Upon finding The Garden Edit - founded by gardener John Tebbs - and sharing his philosophy to create a modern collection of products that embody functionality, timelessness and beauty, we approached Tebbs to feature in our Spring Summer ’15 campaign.
Working with photographer Arianna Lago, we captured Tebbs wearing a selection of our Spring Summer ’15 accessories. The vibrant colours and woven textures are worn with the relaxed ease of an English gardener, off-duty.
We ask Tebbs about how he started, what drove him to start a shop and what is the best indoor plant for a London home.
Interview by Becky French
Photography by Arianna Lago
Interviewee: John Tebbs
BF: When did you start the Garden Edit?
JT: We launched The Garden Edit in November 2013. I had been thinking about starting the project for a while and then at the start of 2013 decided to throw caution to the wind and give it a go!
BF: Where did you grow up and passion for gardening start?
JT: I grew up in a town called Ashby De La Zouch in the Midlands. We had a small garden and my father had an allotment (still does). Everyone in my family was into gardening; grandparents, aunts, uncles – I was pretty much surrounded by it as a child and guess that passion rubbed off. I took my first weekend job in a plant nursery at the age of 14 and pretty much knew then that I wanted to be involved in the horticultural world.
BF: You are a gardener. What types of projects do you get asked to do?
JT: I mainly do gardening – so I look after a number of clients gardens on a long term basis. It’s great working with a garden long term because it is constantly evolving – nothing is ever finished. That is the joy of gardening. I also do some design work but I prefer to work with a space long term.
BF: Which garden is the most tranquil place you have discovered in the UK?
JT: I’m not sure about tranquil, I find most gardens have the capacity to provide tranquillity – that for me is one of the real pleasures of a garden. One that I find endlessly inspiring is Great Dixter in East Sussex – the garden has a dream like quality too, which ever season you visit it can transport you somewhere special.
BF: You appreciate finely crafted objects and have a wonderful edit of pieces on your site. How did this come together?
It came together through a lot of time sourcing. I had always enjoyed spending time finding things, in a way it was a natural progression to turn it into a business.
JT: Ceramics are a big part of your Garden Edit. What draws your eye to a piece?
Yes I do have a bit of a thing for ceramics! I love objects that have a certain rawness or honesty to them – that you are aware they have been made by someone’s hands. I enjoy being able to see the various processes and firings that take place to get the finished object. You feature in our SS15 campaign wearing Marwood accessories.
BF: What occasion was the last time you wore a tie?
JT: Last month I attended a family wedding in New Zealand. It was very hot but I did sport a tie – for a while…
BF: What clothing items are your most practical and essential parts of your wardrobe?
JT: My boots probably, I wear them for work but also for most other situations too. They are made by a Swedish company and in true Scandinavian style have the ability to be practical and aesthetically pleasing! In winter I would say thermals are a pretty important staple too!
BF: What plants are the easiest to look after for a London home?
JT: I am a huge fan of Sansevieria or commonly known as Mother in law’s tongue. It has a great structural quality and is also not fussy – it copes with low light levels and a certain amount of neglect with watering – two very important things for plants in the London home! I also love Monstera and Ficus elastica – both bigger options but also pretty easy. It’s also hard to go wrong with a spider plant!
BF: Where is the best place to buy your plants in your opinion?
JT: I tend to get mine from wholesale nurseries which aren’t always open to the public. However, it’s always nice to try and support the specialist growers and nurseries – you are more likely to find great plants in a place where someone is passionate about growing them. Thanks so much for being a part of this project.
BF: Anything else to add?
JT: It’s been a pleasure and much fun was had! I’m really looking forward to collaborating with Marwood on some pieces for The Garden Edit soon!