I’ve been interested in gardening since I was a small child. My grandad was an old-school allotment grower. He also loved a good rose garden so I learnt a lot about the growing season of vegetables and flowers. Though perennial flowers and wildlife were always my favourite part of gardening! Including having a pond. It was always a hobby of mine but then 8 years I decided to change careers. Garden design called to me and after a few courses and a lucky break winning a new garden design competition with the BBC and RHS, the rest became history!
The biggest challenge is the amount of travel and long working days. My TV work has me on set from 7.30am until sometimes 8pm filming the programme Garden Makeovers.
My own design practice has me travelling a lot to sites, and then consulting with clients, before spending time drawing up the designs. So I have a real mix of physical, creative and admin in my day. There are lots of last-minute tweaks and changes to my schedule as the weather, client needs or other work commitments appear. I'm pretty rapid at switching between tasks which I think you have to be when self-employed.
"The good news is that any form of gardening whether in a large garden or tiny balcony is both good for your mental health via stress relief and also physical activity, which is sometimes overlooked."
Digging in new plants, pruning and weeding are all low-impact cardio activities. So gardening is a far cheaper and more relaxed form of going to the gym! My biggest tips are to always have a snack to hand as time flies when you're enjoying mindful gardening. Meaning you don't need to keep taking off muddy boots when your blood sugar drops!