The Gardens And Me


My name is David Marsden and I’m a gardener.

Old Forge

I work in two gardens: ‘The Old Forge’ in the South Downs National Park (warning, warning: cliché imminent) under a great bowl of sky;

The Priory

and – lying in a quiet, partly wooded valley in the Sussex Weald – ‘The Priory’.  Both gardens are big (five or six acres) and neither are lived in permanently.

Tropical Border

I started gardening for a living about twelve years ago and also took a part-time job at a marvellous alpine nursery.  After two years, I moved to a not-so-marvellous garden centre – but it too was a great place to learn about plants and gardening.   A year later, when I finally felt confident enough, I resigned from the not-so-marvellous garden centre, held my nose, closed my eyes and plunged overboard into full-time, self-employed gardening.


For several years I worked alone and mostly I still do.   But now, once a week from spring to autumn, my partner Jim helps out at the Priory.

Long Borders

I love the Priory and Old Forge dearly and was very fortunate indeed to land both jobs.


But self-employed gardening is often a lonely past-time: I can go several working days without speaking to a human soul (apart from myself).  Very few people visit and fewer still wander about the grounds.  I felt they deserved a wider audience … and so I started this gardening blog.

Beech Arch

If I do still get a little lonely, the gardens make up for it.  Beautiful, mesmerizing and full of wildlife, they are a pleasure to spend time in and an honour to tend.

Welcome to The Anxious Gardener.


I have changed some names to protect the gardens’ and owners’ anonymity.

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I also write a walking blog.  Here it is – ‘The Walking Gardener’.