Since mid winter is traditionally a period for armchair gardening, I have taken the opportunity during a quieter season to launch this site. I hinted in my first post at an interest in grammatical matters which arises in part from a previous career in the legal profession, where accurate written expression is key. A subsequent eight year sojourn in Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew’s visitor information team neatly bridged a transition from law to horticulture.

Whilst much of my time was spent addressing customer relations matters, I took the opportunity of working in the world’s best known botanic garden to develop and expand my interest in gardening, conservation and the natural world. The generous co-operation of colleagues across the organisation, from the horticulture and science teams alike, meant that few days passed without learning about a new plant, conservation initiative or gardening technique.

During my last couple of years at Kew, and through a combination of distance learning and attendance at Capel Manor’s branches at Gunnersbury and Regent’s Park, I acquired the RHS Level 2 Diploma in the Principles and Practices of Horticulture. So as to reinforce what I learnt on the course, for the past year I have volunteered on Fridays in the historic gardens at the National Trust’s Osterley House. This experience has been a source of inspiration for much of what I would like to share in these posts.

As well as writing about gardening, I am planning to develop a ‘light’ gardening business, and hope to be able to document its progress in these virtual pages. Whilst I shall not be operating a hard landscaping or design business, I shall provide a service for busy working clients or those for whom gardening has become more difficult with the passing years. I can clear small town gardens of weeds, prune shrubs and design and maintain planting schemes for containers and individual flower beds.

In the next post I report upon an early November day at Osterley and trace the West London origins of ‘Miss Willmott’s Ghost’.

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