I’ve always enjoyed writing. From childhood to the present day, I have savoured every opportunity to write about the extraordinary discoveries that I have encountered along the way.
Between 1995 and 2005, whilst I was running my RHS gold medal winning clematis nursery, I wrote a regular column for Garden News and had articles published in The Garden and The Plantsman. I also wrote the words that accompany Monica McAllen’s exquisite watercolours in the book Clematis – Plant Portraits.
Since then I have worked for the Royal Horticultural Society, at their beautiful Hyde Hall Garden in Essex, and as Centre Manager of The Exchange, a busy arts and events centre in the North Dorset town of Sturminster Newton. These days, I’m a freelance writer and editor, as well as being the General Manager of a country estate in East Devon.
During my career, I have written about plants and gardens, people and places, country life and wildlife. In recent years, having thrown myself into the renovation of our latest home, a Victorian house in an historic Somerset village, I find myself more and more interested in writing about period homes. I am intrigued by the layers of history that old properties are made of and fascinated by their stories. I enjoy uncovering these stories and putting them down ‘on paper’, often for the first time.
I also enjoy the practical side of owning an old property and can often be found plastering, painting or scouring local salvage yards for those vital finishing touches. The devil is definitely in the detail. I still love gardening and my passion for plant history, and the social history surrounding plant breeding, naming and introduction, lives on from my days of researching my clematis catalogue.
I am keen to champion local businesses too. You will often find me writing about those establishments, in and around Somerset, that hold on to good old-fashioned values in order to be the very best at what they do.
I’m also very interested in the vintage scene – well it’s hard not to be when you’re surrounded by vintage hotspots such as Frome, Shepton Mallet, Bath and Bristol. My interest, which I suppose has grown from my love of period properties, lies not only with vintage home wares and kitchenalia but also with fashion, as the eagle-eyed amongst you may have guessed from the vintage John Collier jacket I’m wearing in the photo above.
Other things in my life include my lovely family and rather too many chickens.
And this, this is my blog. Posted here you will find lots of writing about lots of things. My intention is twofold. Firstly, I very much hope that you will enjoy what you read and let others know that the site is worth a visit. Secondly, it is intended to act as a portfolio of my work, past and present, and a shop window for anyone who needs the services of a writer. If that is you, please use the contact page to get in touch.