Tuesday, 28 July 2015

The Questions - Tanya Batkin


Tanya Batkin is a Director of Vergette Gardens and is an award winning garden designer based in Worcestershire.  She has designed medal winning gardens for the RHS Malvern Spring Show and is just about to go on a very big adventure.  Tanya has been selected as the only, yes only, female garden designer to represent England in the Japan Flower and Garden Show, also known as the Gardening World Cup.
Tanya's Garden is called A Place for Nature and Nurture.  The design is accepted but Tanya needs funding to actually get there.  A key part of any show garden is the sponsorship and funding to make it happen and not everyone has access to huge sponsorship funds.  Tanya is raising money through her Crowdfunding page, it is £10 well spent to help send Tanya to Japan (other donation values are available).
The Crowdfunding website can be found here http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/a-place-for-nature-and-nurture/   the page will  be open until the 5th August 2015.

Whilst all this is going on Tanya still found time to answer The Questions.

The Questions


1.
In which garden do you feel happiest?
Where the garden meets the brook at the end of my Mother’s garden. A place of swimming, lost shoes, haymaking and cider.
2.
If you could only have five gardening tools, which would they be?
My Macbook (it’s where I keep all of my gardening notes), a pair of number 8 Felcos, a two pronged weeder (fork) which makes hand weeding a doddle along with a border fork and my Great-Grandfather’s spade, which has an edge like a razor.  
3.
If you could only have five garden-related books, which would they be?
Geoff Hamiltons Cottage Gardens brings back happy memories of the conversations with my Grandmother about gardens.

Plant Names Simplified - Johnson and Smith a handy pocket sized book that gives you the pronunciation and the route of a plant name. No need to fear botanical Latin with this to guide you. 

A Flower For Everyday - Margery Fish. A beautifully written book that I dip in and out of especially in the winter months.

The Gardeners Illustrated Encyclopedia of Trees and Shrubs - B Davis. Does what its says on the cover.

Hidden Natural Histories: Herbs - Kim Hurst.
Unlike lots of reference books this also includes propagation and cultivation tips from one of the UK’s foremost herb growers. Another dip in and out of book.
4.
What was the most defining moment of your life so far?
Professionally it would be the run on the banks in 2007 which was the deciding factor in a radical career change to Garden Design.

Personally it would be having my children.
5.
What are you most proud of?
Tough question. I’m very proud of both my children and my family, but really it would be my ability to make stonkingly good compost - sorry kids!
6.
If you won the lottery, what would you do?
Pay off our mortgage and build a show garden at Chelsea.
7.
Who are your garden heroes (no more than three)
George London - garden designer and nurseryman c.1640–1714.

Geoff Hamilton who made me believe when I was in my teens I could be a gardener when I had no money and no experience.

My Grandmother who had a joy of gardening and passed it on though my Mother to me.
8.
What skill would you like to learn and why (does not have to be gardening related)
Photography. 
9.
If you could visit any garden right this minute, which one would it be?
The Garden Of Cosmic Speculation.
10.
What is your current plant obsession?
Trained fruit trees and annuals.
11.
Which garden tool is never far from your hand?
Two pronged weeder.
12.
What is your favourite gardening/plant related word?
Hmm so many choices....Bastard Trenching....Mr Cockburn and his Rubus....Mulch....... I think I’ll go for “Mulch” it has such a gloriously earthy feel. 
13.
What do you wish you could do better?
Use my camera.
14.
What is the most important lesson you have learned so far?
To listen to what is being said but most importantly to what is being un-said.
15.
What makes a perfect day for you?
Tea and a peaceful place to drink it.
16.
If you had one piece of advice to offer to someone what would it be?
Go for it.
17.
Gnome or no-gnome?
Hmm these are seriously tough questions......they do say “There’s no place like gnome” 



Next time:  Anne Wareham

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