The head gardener from Soho Farmhouse on what she does in a typical day, the importance of looking after your back as a gardener, plus why she’s frightened of slugs
What does a normal day look like?
It’s an early start. The first job of the day is always harvesting for the kitchen – gathering herbs, edible flowers, and salads – all the things that need to be fresh for the day. My role varies from day to day; it could be hands-on in the dirt, planting, weeding, sowing, or doing garden tours and classes for members on how to grow your own vegetable garden.
If you weren’t here, where would you be?
Travelling around the world documenting and writing about plants, I’m really interested in medicinal herbs and their properties.
What gets you up in the morning?
Knowing that I’m going to be working outdoors, immersed in the natural world. For me, I love being part of nature, heading out into the garden to be among the plants, birds and insects. Of course, in the winter it’s a little harder; when it’s hammering down with rain, pitch dark and freezing cold, it’s a lot harder to get up. Nevertheless, working outside always motivates me.
And what keeps you awake at night?
I would say slugs, the thought of them munching through our plants at night gives me a lot of anxiety – my biggest fear is plants getting eaten or killed off by some awful disease or weather.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
Take care of your back – an elderly gardener once told me my body was my greatest asset, so looking after my physical health is extremely important.
What are you proudest of this year?
When I do a class or tour that members come away from feeling inspired to engage with their own gardens, I always feel proud that I am able to share my passion.
Photography: Darcie Judson