Charlotte has the most amazing business selling gorgeous ceramic pieces, and is also as obsessed with flowers as me. It's been so lovely to read about Charlotte's gardening journey- I hope you enjoy it too!
Tell us a bit about you and when did you start gardening, and why?
I'm a ceramic designer/maker based in Northamptonshire. I preserve flowers and plants into clay, forming everlasting keepsakes of cherished memories. Many of the flowers I work with are from weddings, funerals, other special occasion stems, or flowers that I have picked from my garden and on countryside walks.
My passion for recycling and repurposing flowers, combined with providing a lifetime of happiness for clients is extremely heart warming, meaningful and rewarding. I just love what I do!
I am passionate about giving back to nature, and recently partnered with The Greener Earth Project - so for every order that I receive, a donation is made to this amazing environmental charity, enabling a tree to be planted.
I bought my first home with my husband 7 years ago, and have always enjoyed trying my best to maintain our small but perfectly formed garden, but it wasn't until recently when I discovered The Rose Press Garden that I became really into growing things and making more of an effort to learn about gardening. Lizzie's tips and encouragement towards gardening got me really inspired and with the addition of her monthly flower seed/bulb subscription, I haven't looked back!
The joy I get from growing seedlings is so fulfilling. It's like they are my little babies... watering and nurturing them every day until they are big and strong enough to be planted out into the big wide world of the garden!
Which gardeners inspire you and why?
I always admired my Nan for her love of gardening. I remember helping her dig up bulbs and move them to another patch in her garden, and lots of other fond memories.
What’s the most ambitious gardening project you’ve completed or have planned?
I wouldn't call it particularly ambitious, but over the last 6 months we have made some noticeable changes to our garden.
We originally had an unused, wasted grass area at the front of our house which was never used - we would just mow it. The side of our house took up an old rotten shed, and wasn't really big enough to do much with. Between these two spaces was a brick wall, separating our back garden and the unused grass area at the front. So we decided to knock the wall down and put a fence up further forward at the front, gaining the unused grass area into the back garden space. The old shed was knocked down, and we started what was a long project of digging. The ground was so uneven so we needed to level it out for a new shed to be built. After lots of earth hauling for weeks, we had a patio and some turf laid, and I had planned some new flower beds into the design. I'm starting to fill these beds with my flowers grown from TRPG and it's really starting to come to life. It is a work in progress this year, but next year I'm hoping the garden will be full of beautiful flowers everywhere, and I can't wait!
What is your favourite thing to grow?
I have really enjoyed growing my sunflowers this year. They seem to give instant fulfilment and are easy to grow.
Anything new you want to try in the next growing season?
I am excited to plant my first bulbs this autumn, and think I'll give growing vegetables a try next year. Particularly courgettes which I love.
Where is your favourite garden in the world, and why?
A local favourite of mine is Evenley Wood Garden. They have really useful signs all over the grounds with information on the name & details of the plants, trees and shrubs. They hold many family friendly activities throughout the year and it is just stunning to walk around.
What do you wish you’d known earlier about gardening?
I wish I'd have known that gardening was so easy! I mean, it can be a lot of work if you have a large garden and lots of plants to take care of, but it's so simple once you start to understand the different types of plants and the meaning of all the jargon gardening words. I have learnt so much from pinching out to potting on, combatting aphids and the difference between annuals, biennials and perennials.
What advice would you give someone new to gardening?
Give everything a go. Don't worry if something doesn't go to plan, try again. Don't give things too much thought - just go for it!
When not gardening, what do you like doing?
You'll often find me out with my daughter riding her shetland pony. Or in my studio pressing botanical stems into clay and transforming it into pieces such as vases, wall hangings, coasters, and more. I also love listening to podcasts - my favourite is Conversations of Inspiration with Holly Tucker.
Thanks Charlotte- I've loved growing Sunflowers this year too! Go and follow Charlotte's business if you don't already: