Meet our Head gardener - Sue Carter
Head Gardener, Lacock Abbey
Working in the grounds and gardens at Lacock, Head Gardener Sue Carter explains that it’s not about garden makeovers, or instant gardening; it’s about treading a fine line between renewal and preservation. Discover it for yourself, with the wooded grounds, botanic garden, greenhouse and orchard waiting to show you their secrets.
What’s it like gardening for the National Trust, and how is it different to other gardens?
Most National Trust gardens are a blend of the old and the new, so you have to try and take the garden forward while respecting the past. It’s not about garden makeovers, or instant gardening; it’s about treading a fine line between renewal and preservation. And all while giving visitors a good time and an enjoyable day out.
What's your favourite area of the garden at Lacock Abbey?
The daisy border in the botanic garden. Each winter it looks so sad and bare but in the summer it is transformed, bursting at the seams with huge plants and every colour you can think of.
What's your favourite time of year in the garden?
Spring- no contest- everything is changing every minute and you can hardly keep up with it all! I love seeing and hearing all the birds and watching buds open and new shoots appear.
" Don’t be afraid to ask questions – gardeners will be delighted you’re taking an interest!"
What exciting projects do you have coming up?
Opening the parkland to visitors later this year, also continuing the changes to the rose garden and rockworks that we have recently begun, opening up views and adding a bigger variety of plants.
Any top tips?
Use more bulbs- they’re a great way of adding trouble-free joy to your garden. You just put them in and forget them and then they surprise you months later for almost no effort.
Any advice for those looking to start a career in gardening?
Find a course at your nearest college and try and get as much practical experience, e.g. by volunteering at a Trust garden, as you can, as well as gardening at home. Go and see lots of gardens and don’t be afraid to ask questions – gardeners will be delighted you’re taking an interest and sometimes it’s not appropriate or too difficult to label to label all the plants.