I grew up in a large Victorian house in South Devon where the gardens contained some of the tallest specimens I have ever seen of Rhododendron, Trachycarpus, Camellia and massive clumps of Bamboos. It was in this garden, as an ambitious young gardener, that I had my first success with the hybridisation of Rhododendrons!
South Devon has a wealth of excellent gardens open to the public and I spent much of my time visiting many outstanding gardens. All of this served to fuel and inspire my natural inclination for gardening. I chose to ignore the opportunity of a formal route in to horticulture and instead embarked on the path of self employment, initially in garden maintenance. This proved successful and for the past 24 years and I have continued to be self employed, now working alongside my partner John. However maintenance eventually has been replaced by design, project management and garden writing - I am registered as an author with Harper Collins, and John and I have written many published articles for magazines.
I designed my first show garden in 1990 for the Holker Hall garden festival, The Mr McGregor Garden was awarded a gold medal.
I was then involved in the show gardens A Cumbrian Corner and The Wonderland Garden with my friend Kim Wilde.
Kim and I decided to co-design a garden for the Chelsea Flower Show, and in 2005 The Cumbrian Fellside Garden was awarded an RHS Gold Medal, Best in Category and The BBC Peoples Award.
In 2014 I designed The Peter Rabbit Herb Garden for The Chelsea Flower Show, which was awarded an RHS Gold Medal, and was visited by HRH Princess Beatrice.
To me every garden is a show garden, whether it is a tiny courtyard garden in a town, or a large country estate. I put the same passion and enthusiasm into every project that I am involved in.
....................and when I am not working in other people's gardens I'm working in mine!