Greenspirit Gardens is the nom-de-plume of Poppy Mercer, a garden designer and plantswoman living in Highgate, London.
She started her garden career at Her Majesties pleasure in Regents Park. Her training took her through a very Victorian syllabus which assumed you had to manage a single large garden over a substantial period of time. Although she passed with distinction in her exams she was then thrown over the fence into the real world which at the time was a frenzy of instant gardens!
And real gardening in the way she was taught the craft was just not on the menu.
Instead there were just garden tidy-up options in the form of maintenance contracts.
The long view did not exist.
It has taken a good decade or so to manouever back to what she loves – a single garden, or maybe two in parallel, where things can be done properly and at the right time, and a grateful customer can be cajoled into indulging in the Gertrude Jekyll confections of the of a previous age.
Yes that magic time when the bees and butterflies danced in paradise.
This typical project of hers in Highgate has been ongoing since 2011 despite a change of owners.
“Gardens can need healing on many levels….the problem can be just neglect or there is a fundamental lack of balance or flow which indicates some kind of re-design is necessary. Any garden that does not sing as it should stands out a mile to me . It does not soothe. To heal it I find that combining horticultural knowledge and experience with an intuitive sense of the spirit of place works well.”