CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Sussex Life today CLICK HERE

Gardening: designer Sarah Russell

PUBLISHED: 00:16 09 February 2011 | UPDATED: 20:37 20 February 2013

Gardening: designer Sarah Russell

Gardening: designer Sarah Russell

Leigh Clapp visits garden designer Sarah Russell at her cottage garden in Mannings Heath and learns more about her very hands-on style

The seed for gardening was planted at a very young age in Sarah Russell and has led to a career in designing and restoring gardens around Sussex. I was raised in the middle of the countryside on the edge of Exmoor in North Devon, she explains. My parents have always been passionate plantspeople and each of the three houses I remember as a child had beautifully creative gardens. I was enveloped in a world where gardening was a way of life. Bowls full of roses and lilies adorned the tables, packets of seeds were neatly stacked on window sills, ingenious home made watering systems were created by my ever inventive father and every gardening book would have a few plant labels in it where my mother would have been looking up her latest acquisitions. I would help my mother to prick out seedlings, and would try and memorise the complicated Latin names just to prove that I could.
After initially doing a degree in modern languages at Exeter University, Sarah worked as a secretary and in administration. A new path started emerging on moving to the characterful Edwardian cottage in Mannings Heath with its traditional long narrow garden. Her interest in gardening was reawakened and given expression. It had marvellous soil which could grow anything and so I started to dabble. Every trip to visit my parents would end with me returning home with a bootful of plants which would start to embellish the plain garden and the latent knowledge that I had acquired as a child started to make itself known, recalls Sarah.
Once her youngest child started school Sarah retrained in horticulture and set up a part-time gardening business to, as she puts it, fund my growing habit. With her passion for gardening blossoming she decided to also take a two-year garden design qualification and she was well and truly hooked into making gardening her new career.
Although Sarah works in different styles for her varied clients, at home her garden fully expresses her personality and love for cottage garden abundance. I allow the luxury of untidiness in my own garden. I work on the principle that if the garden is full of plants, there are fewer gaps for weeds, she smiles.
The original lawn has been removed and filled with borders and gravel pathways. Plants in soft waves of colours and textures spill over paths in joyous exuberance. My favourite plants are roses, lilies and peonies and I love the old fashioned favourites that self-seed and reappear year after year quite often in all the wrong places! Sarah comments.
You can visit one of the gardens Sarah has been renovating, Sedgwick Park near Horsham, which I have featured before in my column, and which plans to open to the public again for a few days this summer. It is my biggest project to date, where the restoration of the 15 acre historic gardens has been a joy to carry out not many people get to have their own personal Heligan! On the opposite scale, the smallest plot has been a pretty little town courtyard which I created from an unpromising plot of weed and builders rubble. Several clients have come back to me a second time after moving house, which I feel is a real compliment to my skill as a designer. It is always nice to have positive feedback, Sarah concludes.


Contact details
Sarah Russell, Pots and Pansies,
Mannings Heath, Horsham,
West Sussex
Garden design, restoration, maintenance, planting plans, advice and problem solving
www.potsandpansies.co.uk
tel: 01403 266725
email: sarah@potsandpansies.co.uk

0 comments

More from Homes & Gardens

Mon, 13:02

A rich local history, thriving annual festivals and a bounty of amenities make this East Sussex town hard to top

Read more
Wednesday, September 26, 2018

As we head into Autumn, the change in season is all around us. From the leaves on the trees turning burnt orange and fiery red, to dark mornings and nights bookending our days. As we put the clocks back an hour to battle the darkness, here’s some top tips on how you can keep your home warm and costs down this Autumn.

Read more
Monday, September 24, 2018

This newly renovated Georgian townhouse in Worthing offers uninterrupted views over the sea, combined with designs for the modern family

Read more
Tuesday, September 11, 2018

A leading property agent is going back to his roots after a 32-year career by joining one of the UK’s foremost property search companies covering Hampshire, Surrey, West Sussex East Sussex and Kent.

Read more
Monday, September 10, 2018

Bearing links to some of the county’s famous smugglers, Alfriston is a small village with a lot of history – including an impressive ‘cathedral’

Read more
Friday, August 31, 2018

Rural energy provider, Calor, gives some top tips for homeowners wanting to make their houses cosy and warm in time for the colder months.

Read more
Thursday, August 23, 2018

As well as being practical, tiles can add class, colour and style to your home. With such spectacular choice, you might feel like a kid in a sweet shop, so many delicious options. Luxury bathroom, kitchen and tile experts Sussex Plumbing Supplies (SPS) have selected the top tile styles and tips to help you make the right choice for your space.

Read more
Monday, August 20, 2018

Head to these South Downs villages for a chance to experience modern amenities and stunning, picturesque views

Read more
Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Fantastic rail links, picturesque views and community spirit make this small Sussex village an ideal place to call home

Read more
Sunday, July 1, 2018

Residential property company heylo recently signed the Armed Forces Covenant, pledging its commitment to fair treatment and support to the Armed Forces community, including regulars, reserves, veterans and their families. The signing took place in a ceremony held at Wellington Barracks

Read more
Monday, June 25, 2018

Community lies at the very heart of this Sussex parish, which was once home to Rudyard Kipling

Read more
Friday, June 1, 2018

The bathroom is one of the most heavily used rooms in the house yet in most cases it is one of the smallest. The growing popularity of en suites, plus the need for additional downstairs WCs, mean that space-saving solutions are increasingly in demand

Read more
Monday, May 21, 2018

Despite its rural location, the South Downs market town of Midhurst is alive with community spirit

Read more
Monday, April 30, 2018

When planning a large bathroom the choice and options can feel as daunting as it does exciting. At Sussex Plumbing Supplies, our bathroom design experts take the headache out of the design stages, letting you enjoy the experience If you can’t make it to an SPS showroom, fear not as we have compiled trend and design advice here to inspire your big bathroom planning. We could say they’re the 7 Wonders of the Bathroom World but that might be taking it too far…

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy


Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory


Property Search