Gardens Illustrated Festival 2017: 5 minutes with Ann-Marie Powell

Ann-Marie Powell is an award-winning garden designer, TV gardening presenter, journalist and author. Ahead of her talk, 'A Passion for Plants' at the Gardens Illustrated Festival, we catch up with Ann-Marie and find out what she's looking forward to most at this year's event. 


Ann-Marie Powell is an award-winning garden designer, TV gardening presenter, journalist and author, who divides her time between designing gardens for private clients, companies and charities, and enthusing people about gardening through her books, TV appearances and articles in national newspapers and magazines.

Ahead of her talk, 'A passion for plants' at this year's Gardens Illustrated Festival, we caught up with Ann-Marie to find out more about her love of gardens and garden design.



Q: Who or what inspires your approach to garden design?
A: I wouldn’t say that one person inspires me. The change in seasons and wild naturalism is what I love. I’m not good at neat and like things to be rugged.
Q: Is there a garden with the style of planting you particularly love? 
A: The butterfly garden at Waltham Place. The gardener lets things seed naturally, which creates an ethereal, lace effect to the planting. It's wispy and beautiful and is inspired by nature taking its course.
Q: What one plant could you not be without in your garden?
A: I always replant Anemanthele lessoniana. It has wonderful movement and I enjoy it throughout the year.
Q: Why should more people be encouraged to take up gardening?
A: Because it makes you happy.
Q: Name an essential task we should be doing in our gardens in March?
A: Mulch. Feed the soil – it saves effort later and makes everything look finished.
Q: What are you most looking forward to at the Gardens Illustrated Festival?
A: All of it!
Q: Which talk would you most like to go to yourself?
A: All of them!
Q: What can we expect from your own talk - 'A Passion for Plants'?
A: It’s all about plants and how we use them. Structure, light, shadow, movement. I want to make people laugh and have fun. I don’t want them to feel daunted by garden design when they leave.


Ann-Marie Powell will be speaking at the Gardens Illustrated Festival which takes place 25-26 March at Westonbirt School in the Cotswolds. To find out more about the festival and to book tickets to Anne-Marie's talk, 'A passion for Plants' go to




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