20 December 2013


I love reading interviews with gardeners. Being in the gardening world, as I am, and visiting so many amazing gardens, I always find myself wondering about the gardeners behind them: Where do they find their inspiration?  What training have they had and from where? Why did they use a particular technique? What was their favorite tool? and If I asked nicely would they give me a cutting of that plant!?

One gardener who constantly inspires me is Jimmy McGrath, who is partly responsible for the path my own gardening life has taken in recent years. It was through him and his Longwood classmate, Mark, that I learned about the PG Program there. After Longwood Jimmy went to Great Dixter, where I met him one unusually snowy April morning. He went on to the Jerusalem Botanic Garden, then spent time gardening at DeWiersse in Holland. After a brief return to the States, Jimmy and his other half set off for England and I was able to reconnect with him there, chatting and catching up next to the colored fountains playing in the park next to Marble Arch that reminded us of the fountain terrace at Longwood. While in London, Jimmy worked on the fantastic landscape scenes featured in the Olympics opening ceremony - a once in a lifetime dream job! Then he was off to garden at Gravetye Manor, with the colors, forms, and textures of William Robinson's wild garden buffeting him with inspiration. Jimmy is a gifted artist and I always love when he posts his drawings on his blog, wishing I had the discipline to develop my own artistic ability more. Now he's gardening in Spain, enjoying the warm Mediterranean climate while I shiver through a cryogenic north east winter!

I have such admiration for Jimmy so I was truly surprised when he asked to interview me for a new blog that he and a friend here in the States were setting up. Me? Really? Aw, shucks! I don't know why I still find myself surprised by the way own garden path has meandered, and am constantly in awe of the company in which I find myself. Gardeners truly are remarkable people! So grab a cup of tea and go visit Jimmy's blog. There you will find beauty, art, horticulture, and inspiration.

Thanks, Jimmy! I'm proud to call you friend!