I have been interested in history and gardening for as long as I can remember.
As a child I was allowed to have a patch of ground to grow whatever I liked. My mother called my plants, ‘Weeds’. I called them wild flowers.
I was fascinated by the strange names and the folk tales that these common, and mostly ignored, plants had.
I was lucky to attend a village school that had books about King Arthur, Greek myths and the Vikings. My imagination went into overdrive.
I spent my childhood building camps, cooking (well, actually burning food) over open fires, making bows and arrows and using cricket stumps for swords – I still find cricket very boring.
I eventually became a qualified gardener and worked my way up to being a Head Gardener.
Later I researched medieval gardens and the uses of the plants, which was very useful when I created the medieval gardens at the Prebendal Manor at Nassington, Northamptonshire.
I studied for my MA in Garden History at Birkbeck, London whilst I was a full-time college lecturer in Horticulture.
Unfortunately due to government guidelines, college courses do not give you much time to teach real gardening anymore.
I decided to become self-employed and transformed myself into the Historic Gardener.