East Anglian born, I don’t long for hills and valleys. I’d rather have distant views, solitary oaks, native hedgerows, wild heaths and quiet beaches.
My sister discovered that our family dates back to the weavers of Sudbury, Suffolk and in my own life, I have seen the county go from Miles Jebb’s ‘sleeping beauty ..lying in profound slumber behind overgrown briars..’ to the popular holiday and weekend destination of today.
My parents gardened on heavy clay in mid Suffolk. It turned to cement in summer and sticky glue in winter and my dad was forced to import a large trailer load of well-rotted from the local farm every year. It meant we were never short of fresh produce and the garden was an absolute picture of gaily coloured ornamentals.
My earthy roots later led me to complete the RHS advanced course at Otley College Suffolk and to write about gardens and plants for a range of national newspapers and magazines.
Gardening on sand here in the far east, we need enrichment and structure. More muck and a well-functioning compost heap. A penny on the plant and a pound on the plot was never truer. It’s a challenge if you’re time poor but the rewards far outweigh the setbacks.