Having four children, and working, initially left very little time or energy for other interests. A mid life house move prompted an urgent need to know what was in the new garden. The vendor, I was told repeatedly, was a noted plantswoman but even worse for me as a total plant novice were the two gardens within the village open annually under the NGS scheme. One of these was our next door neighbour. How intimidating was that? No pressure there then.
So I took myself off to do a City and Guilds gardening course at Askham Bryan college in Pickering to find out more. This sparked my real, abiding and consuming love of gardens which ultimately led me to enrol at Leeds Metropolitan University on a BA Garden Art and Design course.
On this course I was fortunate to meet and work with some very talented people. In our final year and collectively known as Cyrus Design, we decided to submit a design for Chelsea. Unbelievably we were successful in winning a Gold medal at Chelsea 2006 and a Best in Show award for our courtyard garden.
I then moved to South West France where I lived and worked for 7 years. During this period I designed gardens and planting plans, ran design courses, gave talks and presentations and wrote a monthly garden feature for the English language newspaper 'The French Paper'. This was published nationally in France and distributed in the UK. Great fun!
Now returned to the UK and settled in York I continue my long and happy involvement with gardens; running design courses for adult learners, giving talks and publishing my first ebook "Cooking Edible Flowers - Spring" with a summer edition to follow shortly. An allotment and small garden give me plenty of space for experimentation, lots of personal enjoyment and horticultural fulfilment.
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