My earliest memories of gardening are being in the garden with my grandfather and mother. I had a lovely childhood climbing trees, making forts, being very free. At weekends I helped my mother in the garden – that was our time together. It’s been quite informative in my thinking about how important green spaces are – however small they are, or in any kind of rough-and-tumble urban environment – and that we really should be defending those.
I am a career changer (I came from a not-forprofit background) and after doing my garden design diploma I started working with Tom Stuart-Smith. Everyone is aware of his mastery in planting but his skill in design and his absolute rigour around hard landscaping gave me the greatest training you could ever have. There was a real generosity in the studio around sharing and learning.
The gardens I’m drawn to and aspire to make are places you could lose yourself in, where you don’t quite know where the garden ends and landscape begins. They will also, perhaps, encompass a slowness in the reveal, and that might not just be the movement through it but also a seasonal reveal. I’m drawn to gardens that are timeless. When I was in Toronto I went to Martha Schwartz’s lovely city park, Yorkville. It was made in the mid 1990s and while you could tell it was of a different planting era it felt timeless and that to me is an incredible skill.