About Chirp and Rustle
Up until 2013, my main profession was graphic design. Since then I have slowly woven more horticulture into my days. So much, that I now earn my living as a gardener.
That said, I’ve been gardening since I was a child. From the day I was given a small part of my mama’s veg garden in the backyard to care for – and a packet of seeds. I remember wearing far to big yellow kitchen gloves and trying to pull out weeds – and the excitement, when the snapdragons which I had sown neatly in rows like the carrots behind them, actually came up and flowered! The garden bug never left me, even though I decided to pursue a different career. Even while living in the centre of Berlin, I had a small patch inside a neighbouring block, where I could happily grow veg and flowers.
After moving to England in 2013, I finally got my own garden and this soon became too small. So, I started to look for the next adventure and I began volunteering at Sir Harold Hillier Gardens in 2014. By the way: I can wholeheartedly recommend joining those lovely volunteers and staff at Hilliers!
Parallel to working with the experts at Hillier gardens I took on my first small private garden, putting to practice everything I knew so far.
Since then I have spend many volunteer hours at Hilliers on the Centenary Border and in the Propagation unit, I had a year of plant ID sessions with the students and Hillier Garden’s botanist Barry Clarke, completed several RHS courses (Level 2/3 at Sparsholt and Level 3 at Edinburgh Botanic Gardens) and have been working in a growing number of private gardens.
Also back in 2014, I began helping at a primary school’s allotment garden. Fast forward a year and the headteacher employed me part-time to take over their school garden from a very enthusiastic but now retiring teacher. I set the focus on exploring nature through growing veg and flowers, because I love to let the children discover for themselves: inside brown, old, leathery seed pods they find brightly coloured seeds, their little hands fish for potatoes in the soil and find all sorts of shapes and sizes, or they connect the dots: radishes they sowed before the holidays have since produced a white cloud of flowers and tasty seed pods with funny tails.
It’s been quite a journey to arrive where I am today. I enjoy being tasked with improving gardens and maintaining a very diverse range of plants. It turns out that combining work at the computer (yes, still occasionally doing graphic design) and spending ever more time outdoors is a very satisfying combination!