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About susie

Susie is a freelance garden writer, photographer and author. A lifelong and passionate gardener, she spent 23 years at Chesters Walled Garden on Hadrian’s Wall making it a place much loved by visitors. Here she developed her free flowing planting style, which owes much to herbs, wildflowers, childhood plants and unusual perennials.

With her husband David Oakley, she has made a new garden in a hidden valley in Northumberland. Each step was shared with readers of the English Garden magazine, in a two year long series on making a garden from scratch.

Susie contributes to a variety of garden and travel magazines. She is the garden columnist for My Weekly magazine and has been the garden columnist for the Northumbrian magazine for eleven years. During her time at Chesters, she appeared over 30 times on television, and more recently, her new garden was seen on Gardeners’ World in March 2014.

Susie has spent thirty years working for the National Gardens Scheme in Northumberland. For 19 years she opened Chesters Walled Garden in aid of the charity, was County Organiser for five, and is now Press Officer for the county team. As a result, she has extensive knowledge of the gardens of Northumberland and surrounding counties. This is reflected in her book ‘Gardens of Northumberland and the Borders’.

Susie’s other interests include the environment, conservation, wildlife, upland hay meadows, archaeology, heritage skills and the landscape and walks of the North Pennines, Northumberland, and the Lake District. She has a reputation for professional, readable copy that needs little sub-editing. Comments from editors include: “You write so fluidly and coherently”; “You’re a brilliant contributor– top quality work always in on time”

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Filming Gardeners’ World at Susie & David’s garden, with Joe Swift