I find it very peaceful and therapeutic to be with nature. It provides me with a space to relax and the opportunity get away from the world which is particularly important due to the chronic illness of Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome and Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome which cause me pain, fatigue, and dizziness.
I therefore very much relate to the ‘Support’ element of the garden as this is how I see the role that gardening plays in my life. It is something I love, it is fundamental to my well-being, it is my passion and, hopefully, my future career.
Although I find gardening activities physically demanding due to my illnesses, I work hard to ensure that I do justice to horticultural projects with which I am involved such as Plants Team Leader for this exhibit and representing Sparsholt College at the South West regional final of Young Horticulturist of the Year.
One plant that has particular meaning to me is the Silver Birch (Betula pendula). I have always loved trees, have fond memories as a child playing and sitting under them. I now have three planted in my own garden at home.
Growing up with a father in the army I inevitably went to a number of schools but always found myself joining the gardening club! Following his military career, my dad retrained as a tree surgeon and I used to enjoy helping him with gardening jobs – it’s inspired my future career choice. Working with flowers and plants is both relaxing and comforting. It’s great fun, it’s something I enjoy doing as part of a team and I really love the practical elements.
I have a huge affinity with the ‘Stability’ section of our garden. While regularly on the move as a child gardening was the one ‘constant’ in my life. I particularly relate to the forest theme as I enjoy the quiet and reflective nature of walking in woods and am delighted that we will be featuring a clematis which was the first plant I ever grew.