'I wanted to create a garden that almost frightened people. In many gardens, the plant becomes an accessory and it’s only there to decorate a human’s life. When this garden was mine, I made people push up against plants, I made them struggle. I think those are good experiences.’
I’m rarely the recipient of negativity, of course. Everyone smiles when I mention I write about gardens, that I am a gardener. “How lovely,” they say, seeing me as a simple and wholesome woman, secateurs fused to my right hand and fingernails permanently encrusted with soil. “Salt of the earth!” they suggest enthusiastically. I smile outwardly, and inwardly too, telling myself they have no idea just how gritty this woman really is.