Taking a fresh look at a familiar place is one of the hardest challenges in gardening. I moved from central London to South Wales, swapping the view of city rooftops and a window box of herbs for a two-acre Victorian walled garden. This was originally my grandparents’ garden and I have known it all my life. For adventurous children it was an irresistibly enchanting place: a secret, overgrown garden accessible only by a tunnel under the lane; a fast-flowing stream that you could (almost) jump over in one, rhododendrons to climb, and wide, sloping lawns to roll down.
As so often, the garden feels smaller now than I remember it as a child. It’s surprisingly hard to set aside nostalgic memories and change a place that you love. Yet gardens are alive and constantly changing. It goes against their nature to try to preserve them as static set pieces. Now my garden is a laboratory of ideas; these are a collection of images from a few years of experimenting.