Sally Perigo - Mediterranean memories garden
Click here to see the Mediterranean Memories Gallery.
My garden design journey started with the events of September 11th 2001. At that time I was flying with British Airways and within a day of those dreadful attacks, we had almost no passengers and I was offered a years unpaid leave. I took the opportunity and immediately enrolled on a horticulture and garden design course, as I've always loved gardening and plants. By coincidence, my inspirational garden design tutor was a previous winner of the first Jacksons competition Philippa O'Brien! I never for one moment imagined this decision would lead to me becoming a garden designer, but I loved every minute of my course and although I returned to my flying job, I realised my passion was for designing gardens.
Not long after going back to my day job, we moved to the South of France, where I started my design business. Initially this was part time in between my part time flying, although I soon realised that if I was going to really make a go of it I had to be here full time. Taking phone calls about design questions in transit at airports just wasn’t practical! So after almost 30 years I hung up my wings and stayed on terra firma!
I gained much of my knowledge and experience of Mediterranean gardening the hard way, as we created our own large garden completely from scratch in what had previously been oak and pine forest. As I started preparing planting beds, I realised that we had about 1cm of dry soil on top of stones! It was a huge undertaking, physically exhausting but immensely rewarding as our garden took shape and developed over the years. Then the commissions started coming and I have had the opportunity to design and project manage some beautiful gardens in the Var and on the Côte d’Azur.
We are moving back to the UK this year and I can’t wait to build up my business in the South of England. I am really looking forward to being able to design with the wonderful array of plants that do well in Britain. But I am particularly interested in designing drought tolerant gardens and will use my knowledge of Mediterranean gardens and plants to help achieve colourful, scented, bee and butterfly friendly gardens with low water requirements.
I am absolutely delighted to have won the opportunity to create a show garden for Jackson’s. The inspiration for my “Mediterranean memories garden” is a celebration of my time living and designing in the South of France and to show that a taste of the Mediterranean is possible in the UK, even in a North facing garden.
See below for her winning design.