I was raised on the East Coast and lived in a modest house on the outskirts of the fishing town of Grimsby. My mum was a keen gardener and my dad a very keen do-it-yourselfer with a passion for photography. Me being his favourite model! My dad had a huge green shed which dominated the garden on one side of the house which was a treasure trove of bits of this and bits of that. It was so full of 'stuff' that my mum had a hard time finding space to even stand her spade.
I remember the garden boundary being covered with pale pink climbing roses which I adored - I can't remember her planting them, but they bloomed profusely year after year. A pond dominated the centre of this piece of garden and the borders were filled with perennials. Snow in Summer was my favourite and there was loads of it. Every year for as far back as I can remember, my mum would visit the town's market and buy a hundred wallflowers, she'd bring them home wrapped in soggy newspaper tied with string - my heart would sink as I knew I'd get half of them to plant. I was effectively her gardening assistant as I was only allowed the menial jobs - cutting the edges of the lawn, fishing the leaves out of the pond, weeding and helping rake up the hedge clippings. I didn't complain because the time spent with her on our own was very special - we didn't have to talk much, just be out there together away from the stresses of everyday life. I believe the garden was her escape as there wasn't a lot of money around and there were three children to clothe and feed.
Fast forward 15 years and little did I know that once married with 3 children of my own, gardening would become my hobby for life. After a day with the children, I would gather up my trowel and spade and disappear into my wilderness. I could keep my eye on the kids and at the same time lose myself in this wonderful hobby.
However I did have a little patch of garden of my own which I tended, not to a great extent but I enjoyed watching the seeds grow that I'd planted.
Images are punchy with an almost ethereal feel to them, delicate but with a sense of
It was great for those early years when the children were small and until we moved to our present property. We lived in the house for 20 years, unable to Unable to grow anything pretty due to the heavy clay nature of the soil, my husband laboriously built me four planters out of railway sleepers, at the bottom of my garden. The intention was for me to just enjoy growing flowers and being able to take cuttings from summer bedding plants - little did I realise that it would turn into the most fantastic natural photo studio. I was lucky enough to obtain some organic soil from a veggie patch located at a property which was purchased as a building plot - my son's, and spent hours filling black bin bags and carting them back home. These were used to fill the planters together with 3 tonnes of topsoil. The planters were then surrounded by paths filled with shingle - all in all my husband, Mike, shifted 9 tonnes of materials to create my wonderful garden. This area is now a tranquil place to sit and it attracts lots of bees. I am overjoyed to be able to photograph whenever I like. I just make myself a cuppa, grab my camera and off I go. How lucky am I!
120,000 and counting
RED SQUIRRELS IN SCOTLAND
According to the Scottish Wildlife Trust, fewer than 120,000 red squirrels remain in Scotland, 75% of the total UK population. Without urgent action they could disappear from our shores within a generation.
Of the 220 odd species of owl
living in the world,
only 5 live in Britain.