I am a garden historian, researcher, author and lecturer.
I started my career in archaeology and then drifted into landscape archaeology and thence to garden history.I have a specific interest in social and political aspects of the garden, the interaction between people and gardens, economy and landscape, as well as the portrayal of parks and gardens in art and literature.I love writing about aspects of gardens which are relevant or ordinary people. .
I carry out freelance research in the history of specific gardens and parks for bodies such as English Heritage, the National Trust and various private clients.
I like to explore the quirkier aspects of gardens in the past. My first book was ‘Virgins, Weeders and Queens: the History of Women in the Garden, followed in by ‘A History of Allotments’ and the amazingly popular ‘History of Garden Gnomes’, as well as books on the history of Topiary, and the Cottage Garden (the last four for Shire Books).
My latest publication is a popular exploration of the role of gardens in English History: entitled ‘A Nation of Gardeners’, although it is shortly to be caught up by a book on Digging for Victory - the wartime experience!
My love of animals was reflected in a short book on the quirky pets and wild animals which people have tried to keep in gardens! (A Crocodile in the Fernery). I did not include my own menagerie of rabbits, cats, bantams, hens, and tortoises in it - though I felt my garden probably merited a mention as on the quirky side of things!
If you want to find out more about me look at my website www.twigsway.com