My name is David Marsden and I’m a gardener in East Sussex, England. I work in two gardens:
… six acres of grounds surrounding a Tudor Priory. The Priory lies in a hidden, partly wooded valley in the Sussex Weald and its grounds were fairly neglected for ten years or so (the-years-of-neglect) before I started work there in July 2008. It is this enchanting place that forms the basis for ‘The Anxious Gardener.’
Why ‘The Anxious Gardener?’ Well, I’m a gardener who’s anxious (didn’t see that coming did you?). Anxious about making the Priory as beautiful as it deserves and anxious about maintaining that beauty.
Though I’m not a particularly anxious person, I’m always aware that my efforts are on show for all to see … and judge. I came to gardening relatively late in life having worked as a civil servant, ticket agent, postman and IT consultant (and many other jobs besides). I drifted into it about ten years ago without any formal training or study and (after a two-year stint in an alpine nursery and another year in a garden centre, a six month forestry course and a few part-time gardening jobs) held my nose, closed my eyes and plunged overboard into full-time, self-employed gardening. Now? Well now, I only wish that I had done it much, much sooner.
I spend virtually all my working life alone, which is difficult. And sad; self-employed gardening is often a lonely job. But there is a payback: the gardens. Beautiful and mesmerizing places that it is a pleasure to spend time in and an honour to tend.
Welcome to The Anxious Gardener.
(Some details have been changed to protect the anonymity of the gardens and their owners).