I grew up in London and as a child played on Putney Common and fell in love with all the Royal Parks around me. As I lived so close to Kew Gardens, I visited them regularly, especially in the spring to see the Blue Bell Wood and drifts of narcissus.
I studied Fine Art—painting and drawing—and obtained a BFA from Leeds Art College. In 1976, I moved to California and studied Landscape Architecture at UC Berkeley, where I obtained an MLA, writing my thesis on the use of native plants in urban design.
My entire life, I have enjoyed the beauty of the natural landscape and have gardened avidly since my teens. Finally, in 1984, with my husband, the chef Christopher Lee, I bought some land and started by own garden. I grow a mixture of fruits, vegetables, fragrant old roses, and drought-tolerant plants.
For some time now I have been incorporating edibles into my designs, from olive groves to rosemary hedges and native Toyon bushes loaded with bright red berries to feed the birds in winter.
As I love to cook, I am always growing something exciting to bring to our table, such as antique french garlic varieties, or italian purple artichokes.
My focus has been on residential design with an emphasis on using a mixture of native plants and what is easily adapted to the California Mediterranean climate.