurward College in Dorset. But I go on learning from gardens and gardeners every day.
Garden Media Guild Journalist of the Year 2015, 2009, 2006
Garden Media Guild Inspirational Book of the Year for Head Gardeners, 2017