About Greenmantle Garden Design
Salt of the Earth
I have been working in garden design for over 20 years. My first foray into growing things was on a small holding in Corsica. It was very quaint, but hard work! We grew all our own vegetables, and some soft fruit, milked 50 goats by hand twice a day, and made bread in an old fashioned brick oven with a real fire. It was a life-changing, life-affirming experience for me: one that had me leave university in pursuit of the ‘good life’.
When I moved back to the UK, I set up my own garden design business on the southern edge of Dartmoor. I catered for clients’ needs, adapting what I’d learnt in Corsica to the ornamental gardens of South Devon. The soil there is often acid and supports ericaceous plants such as camellias and rhododendrons. I love the large woodland gardens that are so prevalent in this area, and have had the good fortune to work in many.
In 2003 I undertook a Garden Design course at Bicton College in east Devon. The following year I travelled to the USA to train with landscape architect Mike Lin to refine my drawing skills. Doing a season at Hillhouse Nursery in Landscove has helped with Latin plant names. I have had a steady stream of garden design commissions since my training, which I carry out alongside maintenance work. My clients include Riverford Organic Farm, South Dartmoor Community College, and most recently I have been involved in a garden design project to create a retreat centre close to the river Dart at Staverton.
I have written several articles on garden design and was invited to review the autumn conference of the SGD (society of Garden Designers) in November of 2011.
The wheel has come full circle, and I am now an associate lecturer with Bicton College. I teach garden design at Dartington on behalf of Bicton, and at Staverton bridge nursery, independently. Please do use the enquiry form to find out about current courses
I also give presentations on the 10 principles of garden design to local gardening clubs and societies.
I look forward to sharing some inspiration and ideas with you soon!