The Questions: Lucy Hutchings 'She Grows Veg'

So there is Lucy Hutchings designing jewellery for the likes of Kylie and Rhianna when she realises that a growing a courgette or some carrots is actually what she wants to spend her time doing.  As gardeners we can all nod in agreement at this realisation.

photo by Lucy Hutchings 'She Grows Veg' instagram account

Lucy set up an instagram account 'She Grows Veg' to follow her veg growing adventures and within two years gained over 100,000 followers.  The term 'influencer' is bandied about quite easily, but for Lucy this is a fact, she is an important instagram influencer.  Her photographs of her vegetable growing journeys are not only beautiful but also very inspirational.  Lucy has recently had a book published 'Get up and Grow' which is full of growing projects for both outdoors and indoors and has found time to design an allotment garden for the this year's RHS Hampton Court Festival.  I am really looking forward to seeing this garden.

I am never one to let a good 'gnome or no gnome question' go to waste and Lucy very kindly agreed to answer The Questions.

The Questions

1.

In which garden do you feel happiest?

Always my own.

Watching as it develops through the season and knowing that Ive started the majority of it myself from seed gives me infinite joy. When I’m stressed or just feeling a little cross eyed after staring at the computer too long, I go for a turn around my greenhouses and its like a mental reset.

2.

If you could only have five gardening tools, which would they be?

Give me a razor sharp pair of secateurs, a trowel, a decent sized watering can, a tub trug and some good quality twine and I’m a happy lady

3.

If you could only have five garden-related books, which would they be?

The New Kitchen Garden – Mark Diagono, Homegrown Revolution – James Wong, Practical Self-Sufficiency – Dick & James Strawbridge, The Foragers Calendar – John Wright, The Organic Seed Grower – John Navazio

4.

What was the most defining moment of your life so far?

Ending my marriage.

Gaining my freedom was what kick started my journey in horticulture and as my passion, confidence and career grew so did my happiness.

5.

What are you most proud of?

My Book

As a dyslexic this is something that I had never considered myself capable of. The privilege of seeing people reading my words and hearing the incredible feedback I’ve had is something I will never get over.

6.

If you won the lottery, what would you do?

I would start an heirloom seed company and broaden the offer in this country by as much a humanly possible.

7.

Who are your garden heroes (no more than three)

Not to sound cliched but one would be Monty Don, not because he is ‘Monty’ but because he is the only other person I know of who has forged the same path as I have, from Jewellery designer to horticulture.

Jere Gettle is a massive inspiration; I hugely admire the work he and his family do to preserve and promote rare heirlooms.

8.

What skill would you like to learn and why (does not have to be gardening related)

Bee keeping.

If I had more land I would definitely learn to keep bees.

9.

If you could visit any garden right this minute, which one would it be?

The Old Vicarage at East Rushton. The source of endless inspiration

10.

What is your current plant obsession?

I’ve been experimenting with growing tropical fruit from seed. I’ve had quite a lot of success so far and now have a mini jungle growing in my garden room. I’m interested to see how these plants develop in the synthesised tropical environment I have created for them and see if I can get any to fruit.

11.

Which garden tool is never far from your hand?

My phone. Not your average garden tool for most people, but for me to be able to capture everything I find and do in the moment and subsequently share it is invaluable.

12.

What is your favourite gardening/plant related word?

Quercus, so pleasing to say

13.

What do you wish you could do better?

Cook. I can cook but I never have the time or motivation to improve beyond what is currently a relatively basic skill set. Luckily for me my partner is a chef and I therefore eat phenomenally well. However, I suspect that as a result I will never find that all important motivation to improve being already thoroughly spoilt

14.

What is the most important lesson you have learned so far?

Stop caring what people think of you. Being exactly who and how you want to be is so liberating.

15.

What makes a perfect day for you?

A day out foraging and beach combing on the Suffolk coast with my girls and my partner. Fish and chips on the beach, ice cream, a flask of tea somewhere remote and treasure hunting in some awesome little antiques shops. Then home to be cooked a yummy dinner of veggies from my garden. These things feed my soul!

16.

If you had one piece of advice to offer to someone what would it be?

Don’t let other people put you down or tell you that you are not good enough. It is generally more of a reflection of their feelings of themselves than it is of you. You are just perfect the way you are.

17.

Gnome or no-gnome?

NO GNOME!

 

 

 Stay safe and be kind.

See here more people who answered The Questions 

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