Gardening at Glendurgan with Katy

Our Katy is a woman of many talents. Whilst designing products for Wildcard Silks and running her own business, she also works as a gardener for the National Trust at Glendurgan Gardens in Cornwall. Many of her creative ideas for the upcoming spring/summer range were inspired by her time pruning, digging, planting and working the land.

On a hazy spring morning, we met up with Katy to walk around the garden and ask more about her relationship with nature.

What is your role here at Glendurgan Gardens?

At the moment, I am a gardener for four days a week. I’ve worked here for five years, looking after volunteers, organising work plans and getting on with the gardening. Yesterday we were digging over borders, improving the soil and planting. It’s the time of year for mowing, so we’re doing a lot of that at the moment. In the winter it’s usually chainsawing and strimming solidly all day, which is hard work. I also run the nursery here, so work alongside volunteers to supply the garden with plants.

When did you first become interested in gardening?

I was a ranger up in Scotland and my boss there was trying to help me with the identification of trees. I felt really embarrassed that I didn’t know much about plants, so I started to learn about them and became interested in garden design. I also used to help my mum with her garden when I was a child, and was very drawn to colours and flowers. We did lots of planting and weeding together, she also did flower arranging with my aunt so we grew flowers for that.

How does the natural world inspire your work?

Wildcard Silks is a bit of an outlet for me to experiment with more crazy designs and bold colours. However, usually when I draw I try and do more technical drawings of animals, insects and plants. The new spring/summer range is very much inspired by nature – there was a rare Rhododendron Magnificum flowering at Trelissick. My husband works as a gardener there, and they had to cut a piece off for some reason so he brought it home. I just started doodling and got carried away – before I knew it I had a drawing I was quite proud of, which eventually became one of the new scarves.

The ‘Dragonfly‘ is one of my most popular designs. It was inspired by a day at Glendurgan Gardens, when a Southern Hawker dragonfly landed on a leaf by the pond. Its colours were so beautiful!

The Wildcard Silks’ spring/summer range is on its way soon. Keep your eyes on our website for more details.