I graduated with distinction in Garden Design from the English Gardening School at Chelsea Physic Garden in 2019, and was awarded best overall student.
I gained my RHS Level 2 in 2014, before working as the Interpretation Associate at Cambridge University Botanic Garden for two years where I designed two beds showcasing the research on plant science being carried out at he University. I also redesigned and wrote new interpretation panels, and set up a policy and schedule for writing interpretation throughout the Garden.
I have a degree in genetics focussing on plant genetics and have previously worked as a TV producer, and wildlife and science documentary writer.
THE SCIENCE OF BRANCHING
The field of sunflowers represented Professor Ottoline Leyser’s work on the plant hormones strigolactone and branching. All the sunflowers were ‘tall single’ cultivars, bred to produce only one flower. The plants in the middle section of the bed had their tops removed when they were young encouraging branching. This bed was a huge success with both visitors and the bees and stood for three summers. Sadly, the mutjac deer also found the sunflowers extremely tasty and after a long battle with hungry wildlife and was finally turfed over in 2018.
PLANT CIRCADIAN RHYTHM
Professor Alex Webb’s work on plant circadian rhythm was represented in two curved beds backed by trellising. The plants that grow on one side of the curved bed flower in the morning and those on the other side in the evening. They are intrinsically linked to the Earth’s 24-hour clock, and some are also light and temperature sensitive, blooming in the optimum conditions for their pollinators.