Described by family, friends and colleagues as a down-to-earth, practical man, Michael decided he wanted to work outside from an early age. His decision was influenced by his love of the low lying sandy heathland – originally part of the great Dorset heathland commemorated in Thomas Hardy’s The Return of the Native – which was his natural playground.
After working in Dorset and neighbouring counties for several years and studying horticulture at Kingston Maurward, Dorchester, Michael relocated his practice to Cumbria in the early nineties. In his spare time, Michael is an enthusiastic mountain biker and has been a Trail Centre Leader – a benchmark qualification for anyone wishing to lead groups of mountain bikers. Cyclewise Academy is based at Whinlatter Forest.
While working alongside Michael as a gardener and garden designer, I studied horticulture at Kingston Maurward in Dorchester. The projects I worked on with Michael include an ambitious outdoor set for a BBC television series, an award-winning public garden and a Lake District garden belonging to a National Trust property. However, I feel happiest in the everydayness of relaxed, residential gardens and I’m an enthusiastic proponent of organic gardening.
As a garden writer and fledgling novelist, I can only work with Michael on a part time basis at present.