Rewilding the Garden: An Experiment in Maximising Garden Biodiversity’
Discover the art of rewilding a garden with Moy Fierfeller and Suzi Turner, Deputy Head Gardeners at Knepp Estate.
Rewilding a garden does not simply mean ‘letting go’. Instead, it requires thinking creatively to identify ways in which disturbance can mimic and encourage natural processes. Given that a garden is rarely big enough for keystone species such as large herbivores, this is where we, as gardeners, can act as their proxy. Thinking like a beaver or a wild boar frees the mind from cultural constraints and can inject dynamism into even the smallest space. We can also maximise biodiversity by creating a mosaic of connected habitats within a garden.
Speaker Bio - Suzi Turner
Moy Fierheller – Deputy Head Gardener at Knepp Estate.
Moy joined Knepp in 2019 and shares the post of Deputy Head Gardener with her long-time friend and colleague Suzi Turner. Together they implemented Tom Stuart Smith’s design of the rewilded Victorian walled garden over two years. Since the department expanded to include the Market Garden, they now work with Charlie Harpur, maintaining the castle grounds, hosting garden safari visitors and weeding like a herbivore. After a career change in 2001, she studied horticulture at Stanmer Park in Brighton and went on to run her own garden maintenance company. She has travelled widely in Southeast Asia and South America and worked for several years in the Shoshone National Forest in Wyoming, USA.
She is an avid reader, enjoys ballet classes and spends much of her spare time trying to gain a deeper understanding of conservation and ecology.
Speaker Bio - Suzi Turner
Suzi Turner – Deputy Head Gardener at Knepp Estate.
Suzi joined Knepp in 2019 and shares the post of Deputy Head Gardener with her long-time friend and colleague Moy Fierheller. Having worked as a gardener for 25 years, she came from a background of large formal gardens, high end nurseries and public institutions. Suzi studied the History of Landscape Design and Modern Environmentalism at university, and then horticulture at Stanmer Park in Brighton in 2001. Her role at Knepp is the perfect combination of gardening and ecology.
Alongside Moy, Suzi implemented Tom Stuart Smiths design of the rewilded Victorian walled garden and now works alongside Charlie Harpur as the department has expanded to include the market garden.
In a wonderfully varied role, Suzi combines responsibility for vegetable growing in the kitchen garden with stewarding the new rewilded garden and hosting garden safaris. She is passionate about growing food and seed sovereignty, and she is currently immersed in the world of soil science. In her free time, she is most likely to be found in a wetsuit, exploring the waterways of Sussex on her paddleboard, embracing her inner geographer.