I love to look after soil and coax it to grow things. When I took early retirment I spent a day a week for a year at Plumpton College, gaining my RHS level 2 in practical horticulture. Over time, I’ve had two allotments and several gardens, but I have never really had to the time to devote to them.

The garden I have taken over here is almost entirely covered in paving at the moment, but it is well proportioned, and has an established pond. There are challenges: it faces north-east and New Forest soils are poor. Ours is very sandy, which gives great drainage, but poor fertility. On the other hand, we now live in one of the sunniest parts of the UK, which is noticeably much milder in winter than where we have lived before. One of my big projects now is to design and develop this garden well, now I have time to do so.