Sarah Coles


Do travel and gardening go together? My mother took me aged 3 weeks to Malta to join my father, a naval doctor at the hospital at Valetta, and my hammock swung from the cabin roof.  Aged 21 I got a job looking after children on SS Orcades sailing to Sydney. I worked in Sydney typing, in Queensland cooking and housekeeping, in Alice Springs typing, then sailed to New Zealand, where I worked in a shop, as a waitress, and moving round the country as a rousie, helping a Maori shearing gang. I flew to New Caledonia, and caught Messageries Maritimes ship collecting copra  across the Pacific, and reached Marseilles. I got home after two years, and wrote Beating about the Bush, by Sarah Mussen.

I married.  I gardened.  I travelled.  I started writing a garden column for the Hampshire County Magazine, as well as other articles for the RHS journal The Garden, the Field, the RNRS Magazine The Rose and others.  I was teaching at Southampton University’s Department of Continuing Adult Education on horticultural subjects.  I lectured all over the place.

Now my garden is small.  Sometimes it’s too small for my ambitions, and sometimes it’s perfect.


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