After a successful career in the record industry ,both in England and Africa, I decided to follow my fascination with natural history and go into gardening.   Aged 25 I was fortunate to get my first job with Rosemary Verey. I was to become the first of her "Beastly Boys" .I think it was the ability to ask stupid questions that earned this sobriquet.At Barnsey House ,not far from Cirencester,in Gloucestershire, Rosemary kept alive the traditions of Gertrude Jekyll and added to them.Her sense of colour and plant associations made her garden exceptional.I think I absorbed this by osmosis and it was not until some years later that I was able to fully appreciate her genius.   Good gardening ,to me, is the marriage between the practical and the artistic.My next job gave me a unique grounding in the practical.I became Head Gardener at Weston Park,a stately home in Shropshire.In those days,before tax and death duties made it impossible,the gardens were run much as they had been for generations.Of course bananas and pineapples were no longer grown, but we still managed grapes and nectarines under glass.Working alongside men ,who had started work in the gardens aged 12,I learned many a forgotten skill.No matter how good the planting; the pruning and presentation has to match.   It was from this background that my life long love of roses started. David Austin,the creator of English Roses,asked me to help with the rose breeding and to take the company to Chelsea Flower Show. He later extended this to managing the nursery.I spent four happy years doing this before setting up my own rose nursery in 1984.   Running a small nursery is hard work but it can also be lots of fun.Many of the incidents are recorded in"Travels with my Roses" which is a humorous and informative excursion into the world of gardening. Apart from the nursery I ran a gardening school which concentrated on pruning, as well as a design and pruning service. This took me to a number of fascinating private gardens.   In 1996 my first book "Gardening with Old Roses" was published.This was followed by a German edition which is still (2012) in print ,though now in budget format,having sold 50,000 copies.I cannot easily account for this since the pruning section was then quite revolutionary. I was asked in 1998 to lecture on rose pruning at the newly opened gardens at Landhaus Ettenbuhl in Southern Germany near the Swiss border.I then ran the gardening school and managed the gardens before moving to Germany in 1999.Turning a private garden into one open to the public is not easy.Some of the magic and delicacy has to be sacrificed against the practical.I ran the gardens and the garden school for 10 years and expanded my rose breeding program .My second book "Alte Rosen" was published in 2008 and concentrated on ideas of growing roses with other plants,for example in a mixed border.   For personal reasons I moved to Belgium in 2010 . I decided it was no longer possible to manage a garden efficiently from a distance and therefore resigned from Landhaus Ettenbühl. I visit South Germany each month and continue to design gardens in the region and also in Switzerland. I am at present concentrating on filming documentaries of the garden school. These will be available in early soon. Meanwhile I have returned to the UK, where I will continue to provide you with excellent consulting, quality roses and services on request.