Healing the earth and soothing the soul

“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.”

Greenspirit Gardens is the nom-de-plume of Poppy Mercer, a garden designer and plantswoman operating mainly in Highgate,  London.

Poppy started her garden career at her Majesties pleasure in the 1990’s in Regents Park and Eltham Palace.

It was a  training based on Victorian/Edwardian  syllabus – which assumed you would have to manage a large single garden  over a reasonable period of time.   After graduating (with distinction) she left behind the gilded enclosures of the royal park  to enter the real  world  – which  at the time was  a whirl of ” instant” gardens as pioneered by tv programmes like Ground Force.

Real gardening,  in the way she was taught, was no longer on the menu. Stylish designs were  all the mattered,  and their longevity consigned to tidy-up options in the form of maintenance contracts.  

The slow, long view did not exist. …

After installing well over a hundred instant gardens of her own,  she was able to manoeuvre 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  perhaps where a sympatico  client might be enticed   into  the Gertrude  Jekyll confections of a  previous age.

Yes that magic era of shimmering herbaceous borders when the bees and butterflies dance in paradise!

This  typical project of hers in Highgate  has been ongoing since 2011 despite a change of owners.

A  walk round my current garden