Xa Tollemache started her gardening life when she moved into Helmingham Hall in Suffolk in 1975, as a young wife and mother.
She spent the next twenty years learning and consequently developing and improving the gardens.
It was Helmingham, she always insists, that taught her how to garden – to such effect that in 1996 she was in a position to start her garden design practice. Xa Tollemache describes this book, her first, as ‘a story book, the tale of the love story between me and the garden at Helmingham’.
It is also a record of her career as a garden designer, exemplified by eleven other gardens, large and small, on which she has worked her design magic: her first Chelsea Flower Show garden (“I was described as ‘just an amateur’, which was true – but I did get a Gold Medal!”); and gardens in Dunbeath, Caithness; Castle Hill, Devon; Cholmondley, Cheshire; Bighton, Hampshire; Wilton, Wiltshire; Aldeburgh, Suffolk; Bell House, Suffolk; Stone House, Suffolk; RHS Hyde Hall, Essex – and the garden at her new home, Framsden Hall in Suffolk.