I am a plant anorak according to my two young adult children. Certainly it is true to say that I am in touch with my plant side.

We moved in 2014 and I began our garden at the barn in December of that year.  What is now beginning to take shape as a garden was previously a paddock, stripped bare by goats, chickens and a turkey.  My preference at home is for tall perennial planting on a soil that alas has solid blue clay in places.   In 2018 I was delighted to open my garden for the first time for charity for The National Garden Scheme


Other garden related projects I am involved with include, working with my good friend Liz to update, restore and now maintain her walled garden.  Over the last decade we have transformed it to a garden style more befitting modern family life, think lawns and paths, restored the espalier fruit trees, added a collection of the owners topiary, as well as hydrangea, ferns and a strong injection of colour from perennials and annuals.

I had a couple of seasons growing herbs, vegetables and flowers for sale at market and a local delicatessen.

These days I carry out planting plans and I design garden updates for people needing some ideas or guidance on how to improve their outside space.  I can provide maintenance advice, create gardens from scratch, update garden planting schemes and yep, I am a great weeder.

IMG_2317 I am Head Gardener, as part of a small team, for a rather special family garden estate on the edge of the Chiltern hills. The inspiration for the name of this blog came from my colleagues.  The gardens are set out in a formal planting style, thriving on thin soil over chalk, thanks to years of mulching.  I oversee the formal herbaceous gardens as well as the wilder woodland area of the garden.  Some of the larger projects worthy of comment here include a lighting scheme, a new greenhouse, sourcing garden sculpture, and the planting of new trees to create a copse for future generations of their family.

I am an avid reader of gardening books and magazines and try to visit as many gardens and Shows as I can get away with.  In 2018 I visited the bulb fields of Holland at Keukenhof in Spring which I would highly recommend.   Exceeding my expectations, the site has trees in blossom and the beds are in beautiful mixed arrangements, not just colour blocked, straight lines as I had incorrectly anticipated.  Chelsea Flower Show, Great Dixter and The Salutation Gardens were other highlights for 2018 as was my return visit to Holland to Humello  to see the atmospheric private gardens of Piet Oudolf.

I am an amateur photographer with far too many plant pictures and thought this blog would be a good ‘home’ to park my pictures.  I hope you will enjoy my posts.

The photographs and content of this blog are all my own work.  The photos have been taken by me and if you would like to use them in any shape or form please be sure to contact me for permission.  Please send me an email at bec.barker@btinternet.com  

I will get back to you, just as soon as I am in from the garden.

14 thoughts on “About”

  1. The walled garden in Bucks sounds exciting and the garden in the Chilterns intriguing. Looking forward to hearing more about both of them and your own garden of course!

    • Hi outofmyshed and thanks for your interest. These are on my ‘to do’ list and I will be working on putting together a post about each of them soon. Your encouragement has prompted me to start drafting.

  2. Hi Dorris – I have arrived here via In A Vase On Monday and Rambling In The Garden. It sounds like you have a very interesting gardening life and I am looking forward to reading your future posts.

  3. What an interesting potted history you have Dorris! I will try and catch up with you occasionally for more than just your Monday vases…

  4. Intriuging! I can’t wait to read more. As for compulsive photo taking… I’m glad to know that it’s not just me! I find that photos help me to get writing.

  5. Pleased to meet you. Your photographs of nature are full of celebration. I love that. 🙂

  6. Hi Dorris, Thank you for following Jane’s Lens. I hope you enjoy my work. You have a lovely blog!

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