Designer’s garden vision sees community and art linked together

PUBLISHED: 17:30 04 February 2016 | UPDATED: 09:11 08 February 2016

Anna Wardrop and Emma Molony outside Thelma Hulbert Gallery.

Anna Wardrop and Emma Molony outside Thelma Hulbert Gallery.


Anna Wardrop, a Sidmouth-born garden designer who lives in Combpyne near Axminster, is at the forefront of Honiton-based Thelma Hulbert Gallery’s front garden redesign.

Work has started on transforming Thelma Hulbert Gallery’s garden into an open green space thriving with biodiversity.

The design has been drawn up by Anna Wardrop, a Sidmouth-born garden designer, who lives in Combpyne, near Axminster.

Mum-of-two Anna was working in London when she realised, being indoors all the time, that she was in fact more of an outdoorsy and country person, and garden design was the perfect antidote to working in London.

Beginning with garden maintenance, she then opened a plant shop in Columbia Road advertising garden design, which led to her working on a variety of projects.

This included designing and managing the vegetable garden at The River Café and creating the herb and vegetable garden at Shoreditch House.

Since moving back to East Devon in 2009, Anna has worked both in London and locally with primary schools creating their vegetable and sensory gardens.

When asked why she took on on the project at THG, she said “Having already done a degree in art, I liked the idea of creating a garden that linked the art gallery to the local community and working with a range of groups to create the garden for young and old combined.”

Anna’s designs envisage a community garden thriving with local wildflowers and fruit trees and interactive areas for families, complete with bug hotels, edible plants and more.

It will also feature peaceful seating spaces for visitors.

THG is now planning to hold planting days in March, which the public can take part in.

Emma Molony, project co-ordinator at THG, added: “We felt there was lots of scope to open up and make the space around THG much more accessible and engaging.

“This project will create a little green space that’s open to everyone in Honiton and should be interesting for all ages, with vegetable beds, seating, sensory walkways, fruit trees, willow tunnels and imaginative planting.

“It is exciting working on this project with Anna and we really appreciate all the support from the community and local charitable trusts who are funding the work.”

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