jackie finch Posted almost 4 years ago What is your greatest passion and how have you been able to develop and sustain it? Gardens: My passion evolved slowly through my life, my early memories of my grandparents garden still brought into sharp focus when I smell box hedges, warm damp glasshouses and ripe peaches. Visions of my mother lovingly weeding, creating flower beds and keeping chickens, my stepfather unfailingly producing our fruit and vegetables, making compost, and building rockeries. My own first garden, productive, and idealistic. Followed then by the need to earn money whilst raising 4 children and so to maintaining gardens for other people. Aged 32 I stumbled across a course at a local college; An introduction to Garden Design, signed up and thought I was in heaven, spending my days learning Latin plant names, patterns of brick-laying, division of space, aspect, genius loci etc. I soaked it all up like a sponge. Then years followed, working on my own and other peoples gardens, but never daring to think I could earn my living designing..... Then one day I made a new friend, whose belief in me and insistence on paying me to design her garden sowed an unstoppable seed, and I finally began to design gardens. The process has been slow even from then, but looking back I see the journey clearly, forays into dabbling with Floristry, a year of an MA in Landscape Architecture, all conspired to make me face up to the fact it was actually OK to be paid to do something you love. I returned to creating gardens with a determination that has brought me joy and not least because what I do brings others joy too.