TOAST Magazine

The Land Gardeners

LAND & GARDEN

For this month’s workspace series we visited The Land Gardeners, Henrietta Courtauld and Bridget Elworthy, at Wardington Manor in Oxfordshire, where they grow organic English cut flowers each week, and deliver their buckets of blooms to London florists, local markets and individual clients...

What drew you both to gardening?

The desire to connect, the need to produce healthy food which was good for our families, and the joy we felt being amongst plants or in a greenhouse. We were both lawyers and longed to be in a garden, having had careers in law and fashion we wanted to connect with something real.

Tell us about your work together. 

We have a large productive garden in Wardington in Oxfordshire where we grow vegetables and cut flowers delivering to clients in London each week, and a studio in Notting Hill where most of our design work is done. We restore walled and historic gardens all around the UK and abroad and are incredibly passionate about soil and plant health so running workshops exploring healthy plants, healthy soil and how to create a bio diverse, living garden came quite naturally as a next step.

Our favourite project?

Hard to say our favourite. If we had to choose we would pick two walled gardens, one in Oxfordshire and one in Yorkshire - both of which have an interesting history behind them. We are also very lucky to be currently working on a beautiful garden project in Umbria in Italy.

What are the most important elements when designing a garden?

The atmosphere of a garden is incredibly important; the life  ...bees, birds... and maintaining the feeling that a garden is alive. Next is strong structure and good proportions, before we move on to filling with wild, abundant planting.

Where do you look for inspiration?

We take our inspirations from everything; history, art, literature, space, light and movement. The life and works of Margot Fonteyn, Cecil Beaton, Miriam Rothschild and Beatrice Havergal are just some of the people that we look to when in need of inspiration.

The Land Gardeners design private and public gardens aswell as running workshops exploring healthy plants, healthy soil and biodiverse, living gardens find more information here.

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