My name is Liz Warner and about 20 years ago, having lived and worked in London for about 10 years, I decided on a career change, swapping the office for gardening.
I studied at Hadlow College in Kent and passed the RHS General Certificate. I then worked as a trainee gardener for 18 months at Down House in Kent, Charles Darwin’s family home now owned and managed by English Heritage. From there I was employed as a gardener on a private estate for about a year continuing to learn new skills and broaden my knowledge of plants. I got itchy feet however, and when an opportunity to apply for a Head Gardener position arose I leaped at it and got it. For the next four years I managed the 21 acre grounds at Michelham Priory in East Sussex, my dream job. That is a whole other story but I can tell you they were the happiest and most satisfying four years of my gardening career.
Devastatingly, I was then diagnosed with clinical depression and simply could not face work. My passion for gardening was numbed and the drive and motivation that was there before had gone. It’s taken a long time to heal and this garden is now a large part of that journey.