I was flatteringly asked by House & Garden Magazine for a chat about design influences, show gardens, and all things garden related as part of their Young Gardeners Series. See an exerpt below or check out the full interview at http://www.houseandgarden.co.uk/outdoor-spaces/features/young-gardeners/view/outdoor-spaces/features/caitlin-mclaughlin
What are you currently working on?
“A combination of my day job and designing my garden for Tatton Park. I am georeferencer at the Natural History Museum. Georeferencing is the process used to give the locality of a specimen geographical coordinates. We use these maps to look at things like species distribution. I studied science at university and when I was there I became obsessed with plants. I feel plant science is something that is not focused on at school. When I got to university there was a moment when I just thought ‘this is amazing!’ I come from a science and plant conservation background but increasingly I felt drawn to the aesthetics of gardens and wanted to create gardens that combine these twin passions.
My garden for Tatton Park takes the RHS theme which is Health, Happiness and Horticulture and combines it with my interest in nature conservation. I’ve called the garden ‘Nature & Nurture’ – I wanted to make it feel like a nature reserve which would work equally well somewhere green and leafy like Hyde Park or somewhere with hard landscaping like the area in the city by the Shard. I’ve used clean structural lines and really wild plants to replicate the ecosystems we have at the edge of fields, wildflower strips and native hedgerows. I am fascinated by marginal plants – they can grow almost anywhere.
I have now arranged with St. Barnabas Lincolnshire Hospice to donate my show garden as a memorial garden for a family friend we recently lost. I really wanted to do something in her memory and to bring comfort to others in the hospice that may need a garden space to relax in. The garden will be rebuilt by me in the weeks directly after RHS Tatton at their site in Louth, Lincolnshire.”