An early passion for native wild flowers was nurtured by my mother and both my grandmothers who were keen gardeners, in childhood homes in mid-Wales, and later in Peckham in South London.
As a primary school teacher in Southwark, I started a gardening club and fostered an interest and excitement for gardening by getting the children to work together to redesign the school playground and develop a peace garden. I also helped local residents to redevelop the McDermott Road Wildlife Community Garden on a vacant plot of land in Peckham. I continue to volunteer at my local primary school in Brighton running the Gardening and Eco Club, creating an ‘Apple Alley’ of consecutively fruiting apple cordons in the school grounds. The school has recently won the Eco schools’ Green Flag award.
I gained a more structured approach and achieved a commendation in planning principles, production and maintenance on the RHS Horticulture Level 2 course at Plumpton College and later enjoyed an advanced course in Garden Design at Stanmer Park College.
Since then I have undertaken a wide range of projects including the redesign of a sloping garden in Lewes, the development of a gravel garden on a tricky triangular plot in East Dulwich, a woodland-style glade in a Hove garden and have worked with architect Brid Carr on a number of contemporary urban planting schemes for townhouses in London.
I have collaborated with award-winning design and delivery team Garden Builders, working on a number of projects with them, including an ambitious new plant scheme in Surrey with a pleached field maple walkway, fragrant pergola and vegetable and orchard areas as well as other private gardens in the South East.
In 2012 I was delighted to receive a ‘commendation’ for planting a stand for Scarlett Jewellery at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.
In 2014 I organised a Handlebar Gardens bike ride and planting in Brighton as part of the Cheslea Fringe festival.
I have recently worked with award-winning garden designer Anoushka Feiler at her Bestique design studio.
Currently I’ve also been working with Brighton-based company Kingdom Landscapes, Garden Landscaping Brighton & Sussex | Kingdom Landscapes creating planting schemes and giving horticultural advice for a variety of projects in and around Brighton.
A highlight for 2018 was designing a border for Marie Curie at BBC Gardener’s World Live at the Birmingham NEC show, for which I received a Silver award.
In 2019 I was thrilled to be awarded a Gold medal for my ‘Space for Remembrance’ border at BBC Gardener’s World, which was inspired by the work of the Marie Curie charity to provide a place for quiet contemplation, evoking memories of loved ones. The border has been fully re-planted at the Marie Curie hospice in Solihull.
When not involved in garden design I’m busy nurturing our family allotment in Brighton.