Introducing Heidi Joyce; Garden Designer, good old fashioned gardener, project manager and tea maker.
Hello Heidi, so where did your love of gardening come from?
I would say it came from my grandmother. We have the same taste in plants, she passed away when I was eight, but my mother has shown me images of the plants she would use and they are the same ones that I’m drawn to.
It says on your website you spent 10 years as a teacher. Did you always feel gardening was your calling even during this time?
No, I experienced a bereavement and I just got out in the garden and started digging. I burnt out with the teaching and I didn't know what else to do so turned to gardening. It started small with a spade and a pair of secateurs and it grew from there (pun intended).
Was there a particular moment or event that convinced you to stop teaching and make it your full-time career?
There were two: one was doing a course with a guy called Fergus Garrett 12 years ago at Great Dixter and the other was sitting in the back of a potting shed in Stamner Park planting seedlings and I just thought, actually I like doing this, this is me, sorted, box ticked.
Did you grow up in the countryside and did this inspire your love of all things horticultural?
No, I grew up in cities, London amongst other places. But I’d say that as an adult I now see the impact of green spaces on cities and their importance and its something I’m very passionate about.
Where would you build your dream garden?
I’ve built quite a few gardens in Greece and I do enjoy that a lot. I don’t know if I'm getting too geeky now but I'm really getting into a thing called ‘Genius Loci’ because it's about the essence of the place, the spirit of the place, so wherever I design you just tune into that sort of energy. It can be anything; the geology, the design or the aspect of something but that’s always the nugget of it. Doing it in Greece with its expanse and quality of light we just don't get here, you can do so many more interesting things with plants and colours.
What’s another hobby of yours?
I run, I do yoga, Zumba, walk the dog... This sounds like a dating profile doesn't it?! I go to quite a lot of seminars as well, that can be linked to curiosities in life or curiosities in gardening. I do a lot of CPD, career development stuff and it can lead you down funny alleys; last year it was about bird song and the year before it was about the Japanese art of decaying and it was just absolutely fascinating. The wonderful thing about being a gardener is that everyone is so generous with information, there is real freedom amongst us to learn from one another and share information.
When and why did you join PLATF9RM?
David Hillier & Amy Brown. My dog is best friends with Dave’s dog Clarence. Then it became this thing where it just started popping up everywhere.
Do you enjoy our office plants and moss wall?
Yes, I really do; there's a thing called ‘Biophilia’ which is about the importance of plants and greenery in workspaces and how its good for your mental wellbeing amongst other things and PLATF9RM is great for that.
Would you ever consider hosting a green-fingered event for our members?
Absolutely! But it’s such a broad subject, I need to nail it down to one thing. You’d be surprised how quickly you get nervous about public speaking even after teaching for so many years. But I am doing a Cereal Filler and would love to do more. The knowledge I have needs to be shared and people should hear it, in this day and age, greenery is more important than ever.
Thank you Heidi!
To get in touch with Heidi and to take a look at her work head to her brand new website .
If you want to be a member at our space, get in touch for a tour and trial.