In my twenties I taught myself to garden around an old weatherboard and iron house in Leura.

My aim was to become semi-self-sufficient in fruit, vegetables and herbs and I wrote a book called The Good Life about my adventures in gardening and cooking on a wood stove. From the moment I purchased my first spade, I was hooked and this led to a lifetime of creating gardens and writing about them.

In 2000 we moved to a small farm at Yetholme NSW. Here I kept the garden simple because of the lack of water, however the climate was very favourable to growing a wide range of different fruits and vegetables.

In every garden I have aimed at working with nature, avoiding the use of any chemical sprays or fertilisers. Working in the garden keeps me healthy and strong and I am always amazed at how quickly a new garden becomes established. It’s an ongoing joy.