I guess that I got this passion for plants from my parents who always had a large beautiful garden but also a small plant nursery.
Initially I worked as a freelance florist and then, after training at the world renowned Constance Spry School of Floristry in London, I worked in the Hillier Floristry business in Winchester. This is where I met my husband Alan…
After a break of a few years to bring up our two daughters I got the chance in 1983 to practice my retailing skills again when we bought Cleeve Nursery. This retail business was in a very dilapidated state and over the next 35 years we built the business up to become the go-to place for plants in the Bristol area! Indeed because of the success of the business it became well known throughout the UK.
Alan and I were frequent guest experts on Radio West and BBC Radio Bristol. However, a 6 year series of Garden Calendar filmed and presented by us for HTV from our private garden at Cleeve put both the village and Cleeve Nursery on the map. This highly successful series ended only when HTV was sold to another larger TV company and when we expanded back into nursery production with the acquisition of a small holding also in Cleeve.
Like Alan, overseas travel has been a passion all my life!
We have invariably had a big trip every second year and we hope that this will continue! Avoiding the more popular holiday destinations of the world we have sought out wilder places to explore. Assam, Brazil, Botswana, Costa Rica, Lesotho, Namibia, Nepal, Rajasthan, Sikkim, South Africa and Zambia have all been memorable places visited.
I have always enjoyed sharing my passion for plants and gardens with groups and have a wide range of illustrated talks. For many years I have delivered regional lectures for the Royal Horticultural Society at Cleeve.