I grew up on a farm in the Cotswolds, where as a teenager I helped my father repair dry stone walls. I was educated at a Rudolf Steiner school.
After I left school I traveled extensively in Asia. When I returned, I began working for various tradesmen. In this work with a builder/carpenter, landscape gardener, and stonemason I gained a grounding in many practical skills.
Gradually landscape gardening became my primary source of work, culminating in extensive landscaping work for a local school, where I became an employee for several years, both in landscape gardening and maintenance.