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My name is Emma and I love gardens.

Two years before I was born my parents set up a specialist herb nursery in a walled garden on the edge of Hadrian’s Wall. It was a wild and colourful garden, described once as “controlled chaos”, perfectly suited to it’s surroundings in the rugged Northumbrian countryside. Whilst I was a toddler, I sat in my play-pen, surrounded by pots and compost, watching my parents gardening, understanding little of how it would influence me later.

In 2003 I went to Edinburgh University to study psychology with biology. Slowly, my innate love for nature and gardening started to seep in to my thinking, and I decided to go study Environmental Psychology at Surrey University. For my Msc thesis, I looked at the psychological benefits of green roofs and 2 years ago I embarked on a part-time PhD looking at the features of garden and planting design which can create a relaxing, restorative garden.

But I not only wanted to understand how gardens promote well-being, I wanted to use my findings to create gardens which could help improve people’s lives in some way. And so, in 2011 I studied garden design at KLC School of Design at Hampton Court Palace. I graduated with a diploma with Honours, receiving the Great Dixter Award for Planting Design and the Best Urban Garden Award for my work. I now work as a garden designer, using my work in psychology to inform my designs.

I am also a garden writer and photographer, sharing my passion for gardening through articles for the English Garden, Edible garden and Amateur Gardening magazines.