My garden is my haven
Gardens have sustained and supported me for years. Since training as a garden designer I have loved working on my own outdoor spaces and have found that creating a garden, growing plants I love and engaging with the natural world on a day to day basis, has been important in keeping me well and happy.
I need a place to decompress after a busy day, or just too much time on a screen, and the garden, and my greenhouse, give me that. My history of depression, which started as Post Natal Depression after the birth of my first child, and which I have experienced on and off since then, make it critical that I have effective ways of managing my wellbeing and my garden is high up on my self-care list. Therapy has also been important and it was this that I turned to when I decided to change career.
the journey starts earlier…
But I’m getting ahead of myself. The story starts earlier.
I grew up in Yorkshire. My Dad grew vegetables and fruit at the end of our garden and my mother would wander out to collect raspberries for breakfast in her dressing gown.
Mum was an artist and ours was a home in which the arts and aesthetics mattered and creativity was encouraged. Though difficult in many ways, this environment was fertile soil in which to grow my life-long love of plants and space-making.
Following my degree in Art History I was a rather unhappy young mum at home when a friend invited me to join her on a course. It was delivered one day a week and, thrilled with the idea of getting some time for myself, I didn’t even check what the course was so only realised later that it was Horticulture.
Luckily I loved it, one thing led to another and, following further courses in Garden and Planting Design I could design gardens. I started my practice in London and worked around the school run designing dozens of gardens over subsequent eleven years.
I achieved the much coveted Registered Membership of the Society of Garden Designers (MSGD) but mostly I loved to see the way that having that new and beautiful natural space enhanced people’s lives and wellbeing.
Over time, however, I began to work on very high budget projects and these took their toll as I began to lose sleep over the project management side of things. I reluctantly decided to change career, and with my personal experience of the enormous benefits of therapy, to train as an integrative humanistic therapist.
Several years later, now qualified and accredited, I accepted my last garden design job and started a therapy practice where I specialised in supporting women to find space for themselves in their lives.
More recently, following a bout of serious ill health and in search of sustainable work, I have created Growthfully as a way to support women to make and care for a garden as a way to make space for themselves and enhance their mental health. The importance of my garden in my own life inspires me to help others create theirs.
Although I no longer offer project management I love to create gardens and offer design services, knowledge and support.
My ‘little black book’ and long knowledge of the industry enables me to direct you to the best services around for plants, furniture, landscaping and more as you wish.
blogging, workshops, walks…
If you’re interested in reading my offerings please sign up to my ‘Monthly Musings from the Garden’ newsletter at the bottom of each page. It’s not very regular but I hope you’ll enjoy it.
I have been married to Nigel for more years than I care to reveal and have two, now grown up, children as well as a gorgeous, and opinionated, dachsie, Milly.
We recently moved to a fifteenth century thatched cottage where my studio is by the brook and there is plenty of room for my gardening aspirations to unfold - my greenhouse and vegetable patch were constructed in winter 2018 and I started growing my first seeds. Follow my progress as I develop my own garden on my blog and on Instagram...