Who is the author of the Storyteller Garden?

It began 20 years ago when a friend invited me to put my garden on the local garden trail. I was young; I was naïve. I thought it would be a few people with nothing better to do on a Sunday afternoon. The whole town seemed to pour through my gate that afternoon. They entered with looks of eager anticipation. They left quickly, disappointed. I muttered something about it being a work in progress, but it meant I had to do some work and make some progress.


With a small garden (30ftx40ft) I had to think carefully. I decided to create a Victorian garden, in keeping with the age of my house. And so began my journey. So began, too, my love affair with roses.

My first degree was history. I have always been a writer – first a journalist, then running a content-driven PR agency. So naturally I was interested in the stories behind the plants. I started buying old gardening books and reading garden history. But, with a terrible memory, I found myself learning and forgetting at about the same pace! By writing the stories down I retain them. In that sense, this is a selfish endeavour, but hopefully one that gives pleasure to other gardeners.

I am slowly returning to my journalist roots – this time to garden writing. I have written for Garden’s Illustrated and the Historic Roses Journal. I co-edit By Any Other Name, the heritage rose journal of the World Federation of Rose Societies.

Ever the old broadcaster, I have given talks to the Gardens Trust, the National Trust and the Rose Society, and am a guest lecturer at the Roses by the Lake international symposium at Lake Como this Summer. I regularly give talks to garden groups and history societies.

When not doing this, the day job, or travelling the world for rose conferences, trials judging and talks, I tend my garden. One day I might dare welcome visitors again!

Garden Stories