In the deepest wilds of Essex, between the oldest town in the country and Tiptree, lies Layer Marney Tower. The tower is the tallest tudor tower in the country and was originally built by Lord Marney in Henry VIII’s reign to rival Hampton court. Unfortunately Lord Marney died before it could be finished, followed two years later by his only son. So only the gatehouse was completed, but what a gatehouse it is! It is currently run as a tourist attraction and wedding and conference venue. In early 2006 I was lucky enough to be appointed Head Gardener.
I had previously studied at Otley College for a City & Guild’s qualification in Professional Gardening, and worked at Kentwell Hall in Suffolk. The step up to Head Gardener was a big one, and if I’m honest, at first I had bitten off somewhat more than I could chew. However, here I am now, comfortable in my role at the towers. I am the only full time gardener, with help two or three days a week from the lovely Ms.V.
At home I have a much more modest (and scruffy!) garden. We moved into the two bed terrace in late 2006 and the back garden was a virtually blank canvas. I made a big mistake at this point by diving in and trying to create the whole garden virtually all at once. Having realised by now that this approach was never going to work while I was working full time and having a social life mostly taking place in the Midlands, I am now taking it more slowly. This means that parts of the garden are a mess, but I’m actually getting somewhere with other areas. Our house is one of those built when ‘Dig for Victory’ was still fresh in the government’s memory, and consequently has a pretty good sized garden.
I consider myself an amateur gardener who happens to do it for a living. I am very much still learning; one of the joys of gardening is that there is so much to learn. This blog will record the ups and downs of my gardening life. You can follow it by clicking on the links to the right for subscription by email, or if you have a feed reader you can get my RSS feed (an option I can heartily recommend if you read several blogs – it’s made my online life a lot easier). I also have a Sproutling twitter account which you can follow by clicking the link to the right. You can contact me in the comments sections of this blog or by email (my address is in my profile).