Those of you who know Jez will be forgiven for thinking that chlorophyll runs in his veins...unsurprising considering his unerring ability to identify almost every plant put in front of him and further unnerving ability to recall everything he’s ever learned about it.
Passion for plants runs deep with Jez. His horticultural journey started at a young age working at Penwood Nurseries and studying for the RHS courses – and winning the Anne Menhinick Prize for the (unbeaten to date) highest score for the RHS Certificate. This wasn’t enough for him, so he went on to complete the Diploma in Landscape Design too. A few months away absorbing plants on the other side of the world led him to joining the BBC as a researcher for the natural history unit and Gardener’s World. In 2013 he won the acclaimed title of Young Horticulturalist of the Year.
Jez set up on his own and ran a successful landscape and garden design business for a number of years whilst still making time to be a BBC Radio Bristol gardening expert under the pseudonym “The Gorgeous Gardener” and in 2014 was asked to become a patron of The Therapy Garden. In 2014 he was also head hunted for the role of consultant head gardener at Stavordale Priory. Over the past six years Jez has facilitated the redesign and improvement of multiple areas of this extraordinary garden.
As happy sitting on a digger as he is scrutinising the tiniest of flowers, Jez’s unique style and strong sense of place has led to a collaboration with Lou that means they’re ready to tackle anything thrown at them!
Lou’s overwhelming penchant for flower spotting is infectious. In fact spotting things comes naturally; on a walk she can always spot the tiniest jay feather or a fossil amongst the flints on the muddiest of tracks. Lou has a very special connection with the landscape.
Unfulfilled in the corporate world she boldly pursued nursery work and struck gold with a position at Penwood Nurseries, immersing herself in the flowers there for four years. Whilst there she undertook the RHS Diploma in Horticulture and working whilst studying meant that she could fully immerse herself in learning about plants and the passion just got stronger. She moved on to work as Assistant Head Gardener at Netherton House in Hampshire, renowned for its unusual sculpted topiary and dreamy setting; a uniquely special garden.
Lou has been a self employed gardener for over nine years though says her ‘proper design work’ commenced in 2016. She quickly developed a signature style of herbaceous froth and organised chaos in exuberantly filled borders; roses almost always play a part.
She contacted old friend Jez in late summer 2018 to help with a project and this soon became the start of a vibrant collaboration that continues to fuel their joint obsession with creating beautiful spaces fitting to their landscapes.