I live in Lombardy in Italy near Lake Como; surrounded by mountains with a glimpse of the lake from our portico. My husband Philip and I moved here in 2005 when we had sold our beautiful garden in Sussex. . . the house was beautiful too but it was the tranquility and beauty of the garden which I missed the most. No longer able to garden avidly; my creative energies turned back to writing and watercolour painting. Also with additional grandchildren I have taken up knitting, sewing and toy making again.
During our time at Orchards in Sussex; formerly the garden of my parents Arthur and Gay Hellyer; Philip and I further developed the garden; opening for many charities and to garden groups, horticultural clubs and other organisations. We had articles written about the garden in Gardens Illustrated, Homes & Gardens, The Financial Times and other local newspapers. In 1999 we were included in the Good Gardens Guide where we remained until we closed in 2004. We had a wonderful eleven years; I worked daily in the seven acre garden. Always the propagator my ambition to open my own small specialist nursery was fulfilled. We opened from 1993 until 2004. Hardy geraniums were my speciality; along with herbaceous plants, followed by grasses and any other plants that I could propagate from the garden.
Ill health over the few years which led to major surgery in 2002; with a knee operation in 2003 - finished my gardening career. During this time I began to write about Orchards both in prose and poetry (one poem written then has been 'especially commended' by the Stratford Literary Festival in 2011 and is included in their anthology 'My Home').
Since retiring to Italy I have worked on writing a memoir of our time at Orchards; the manuscript is now published by FeedARead and is available from them and other mainstream distributors. The link to Amazon.co.uk is www.amazon.co.uk/1781764131. Its working title The Haphazard Gardener remained - see my blog http://TheHaphazardGardener. A kindle edition is also available.
I bought some of my garden with me from Sussex - see my blog http://AnEnglishGarden/LakeComo - here I will tell you how some of these plants fare on the light, sandy, stone filled soil we garden on here.
My first novel Alice is available as a kindle edition at www.amazon.co.uk/Alice-ebook/dp/B009OCG2I/. Click on the book covers on the blog to visit my Facebook author pages.
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