Maureen's grasp of horticulture started at an early age on her father's market garden and plant nursery in Sussex: she soon learned that grasping a nettle was not to be advised, whereas picking a luscious strawberry straight from the plant left her taste buds tingling. Her horticultural education continued, on and off, alongside conventional education at De Montfort and Lancaster universities, to the extent that she found herself, at various times, teaching in the Women's Royal Naval Service, lecturing in English Literature at university, training as a professional garden designer and growing herbs.
It was during the latter venture that she met beekeeper Craig Hughes, who introduced her to his beloved honey bees. Since then Maureen has fallen in love with the bees and does all she can to promote their welfare, whilst at the same time keeping true to her horticultural roots.
As well as gardening for bees, Maureen's other main areas of interest are herbs - and in particular culinary herbs - and perennial plants, both of which have led her to writing books on these topics.
Growing up in the country and having an almost self-sufficient upbringing allowed Maureen to gain a number of practical skills. For example, she has kept chickens, can make bread and cakes, and is a pretty good cook - something her husband is particularly grateful for!
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