For as long as I can remember, I have loved being outside surrounded by nature and animals. I grew up in the countryside and have memories of my mother’s beautiful herbaceous borders every summer next to a bubbling brook that flowed through our garden.
When I started working in London, I signed up for a local allotment and as soon as one came available I started to sow seeds for vegetables. I always enjoyed transforming my tiny back courtyard gardens into peaceful havens surrounded by plants in a variety of pots.
After 10 years of office work, I began a career in millinery where I experimented with colours, different fabrics and textures to design all sorts of hats/fascinators. I loved the freedom of creating something from scratch and transforming it into something magical and unique. This is something I now replicate in my flowers too
We moved to Sherridge, my husband’s family home in 2013 and inherited a large, beautiful garden with stunning views of the surrounding countryside and the Malvern Hills in the background. As soon as we could, we installed a greenhouse and there began my passion for experimenting and growing flowers from seed. For more about Sherridge, click here.
Meanwhile, my children attended the local primary school and I volunteered to help at their Gardening Club. After visiting the school gardens at RHS Malvern, I persuaded our school to sign up for one too. Three years later and our school’s garden won “Best in Show”. It was hugely exciting to be coordinating this project and working with the children and the whole school community to design their garden. I learnt so much about design, experimentation and creativity. Again this cemented my passion for gardening and creativity with plants.
Every year I would pore over seed catalogues and order new varieties. I discovered dahlias. I was like a child in a sweetie shop. During lockdown, a friend asked if she could use some of my flowers for a friend’s funeral and it was then that the idea of Kat’s Cut Flowers was born. In February 2021, as I turned 50 in the middle of lockdown, Kat’s Cut Flowers was launched.
Welcome to Sherridge
Sherridge has been in my husband’s family for over 9 generations. Only 100 years ago, the field where I now grow my flowers was the main kitchen garden for our lovely Georgian house, growing vegetables for use in the kitchens and flowers for decorating the house. It’s funny to think that what is now my domain was once tended by 6 gardeners! I feel incredibly lucky to have such an amazing space to grow in and to be able to explore the world of flowers further. Maybe one day “Kat’s Cut Flowers” will fill the same space as the garden in the photo below.
Our home is a huge part of our family history and it’s got a real sense of heritage and heart about it. Composer Edward Elgar was similarly captivated by the place and became great friends with Winifred Norbury, my husband’s great great aunt, such that he dedicated one of his Enigma Variations to her – Variation VIII “WN” Allegretto
We love opening Sherridge to the local community, and hearing the gardens full of happy talk and laughter. Twice we’ve hosted a summer fete for the local church and every 2 years we have a family festival – Norbstock – great food, music, light and love. It means so much that the house and gardens have been loved and maintained in different ways through the generations, and it’s a privilege to be able to create little pieces of joy and colour for others using flowers grown at Sherridge. Click here for more information on “Pick your Own” days or workshops at Sherridge.