The Questions - Anna Murphy

Way back when in 2013 I was writing about RHS Chelsea Flower Show and I included a few photographs of one of the 'Fresh' gardens by JAM design.  It was only a small garden but it caught my eye.  Fast forward to now and J and M are now JarmanMurphy and currently working on their show garden for RHS Tatton Flower Show which runs from the 22nd to the 27th July.
Sarah Jarman (left) Anna Murphy (right)

Their garden at Tatton is called A Quiet Corner.
Sarah Jarman and Anna Murphy met several years ago at Capel Manor College, London, and knew that one day they would design gardens together. They are inspired by nature and the surrounding landscape and work with these factors to create beautiful and interesting spaces. ‘a quiet corner’ is their first show garden together and launches their new and exciting design partnership JarmanMurphy. Both Sarah and Anna fit their design practice around their own families, and are currently working on projects in Essex, Surrey, London and Hertfordshire.

The Questions:  Anna Murphy

1, In which garden do you feel happiest?
My own. Either pottering, playing silly games with my children, or hanging out with friends
2. If you could only have five gardening tools, which would they be?
A pair of Felcos, a hand fork and trowel, a border spade and I’ve always quite fancied
having a scythe.
3. If you could only have five garden related books, which would they be?

Spirit by Dan Pearson, RHS Encyclopaedia of Plants and Flowers, Seedheads in the Garden by Noel Kingsbury, Designing with Grasses by Neil Lucas and The Natural Garden Handbook by Caroline Foley - the latest purchase.
4. What was the most defining moment of your life so far?
Winning the Fresh Talent competition at RHS Chelsea 2013 with Sarah Jarman and Arit Anderson, two college friends.
5. What are you most proud of?
Planting the little tiny details under the olive trees in James Basson’s ‘The Perfumers Garden in Grasse’ at this year’s CFS, and seeing him win Gold.
6. If you won the lottery, what would you do?

Remove the revolting Laylandii hedge from my garden and replace it with a native hedgerow. I live in a house surrounded by fields, so this
would be so much better!
7. Who are your garden heroes (no more
than three)

Dan Pearson, Tom Stuart-Smith and William
8. What skill would you like to learn and why (does not have to be gardening related)
Hedge laying and the differing methods that
relate to what’s in the field
9. If you could visit any garden right this minute, which one would it be?

10. What is your current plant obsession?
Grasses and native plants

11. Which garden tool is never far from your hand?

12. What is your favourite gardening/plant related word?

13. What do you wish you could do better?
Everything…life is a never-ending learning journey.
14. What is the most important lesson you have learned so far?
You can only do what you can do
15. What makes a perfect day for you?
A beautiful calm day, a garden visit with lovely
company and good food
16. If you had one piece of advice to offer to someone what would it be?
You’ll never know if you don’t try

17. Gnome or no-gnome?
Tricky…not in my garden, but I think there is a place for everything. Somewhere.

With grateful thanks to Nicky Sadler

Next Time:  Tanya Batkin.


  1. Great interview. I look forward to seeing their garden next week when I get to Tatton Park. Not sure what day yet

  2. Thanks Alison, I've forwarded onto Anna who is currently on site at Tatton. They're into day 2 of planting. It's looking fab. Can't wait to see it up close next weekend.


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